In the latest federal investment, the Canadian government is spending $500,000 to save a historic barn. The half a million dollars is a sort of birthday gift for the small town of Georgina, Ontario since they are celebrating their 200th anniversary.
The funding was announced today by MP Marco Mendicino, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. He announced that the funding was going to the Ontario Water Centre, the company that's behind the Georgina Barn project.
For those who don't know, Georgina is a small town on the southern shore of Lake Simcoe with a population of around 45,000. They are celebrating their upcoming 200th anniversary in a very unique way, with a barn raising that's now government funded.
The barn being raised thanks to this $500,000 boast from the Canadian government is a 112-year-old historic barn. The barn was tragically destroyed in a fire back in 2016, but now a renovation is planned to rebuild the barn using the original foundation and original materials that were salvaged.
Once finished the new barn will serve as a community hub for Georgina, but for Canadians not living in the small town, you may be wondering why the government is giving them all this money.
In a statement, Pablo Rodriguez, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism backed the funding saying, "The Government of Canada is pleased to invest in commemorative projects that highlight important moments in the history of our communities. Heritage projects play an essential role in preserving our history and our identity."
The funding is from the Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program. According to the statement, this program, under Canadian Heritage, "provides funding to local groups for expenses related to capital projects that commemorate significant local anniversaries and engage communities in their heritage."
The funding will be given to the Barn Raising in Georgina, over the course of two years. The first will be $200,000 given this year and the remaining $300,000 will be given in 2020.