Arts and culture is alive and well in the City of Cornwall! Use the menu to learn more about Art of the City, Arts in the Park, the Cornwall Community Museum, Placemaking, and Recreation Programs.


Arts and Culture Centre

In 2011, the Culturescape Report recommended the development of an arts and culture facility and in 2012, the City opened an account “The Art Trust Fund” to hold community donations to support that goal. In 2013, members across the arts community in Cornwall and area established the Centre for the Arts Collective/le Collectif pour un centre des arts to concentrate and focus fundraising and promotional events to advance the project. Money trickled in while the City’s Recreation and Leisure Arts department provided support and direction.

In 2016, the City of Cornwall commissioned an architectural consulting firm to complete an Arts Centre Feasibility Study. The purpose of this Feasibility Study was to determine the facility needs, the affordability, the physical components (design, spaces and sizes), specific location, and costs for a Community Arts and Culture Centre in Cornwall. The final report recommended that the best option for the location of a new Arts and Culture Centre would be an $11-12 million addition/renovation at the Cornwall Civic Complex.

fundraiser thermometer

Fundraising and promotion continued slowly until early 2018, when BMO decommissioned the bank at 159 Pitt Street. The building had been erected in 1911 with a Beaux Arts style façade. City administration, to the delight of the arts community, ordered a FIT Test to assess the feasibility of the site for re-purposing as an arts centre with a black box theatre as its anchor. The FIT Test was positive and estimated refurbishment costs between $4 and $6 million. The City purchased the building in March 2018 and the project was re-energized.

City Recreation staff organized tours of repurposed art spaces and black box theatres in Eastern Ontario. In January 2019, a subset of the Collective, the Be The Link fundraising team, launched a drive with a goal of raising $1 million.

The City’s 2020 budget allocated funds for an architectural firm to create the blueprints for the future arts centre. In February 2020, GRC Architects of Ottawa were chosen to do the work. GRC Architects has a reputation for innovative and engaging designs, including heritage buildings, community centres, and recreation facilities. They began work immediately, in the face of COVID-19 restrictions, with a Zoom conference call early on. They have since visited the site, drilling holes in the walls and excavating strategic spots in the rear parking lot to ensure that building and ground conditions are adequate to support their design work.

Community consultations will follow release of preliminary designs.

To access the pledge form and make a contribution to the Art Trust Fund, click here.

Click here to visit the bethelink.net website for more information about the arts centre.

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Lorne Taillon
Leisure Arts Coordinator
800 Seventh Street West, Box 877, Cornwall ON, K6H 5T9
T.: 613-938-9898 ext. 4012
F.: 613-938-8855
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