STRATFORD, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 19, 2011) - On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, Gary Schellenberger, Member of Parliament (Perth–Wellington), today announced additional funding for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. With this funding, the Government is fulfilling commitments made in 2009 in Canada's Economic Action Plan.

This funding will support the Stratford Shakespeare Festival's purchase and installation of a new heating system at the Festival Theatre and the installation of a solar energy wall at the Avon Theatre.

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival has provided professional, high-quality performances to local, national, and international audiences since 1953. Stratford is also one of the largest classical repertory theatre companies in North America.

"The Government of Canada is proud to support a quality organization like the Stratford Shakespeare Festival," said Minister Moore. "We know that the installation of energy-efficient equipment will help ensure the company's continued success and further promote its environmental leadership."

"I am thrilled that our Government is contributing to such a worthy endeavour," said Mr. Schellenberger. "The Stratford Shakespeare Festival's quality programming and venues are second to none."

"We appreciate that the Government of Canada has shown interest in these less glamorous aspects of arts support, recognizing that they will allow us to reduce our carbon footprint," said Antoni Cimolino, General Director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. "We strive to be a leader in the cultural sector and hope that our efforts to green our facilities will inspire other cultural organizations to do the same."

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $246,750 through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program seeks to improve physical conditions for artistic creativity and arts presentation or exhibition. It is also designed to increase access for Canadians to performing, visual, and media arts, and to museum collections and heritage displays.

As part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, an additional $60 million over two years was announced to stimulate the economy by investing in cultural infrastructure through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.

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Contact Information: Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
and Official Languages
Codie Taylor - Press Secretary
Canadian Heritage
Ontario Region
Jillian Lum
Manager of Communications
Canadian Heritage
Media Relations