Real estate developer donates 2 Waterloo houses to support local artists

The house at 56 Regina St. N. Google Maps

Residential real estate developer HIP Developments has donated two properties in uptown Waterloo to provide studio space for both emerging and established artists.

The donation also aims to create a space fostering creativity, community and local engagement.

Art$Pay, an organization dedicated to serving art practitioners and advocating for fair pay, will manage the houses.

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“These two properties will provide artists with the opportunity to connect, collaborate and work together within the broader community, which will lead to exciting future developments — a missing link in retaining talent in this sector,” said Cathy Farwell, artist and volunteer manager at Art$Pay.

The Art Incubate, a talent support project, will begin its pilot project at the houses on May 1 in Waterloo. As part of the initiative, sponsors will support five local artists in an incubator program over a 12-month period. In addition, there will be eight to 10 practising artists renting rooms throughout the building at cost.

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“Our participation in Art Incubate is part of our broader belief in city building,” said Scott Higgins, president of HIP Developments Inc.

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To encourage more gallery use, the exhibition and meeting spaces will use a pay-what-you-can model for the first six months.

The facilities are located at 52 and 56 Regina St. N.