Federal government gives Drayton Entertainment a new home

The federal government has announc­ed the construction of a performing arts complex in Cambridge as a priority for funding under the Building Canada infrastructure plan.
That means Drayton Entertainment will get a new and permanent home.
Cambridge MP Gary Good­year made the announ­ce­ment on behalf of Minister of Trans­port, Infrastructure and Com­mu­nities Lawrence Cannon.
Goodyear was joined by Alex Mustakas, artistic director and chief executive officer EO of Drayton Entertainment, for the announcement.
The contribution from Build­ing Canada would be up to one-third of total eligible costs, to a maximum of $6-million.
The project includes three components: the creation of a state-of-the-art, year-round per­for­ming arts complex in Cambridge; the consolidation of Drayton Entertainment’s pro­duction and administration faci­lities in one multi-func­tional environment; and techni­cal upgrades to several of Drayton Entertainment’s exist­ing six Ontario venues.
The total cost of the project for the independent, non-profit charitable arts organization is estimated at $18-million.
“The government of Canada is investing in cultural infra­structure projects that develop and promote Canada’s rich multicultural heritage,” said Goodyear. “Cultural infrastruc­ture such as this new performing arts complex … provides venues for citizen engagement and participation in key artistic and cultural acti­vities.”
Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig welcomed the announce­ment.
“This is fantastic News for the City of Cambridge,” Craig said. “I really appreciate Mr. Goodyear’s hard work and the federal government for this funding to combine with the funding from the City.  Now all we need is for the province to step up to the plate."
Mustakas was also pleased.
“This is truly a ground­break­ing day for our organi­za­tion,” he said. “This project is unique in that its impact will directly pay dividends for mul­ti­ple communities in Ontario while simultaneously elevating Drayton Entertainment’s ability to develop exciting new artistic opportunities that will have both national and international significance.”
The new 15,000 square foot performing arts facility in Cambridge will be open year-round and seat 500 to 600 people.
Drayton Entertainment’s centralized office will house all theatrical components, includ­ing set construction, props, audio, carpentry, costumes, ad­ministration, call centre, re­hear­sal space, and housing for artistic personnel to support future growth. 
The existing theatre venues in Ontario operated by Drayton Entertainment that will benefit from the project are located in Drayton, Grand Bend, Pene­tan­guishene, and St. Jacobs. The work would include technical up­grades, changes to seating cap­acity, and improvements to exterior grounds.
 It is anticipated these de­vel­opments will enable Dray­ton Entertainment to increase its audience base to over 300,000 annually, making it Ontario’s second-largest the­atre festival.
Federal financial support for the construction of the performing arts complex is conditional on the initiative meeting all applicable federal eligibility requirements under the Building Canada infra­structure plan, including full federal due diligence, and suc­cessful negotiations with the Ontario framework agreement, as well as confirmation of pro­vincial and municipal funding participation.
Through its $33-billion Build­ing Canada infrastructure plan, the government of Can­ada is providing long-term, stable and predictable funding to help meet infrastructure needs across Canada.