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Mulgrave Road receives $500,000 for new creative centre

Facility will have net-zero rating

  • September 6 2023
  • By Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter    

GUYSBOROUGH — The province of Nova Scotia announced further funding for the Mulgrave Road Theatre’s (MRT’s) The RoadHouse project on Sept. 1.

The most recent investment of $500,000, which is in addition to $1,400,000 the province has already invested in the project, comes through the province’s Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund.

The RoadHouse project will renovate and expand the former Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation building in Guysborough, which was given to the MRT by the Municipality of the District of Guysborough, into an arts community space and performance centre. The funding announced last week will go towards financing upgrades that will result in a net-zero rating for the centre.

According to a Sept. 1 news release, the net-zero facility will have solar heat, LED lighting, energy efficient heating and cooling systems. Designed to conserve water, it will use solar energy to generate electricity.

Guysborough-Tracadie MLA Greg Morrow made the funding announcement, saying, “I want to congratulate Mulgrave Road Theatre on their vision and leadership to create a net-zero space…Projects like these demonstrate local, community action to reduce carbon emissions and waste and make our communities greener, healthier and more sustainable. Our government’s Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund helps make community-based solutions, which address climate change and create a better tomorrow possible and inspire all of us to make the changes required to create a better tomorrow.”

MRT’s Artistic Director Emmy Alcorn said of the funding, “We’re so grateful to the Government of Nova Scotia for this tremendous contribution, one that allows us to be not only cultural leaders but also environmental leaders, and moves us closer to making our vision a reality for the people of our community and our region.”

The RoadHouse project is projected to cost $7 million. As of last July, Alcorn told The Journal the group had raised $5.5 million, with monies coming from all levels of government – federal, provincial and municipal, and private donors.

The centre, completion of which is projected for March of 2026, will be anchored by a 2,000 square foot black box theatre, with 80 retractable seats, as well as a large lobby for cultural exhibits and events.

At that same time, Alcorn said she expected construction would not start “until midway 2024.”