April 16, 2019 1:49 pm

Federal government to assist in transforming historic Saint John courthouse into playhouse

File - The Saint John Court House on Sydney Street will soon have a new lease on life.

Andrew Cromwell/Global News

The federal government announced that the historic courthouse on Sydney Street in Saint John, N.B., will find a new lease on life.

The courthouse, which has remained empty for years, will become the new home of the Saint John Theatre Company who will turn the building into a playhouse and performance centre.

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Wayne Long, MP for Saint John-Rothesay, and Andy Filmore, MP for Halifax, made the announcement on Tuesday.

“The Saint John region has long been a place where our cultures come together,” said Long.

“The arts and culture are a part of who we are as Canadians, and these investments will enable our city and our residents to continue to have access to high-quality performances and productions right here in our community.”

The Saint John Theatre Company will receive $2 million from the Department of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism and $250,000 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), for a total of $3 million.

“With the support of Canadian Heritage and ACOA, we can now begin the process of developing this property into a vibrant cultural facility for the benefit of the [Saint John Theatre Company] and the cultural community at large,” said Stephen Tobias, the executive director of the Saint John Theatre Company.

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The Imperial Theatre on King Square South will receive $250,000 from the Department of Canadian Heritage and $250,000 from ACOA.

The funding will be used to renovate the lobby and to enhance accessibility, safety and energy efficiency.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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