The federal government has committed roughly $660,000 for the historic Lunenburg Academy and one of its chief tenants, the latest promise in a string of funding announcements across the region.
A total of $598,599 has been earmarked for upgrades to the building through various federal departments.
The money, said South Shore - St Margarets MP Bernadette Jordan, will be used to restore the Academy’s facade, increase accessibility and create a heritage classroom to enhance the building’s tourism appeal.
“We know how important the Academy is not only to Lunenburg but to the whole region,” said Jordan to reporters following the announcement. “It’s something we’re happy to support.”
In fact, the Town of Lunenburg also received $500,000 for the project back in June, bringing the total project funding to over $1 million this summer.
Town Mayor Rachel Bailey said the building has grown to become a community hub and that she was happy to see the government investing in the historically significant building.
“This building is a national historic site. It’s an incredible, architectural masterpiece,” she said.
Currently, the building houses several tenants, including the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (LAMP). It was also announced that LAMP received $65,000 through the Canada Arts Training Fund.
Burt Wathen, LAMP’s artistic director, said the money would help sustain the town’s artistic community.
Other tenants, like the South Shore Public Libraries, expressed their excitement at the continued development of the Academy as an arts hub.
“It’s definitely the next step in sort of getting it even more ready and prepared and moving it into the future,” said Jeff Mercer, the deputy chief librarian.
The Academy was built as a schoolhouse in 1895 and has undergone a multi-million dollar restoration over the last few years.
Several other organizations, such as Nevermore Press, Lunenburg Walking Tours and more, also call the building home.