MONCTON (GNB) – The New Brunswick government and the City of Moncton announced financial support today for Phase 2 renovations to the Aberdeen Cultural Centre.

"The Aberdeen Cultural Centre is one of the most important cultural facilities in New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada," said Premier David Alward. "Our investment will help grow the economic and cultural impact of the centre in Greater Moncton and throughout our region."

Alward announced a $95,000 investment for the second phase of renovations to the centre. The City of Moncton is also contributing $95,000.

Moncton Mayor Georges LeBlanc said arts and culture are essential to the well-being of the community, adding, “The Aberdeen Cultural Centre is a pillar that supports the growth and promotion of our local artists, and it contributes significantly to the economy of our city."

The $430,000 project involves structural improvements to the centre's three entrances; as well as complete renovations to its theatre, including specialized equipment such as sound and lighting.

"The renovation and refurbishment of our theatre will enable the centre to meet a growing demand from young artists and will provide an exceptional space for the presentation of local and outside artistic creations," said René Légère, executive director of the centre. "In developing programming for the theatre, we are planning to concentrate on the presentation of professional dance and possibly to make it one of the only official presenters of professional dance in New Brunswick. The theatre will be set up to meet professional requirements for dance performances from around the country."

The centre, located at 140 Botsford St., is home to some 20 organizations active in arts, culture and education. The building that now houses the centre was constructed in 1897, destroyed by fire in 1914 and reconstructed in 1916. It was originally Moncton's first secondary school, known as Aberdeen High School. In 1986, after the school was decommissioned, a group of artists installed studio and offices, creating a co-operative known as the Aberdeen Cultural Centre.