“Investment in cultural infrastructure is essential for the health, well-being and economic prosperity of communities. We must invest in these community hubs now or pay a much higher price for the fall-out when we lose them.” – Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch
A Statement by Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch, in the Ontario Legislature
Posted October 20th, 2020 on Niagara At Large
The Following is from the Official Record of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario for Tuesday, October 20th, 2020 –
Mr. Jeff Burch: “I want to tell you about one of the forgotten casualties of the ongoing pandemic: Cultural clubs and associations, and the facilities and banquet halls they operate.
Cultural facilities in my riding and across the province provide immeasurable value to our communities and are integrated into their social fabric.
They do everything from supporting seniors and youth to welcoming newcomers to raising money for food banks and other charities. Yet many are facing closure due to unprecedented fiscal constraints with no end in sight.
Club Capri is an Italian hall in my Thorold neighbourhood. Formed in 1917 by a group of volunteers, the association opened their hall in 1960. This club has been hosting wedding receptions, fundraisers and other community functions ever since.
Due to the pandemic, they have had to close up shop, losing over 50% of their revenue as a result. They have lost nearly a quarter of a million dollars. In August, Club Capri applied for a Trillium grant and has yet to hear back. Without intervention, this cultural hall that has been operating for over a century is facing imminent closure.
Club Capri is just one example of many cultural halls and not-for-profits across Ontario on the brink of collapse. Make no mistake: The economic recovery of our province depends on the not-for-profit sector being able to continue to operate.
Investment in cultural infrastructure is essential for the health, well-being and economic prosperity of communities. We must invest in these community hubs now or pay a much higher price for the fall-out when we lose them.”
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