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Equality East Citizens Coalition
1612 Baie Verte Crescent
Orléans ON  KIC 3K2
(613) 837-7950

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Media Centre - News Release

New east end citizens’ coalition launches campaign for arts facility
(Posted October 23, 2002)

Orléans, Ontario – The Equality East Citizens’ Coalition today launched a campaign to press members of City Council to commit a minimum of $8-million to establish a permanent, multifunctional community arts and cultural facility in Ottawa’s East District. The facility, a project first proposed to the City of Gloucester in 1988, has been identified as one of the Top 5 citywide recreational and cultural priorities in the City of Ottawa’s Facility Needs Study Phase II.

Equality East is inviting community-based groups and associations to endorse a Declaration of Support, and a petition has been launched for individuals wishing to express their support for this overdue facility. In addition, citizens favourable to the project are urged to e-mail and call their city councillor. The petition and contact information for members of city council are available on the Equality East Web site at http://equalityeast.tripod.com.

“The City has identified an arts facility in the east end as one of the Top 5 citywide recreational and cultural priorities. It’s time for City Council to put its money where its mouth is, instead of paying lip-service to the investment priorities of our community,” says Equality East Chair J.-F. Claude. “Our residents need and deserve to have a place where they can develop and nurture their creative talents and skills, be it in dance studios or art classes, in multimedia labs or on a performance stage,” adds Mr. Claude.

Aside from the educational and recreational benefits, Mr. Claude also points out that a multifunctional arts and cultural facility could become the cornerstone of a new economic development strategy for the east end. The creation of a dynamic, bilingual creative industries cluster in the east may well fit in with the City of Ottawa’s Smart Growth strategy, he argues.

The Equality East Citizens Coalition promotes public and private investment in the renewal and expansion of the East District community’s cultural, economic and social infrastructure. By building a broad-based coalition of existing community-based organizations and concerned citizens, Equality East aims to provide Ottawa’s East District with a stronger, more effective voice in civic affairs.

Equality East is headed by a steering committee made up of representatives from arts and cultural organizations, the business sector and community associations. Although primarily an umbrella organization for existing community-based organizations, membership in Equality East is open to all individuals concerned with shaping the future of the East District community and affirming its place in the amalgamated City of Ottawa.

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Source:  J.-F. Claude, Chair, Equality East -- (613) 837-7950


BACKGROUNDER

Text of the Declaration of Support

We, the undersigned, are united in our support for the establishment of a permanent, multi-functional community arts and cultural facility in Ottawa’s East District, with equal access for all Ottawa residents.

We want Ottawa City Council to fulfill its commitment to establish such a facility in the East District, a facility identified as one of the Top 5 city-wide recreational and cultural priorities in the City’s Facility Needs Study Phase II.

With the above in mind, we want the Mayor of Ottawa and members of City Council to:

  • commit unequivocally to establishing a permanent, multi-functional community arts and cultural facility in Ottawa’s East District;

  • restore, within the current 2003 municipal budget process, the $8-million originally allocated to this facility in the draft 2002-2007 City of Ottawa 5-year capital forecast;

  • ensure this facility will adequately meet the East District’s current and projected facility requirements; and,

  • set a firm timeline to fulfill their commitment to establishing this overdue facility.

Text of the Petition

TO Ottawa City Council:

WHEREAS the establishment of a community arts and cultural facility in Ottawa’s East District was identified as one of the Top 5 city-wide recreational and cultural priorities in the City of Ottawa’s Facility Needs Study Phase II;

WHEREAS $8-million was originally allocated to this facility in the draft 2002-2007 City of Ottawa 5-year capital forecast;

AND WHEREAS no such community arts and cultural facility exists east of the Rideau River,

WE the undersigned petition Ottawa City Council as follows:

  • To commit unequivocally to establishing a permanent, multi-functional community arts and cultural facility in Ottawa’s East District, with equal access for all Ottawa residents;

  • To restore, within the current 2003 municipal budget process, no less than $8-million as originally allocated to this facility in the draft 2002-2007 City of Ottawa 5-year capital forecast;

  • To ensure this facility will adequately meet the East District’s current and projected facility requirements; and,

  • To set a firm timeline to fulfill their commitment to establishing this overdue facility.
     

© J.-F. Claude, 2002