PROVINCE INVESTS $49.3M FOR NEW DOWNTOWN ART SCHOOL

VANCOUVER – The Province is investing $49.3 million in a new campus for the School for the Contemporary Arts for Simon Fraser University that will anchor the Woodward?s redevelopment project and help revitalize Vancouver?s Downtown Eastside, Premier Gordon Campbell announced today.

?SFU?s new School for the Contemporary Arts will help British Columbia recruit and retain creative, talented individuals, and support the ongoing renewal of the Downtown Eastside,? Campbell said. ?We?re providing state-of-the-art performance spaces that will engage the community and showcase creative works by some of Canada?s most accomplished students and faculty in the arts.?

The 11,845-square-metre School for the Contemporary Arts will fill five storeys on the southwest corner of West Hastings and Abbott Streets. It will include public space, performance venues, teaching studios, a 400-seat theatre, and a multimedia lounge and lab for new media. It is expected to increase economic activity in the area by up to $7.5 million per year.

?SFU has a 30-year history of teaching excellence in the contemporary arts, and we applaud this contribution to B.C.?s creative community,? said Advanced Education Minister Murray Coell. ?By providing funding for this new campus, the Province is opening new horizons for talented students who will help shape Canada?s artistic landscape.?

The School of Contemporary Arts offers degree programs in art and culture studies, dance, film, music, theatre and visual arts, as well as an interdisciplinary master of fine arts degree.

?Over the years, the Province has made a significant investment in research that has helped to create a strong base of talent and industry in British Columbia,? said SFU president Michael Stevenson. ?This investment in arts education will further support our economy by helping to attract and create the creative class that is powering so many of the world?s most dynamic cities. I applaud the Province for their vision and leadership.?

The new campus is being built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver standards. Green roofs are being used throughout the site, and much of the material for the building will have recycled content. The project is being built to last for a century, whereas most buildings have a 30- to 50-year life expectancy.

The cost of the campus will total $71.5 million. The Ministry of Advanced Education is providing $36 million, part of the $1.2 billion invested in post-secondary facilities since 2001. The Province is providing another $13.3 million to support community partnership efforts in revitalizing the Downtown Eastside. SFU is cost-sharing the rest and has launched a fund-raising campaign. The site for the campus, valued at more than $10 million, has been given to SFU by Westbank Projects Corp.and the Peterson Group.

The campus is part of the larger Woodward?s redevelopment project that retains and restores the heritage building and includes market and social housing as well as office and retail space, child care and City of Vancouver services. The Province has also contributed $20.5 million to build 200 units of non-market rentals for low income families and people with mental illness, addictions or chronic health conditions.