By Lawrence Belanger
Local Journalism Initiative
The minister of Canadian Heritage and Quebec Lieutenant Pablo Rodriguez, alongside Élisabeth Brière, MP for Sherbrooke and officials from the Musée des beaux-arts (MBAS) & Théâtre Granada, announced funding for repairs, renovations, and upgrades for the Musée des beaux-arts & Théâtre Granada.
“Cultural spaces are pillars of our communities. Projects like the ones at le Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke and the Théâtre Granada provide local residents with safe and enriching cultural experiences. When spaces like these are maintained sustainably, the region, its people and our culture all benefit,” remarked Pablo Rodriguez.
“So we’re really happy to give 50 per cent of what was needed for the [MBAS] project…[which was] $800,000.”
The funding, which comes from the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, aims to keep the museum building in stable condition and supportive of the cultural needs of the Sherbrooke area. Le Musee des beaux-arts is receiving $417,248 in renovations to maintain the building’s integrity, including roof work, foundation waterproofing and cornice repairs. Jean-Christophe Racette explained that this work included new shingles on the roof and replacing the mortar and some of the bricks of the building.
“Le Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke is privileged to occupy a building of outstanding architectural importance,” said Raymond-Mathieu Simard, chair of the board of directors for the museum. Now, he added, “we can preserve the shell of the museum so that we can focus our full attention, energy and resources on developing our institution.”
$120,121 is being invested through the same fund to allow le Théâtre Granada to upgrade the theatre’s lighting and audio equipment, including a new soundboard. With better equipment, the theatre will be able to host a greater number of innovative performances and deliver higher-quality performance sound. Suzanne Marie Landry, executive and artistic director of the Théâtre Granada, praised the investment in her institution, which she said will enable them to “finally…acquire sound and lighting equipment that meet industry standards and performer requests.”
Speaking after the conference, Rodriguez explained why the government was awarding this money. As attendance rebounded after the pandemic, both institutions realized they needed serious upgrades to keep up with cultural and artistic missions.
“You have two very important institutions here in Sherbrooke that needed some support,” explained Rodriguez. “MBAS is an old building that needs a “little bit of love,” while Granada needed to upgrade its equipment to keep bringing in artists and performers, said Rodriguez. “We’re here to bring that love.”