Investing $2.3 Million in Windsor’s Arts, Culture and Heritage Sector
Today, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens was joined by Irek Kusmierczyk, Member of Parliament for Windsor-Tecumseh, on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, along with representatives from the Windsor Symphony Orchestra (WSO), and City of Windsor administration to announce a $2.3-million investment in the community’s arts, culture and heritage sector.
The City of Windsor is investing $1.8 million, with the Government of Canada contributing $500,000 through the Legacy Fund stream of the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program from the Department of Canadian Heritage, which provides funding for community-initiated capital projects intended for community use.
The City’s approved grant application sought funding for the Capitol Theatre 100th Anniversary Legacy Project to commemorate the venue’s milestone anniversary with a legacy installation; community celebration; and extensive infrastructure improvements to meet user needs, improve accessibility, and increase energy efficiency.
Work is currently underway at the heritage gem in downtown Windsor and includes the following:
Upgrades for ten 25-year-old heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units,
Renovations adding 2,000 square feet of useable space,
Replacement of 7,300 square feet of ornate carpet throughout the theatre,
Enhancements to video and lighting equipment,
Stage upgrades, and
Creation and installation of a digital wall highlighting the theatre’s history.
The facility improvements are expected to be complete by December 2022, with a community celebration of the Capitol Theatre also anticipated for 2022.
Council is committed to supporting a city that offers a creative and vibrant community that encourages artistic expression, culture-led economic revitalization, heritage preservation, and the celebration of cultural identity and diversity through the arts.
“Arts and cultural experiences are central to our well-being. However, this sector has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. To assist in the recovery, federal emergency support programs have provided over $15 billion to businesses and workers in tourism, arts, and culture. As the public health situation improves, we will continue to be there to help businesses welcome residents back. Our federal government is proud to partner with the City of Windsor to support the revitalization of the Capitol Theatre, which has drawn our community together, told our local stories, and reinforced our cultural diversity for one hundred years."
– Irek Kusmierczyk, Member of Parliament for Windsor-Tecumseh
“The City of Windsor regularly and significantly invests in the arts and embraces and supports creative endeavours. Council’s dedication and commitment to the arts is evident, in part, through the purchase of the Capitol Theatre, establishment of a home for the WSO and Windsor International Film Festival (WIFF) within the facility, and ongoing investments into enhancements at the historic theatre. Throughout the Capitol’s 100-year history, the community, municipality, and upper levels of government have provided support to the theatre’s restoration and preservation. We are thankful for the federal government’s current investment at the Capitol Theatre and for the support of the WSO as we work together to enhance the theatre’s accessibility and role in the arts, culture and heritage community in Windsor.”
– Drew Dilkens, Mayor of the City of Windsor
“Recreation and Culture, part of the City of Windsor’s Community Services division, is committed to acting as a catalyst and facilitator to ensure the provision of a range of affordable and accessible opportunities for engagement in cultural activities, services, initiatives and facilities. We regularly work with community partners, like the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, to build up a base of unique cultural assets and experiences for visitors, residents, investors and businesses. Windsor is growing, creatively, and we understand the economic and quality of life impacts that are possible through these significant investments in arts, culture and heritage.”
– Ray Mensour, Commissioner of Community Services, City of Windsor
"We are thrilled to recognize and celebrate the centennial of this historic and cultural gem in such an exciting way. Reflecting on its 100-year history as a movie house, the Capitol Theatre was a place where many residents saw great films and made amazing memories. Since its reinvention in the 1990s, the Capitol Theatre has been an incubator and a venue for performing arts in our region. Within the last decade, the WSO and WIFF have called the Capitol Theatre home. The WSO is proud to manage this vital community asset on the part of the City of Windsor. The Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Fund truly lives up to its name, as it will create a lasting legacy for our entire community. We are extremely grateful for the leadership and support of the City of Windsor administration, dedication from our Mayor and Council, and the support of the federal government in helping to create this legacy."
– Sheila Wisdom, Executive Director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra