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December 16, 2009
For immediate release

Stimulus Funds Repair Indian River Festival Venue

Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour

The Honourable Gail Shea, Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Member of Parliament for Egmont, and the Honourable Carolyn Bertram, Minister of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour for Prince Edward Island, are pleased to announce that work is starting on the rehabilitation and refurbishment project at St. Mary’s Church, which is being transformed into the permanent musical venue for the Indian River Festival.

“The Indian River Festival is a major tourist attraction and helps contribute to the economic well-being of this region,” said Minister Shea. “Our Government’s Economic Action Plan was designed to stimulate the economy and create jobs for Canadians. We are happy to partner with the province on this important project that will help restore the historic St. Mary’s Church so that it can continue to be home to this very popular Festival.”

“The Indian River Festival and St. Mary’s Church are important elements to the local community and our entire Province. Our investment will help to sustain this significant cultural and historical structure for years to come,” said Minister Bertram. “The province is pleased to partner on this project, which will also lead to the continuation of the Indian River Festival.

“Indian River Festival is proud to be in a position to take on this major restoration of St. Mary’s Church,” said René Hurtubise, Chair of the Indian River Festival Association. “The church is an integral part of the Festival and of the community and we would not be able to continue our activities without the use of this exceptional building.”

“St. Mary’s Church has been a sacred space for the people of Indian River, Kensington and surrounding areas for many generations,” said Susan Ashley Vice-Chair, Friends of St. Mary’s. “The Friends of St. Mary’s are pleased with this new milestone in the building’s history and for the on-going relationship with Indian River Festival. The restoration will allow future generations to appreciate the architectural, historic and cultural significance of this treasured building.”

Under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, the governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island are each providing $119,039 for refurbishments and maintenance to St. Mary’s Church. The balance of funding for the $357,000 project is being provided by the Indian River Festival Association. The church is the venue for musical performances for the internationally recognized Indian River Festival.

The project involves the re-furbishing and maintenance of the church. Currently, structural deterioration leaves the building vulnerable to demolition. A variety of maintenance tasks including window repair, site drainage and roof and door repair will result in the continued usage of the church as a musical venue for the festival. The project is expected to be completed by March 2011.

Through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the federal government established the $4 billion Infrastructure Stimulus Fund to flow funding and get shovels in the ground quickly by providing funding to provincial, territorial and municipal construction-ready infrastructure rehabilitation projects. The Infrastructure Stimulus Fund supports projects that will reach completion by March 2011. More than $15 million in infrastructure stimulus funding has previously been announced for projects in Prince Edward Island.

The Infrastructure Stimulus Fund complements the Building Canada Plan, through which the federal government will provide an additional $302.42 million between 2007 and 2014 for infrastructure improvements in Prince Edward Island.

The Province of Prince Edward Island is investing over $80 million to community infrastructure initiatives and is committed to strengthening our One Island Community and meeting the needs of Islanders. For more information on infrastructure programs in Prince Edward Island, visit

For further information about Canada’s Economic Action Plan, visit

Media Contact: Autumn Tremere
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