Puppets group, centre got grants

The Centre of the Arts here was celebrating last week as the Ontario Trillium Foundation handed over a grant of $70,000 for the centre.

At the same time Puppets Elora received $5,700 to help it build a new stage that provides better audio equipment.

MPP Ted Arnott told Trillium officials and those who received the grants that he is pleased with the progress of the Arts Centre, which opened in 2002, and that he is impressed with the amount of work it has accomplished.

He noted this is its third Trillium fund grant. The last one helped to repair the roof, and this one will provide much needed renovations to washrooms in the old public school on Mill Street. The centre will also upgrade its furnace.

“Both grants will help preserve the rich tradition of Elora,” said Catherine Collins, of the grant review team.

Centre chairman Rob Forsythe said, “We celebrate some pretty good things for the Elora Centre for the Arts. In 2002, this building was essentially laid to waste.

“It was boarded up and it was empty.”

Now, he said, after thousands of volunteer hours, it is not only rejuvenated but known for a long way outside of the area.

Marsha Groves, of Puppets Elora, said the troupe performs at schools and festivals from Cambridge to Orangeville, and the grant, which will provide amplifiers, will be “another step forward’ for the group formed in the 1990s.

“The money means so much to us,” she said, thanking the grant team.

Mike Harding, of the Ontario Puppetry Association, was also pleased the group received a grant.

“It’s money they need and will put to good use,” he said.

The cash from the Trillium Foundation is a distribution of profits from the casinos and slots facilities across Ontario.