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Federal grant enhances the Cambridge Sculpture Garden

'The garden is a quiet oasis contributing to a strong core by balancing space for wellbeing and aesthetic appreciation within an economic area'

The Cambridge Sculpture Garden (CSG) has recently enhanced an urban greenspace along the Grand River in Cambridge after receiving a non-repayable contribution of $30,000 provided by RTO4.  

This is part of the Government of Canada’s Tourism Relief Fund, delivered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

RTO4 received $5 million from FedDev Ontario to help local tourism organizations and businesses safely welcome back visitors, recover from the impacts of the pandemic, and prepare for future growth.

The funding has supported the CSG’s efforts to contribute to a vibrant neighbourhood that is inclusive and provides a sense of belonging.

This investment will also help the CSG adapt and recover to attract new visitors and drive economic growth in Cambridge and Waterloo Region.

“We are thrilled that FedDev Ontario and RTO4 have recognized and supported our group’s efforts and provided a financial boost to assist in raising the profile of this charitable organization and allowing it to evolve and better serve its community,” said Judy Welsh, co-chair, of the Cambridge Sculpture Garden

The city provided a community grant of $13,900 to the Cambridge Sculpture Garden earlier this year, which covers basic operating costs including water, electricity, and insurance.

“We had to apply for more grants to be able to do other things such as adding art to the site,” said Judy Major-Girardin, co-chair of the Cambridge Sculpture Garden.

“Over the twenty years that I’ve been with the sculpture garden, that whole area has just developed enormously. It’s a lovely stretch with a lot of culture happening there now including McDougall Cottage, the GasLight District, the theatre, and the School of Architecture. There’s just so much that has come into that area, and this has enhanced everyone’s experience.”

Funding from RTO4 will help CSC create new audio and video recordings for on-site and social media use, five new Riverwalk banners, a commissioned mural on a Bell utility box, a new informational entrance sign featuring Indigenous land acknowledgement and orientation.

New welcome signs will also be added at strategic spots with QR codes linked to audio descriptions of the art and gardens, new labels for permanent sculptures, additional lighting, enhancements to the garden beds, website improvements and a new bench with views of the Grand River.

“The Cambridge Sculpture Garden is managed by a volunteer committee who is very grateful for the opportunity to respond to the increasing need for quality outdoor space for social gathering, rest, walking, picnicking, and viewing contemporary art. The garden is a quiet oasis contributing to a strong core by balancing space for wellbeing and aesthetic appreciation within an economic area,” Major-Girardin said.

“The preservation and enhancement of an urban greenspace combats climate change through carbon sequestration, heat regulation, oxygen regeneration and air pollution absorption in addition to improving our immunity response and improving quality of life.”

RTO4’s mission is to develop, enhance and strengthen a results-oriented and sustainable tourism economy through strategic industry partnerships.

“We are immensely grateful to the Government of Canada and the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario for this critical support for the tourism industry,” said Andrea Gardi, executive director at RTO4.

“These projects will make an impact on local businesses and organizations, in both the short and long term, on the road to recovery and reimagination by allowing stakeholders to make strategic investments in product and destination development.”

The Government of Canada’s $500-million Tourism Relief Fund is helping tourism-oriented businesses and organizations recover from the pandemic and prepare for future growth.

FedDev Ontario is delivering nearly $120 million of the Tourism Relief Fund across southern Ontario.

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Barbara Latkowski

About the Author: Barbara Latkowski

Barbara graduated with a Masters degree in Journalism from Western University and has covered politics, arts and entertainment, health, education, sports, courts, social justice, and issues that matter to the community
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