The Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto, Canada was awarded $5.1 million from Canada Cultural Spaces
February 8, 2017
213 Sterling Road
The Minister of Heritage, Mèlanie Joly’s announcement of 5.1 million dollars in funding for MOCA’s new site at the Tower Automotive Building (constructed 1919-1920) was received with enthusiasm from the arts and media crowd assembled at the Junction Gallery. Joly said the funding would go towards the infrastructure of the first 5 floors of the building and half the basement space that MOCA will occupy.
Julia Ouellette, MOCA Board of Directors Chair expressed her own delight at the announcement and said that hiring will start soon and the search for a new CEO begin. The industrial style windows have been installed and a new Director of Programs, November Paynter, was hired in January. “We look forward to an exciting opening this fall”, said Ouellette.
The Minister of Heritage, Mélanie Joly, charmed the crowd with talking about how she had wandered around the arts community incognito with her husband. When interviewed, she said that everyone believes that MOCA would be the center of the arts hub in the Junction Triangle. Other funding announcements will be made in Toronto later this week, she said.
Photographer, George Whiteside, who currently has an exhibition in the Junction Gallery, had started the event with welcoming the guests and introducing the speakers.
Julie Dzerowicz, Member of Parliament for the Davenport area, talked about the economic impact that this investment and MOCA would have for the area as she recognized the amount of cultural activity in her riding. Indeed it is expected that about 46 full time jobs will be created at the new Museum with about $3 million in annual wages. Add to this the expected visitor traffic to the Museum and the area (estimated at about 2 million visitors in the first five years) – that promises a great economic impact.
Although the funding was known for several months, MOCA staff and Board were anxious to make it public and share their contained joy. Indeed things are looking up for MOCA and the art community was thrilled to hear the news.
Text and photo: Phil Anderson