The conversion of the Minoru Place Activity Centre—currently serving as an emergency response centre—to an arts centre will be delayed pending approval for a joint provincial/federal grant.
Photo by Don Fennell
Delay expected for planned Minoru Arts Centre
Published 3:19 PST, Tue January 19, 2021
Last Updated: 3:33 PST, Tue January 19, 2021
The planned conversion of the Minoru Place Activity Centre to an arts centre will be delayed, pending final approval from city council.
Construction on the new arts centre was originally scheduled to begin in April, with the building currently acting as an emergency response centre for people experiencing homelessness. That contract—a collaboration with BC Housing and Turning Point Recovery Centre—was slated to end March 31.
But because the city is seeking up to $2.4 million towards the project through the Investing in Canada infrastructure program’s community, culture and recreation stream, which was delayed by the B.C. election, they could forego the grant amount if construction begins prior to notification of successful submissions.
While the project could be completed using previously approved budget, it would then be ineligible for supplementary financial support. Successful submissions will be notified by this summer, and construction on the facility would be complete by late summer 2022.
Councillors were in favour of the delay at yesterday’s general purposes committee meeting, with Coun. Linda McPhail asking if BC Housing could extend the operation of their emergency response centre while construction was delayed. Richmond’s director of community social development Kim Somerville said conversations with BC Housing are in progress about potential extensions.
Arts groups that are hoping to be able to use the renovated space have also been contacted.
“They’re understanding of the need and the benefit to the city of this grant and just want to see the program move forward when the time is right for the city,” said director of arts, culture and heritage services Marie Fenwick.
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