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North Huron and 14/19 Inc. Partnership

Tuesday July 5th, 2016

MEDIA RELEASE

 Date:                           July 5, 2016
For Release:              Immediate

 North Huron and 14/19 Inc. Partnership  

On July 5, 2016, the Township of North Huron Council entered into a Lease Agreement with Blyth Cultural Initiative 14/19 Inc. for the operation and maintenance of Memorial Hall in Blyth. The lease is for a 20 year term and establishes a partnership that will give care and control of the facility to 14/19 Inc. for day to day operations, with the Township maintaining responsibility for capital projects and major upgrades. 

The Lease has been endorsed by Blyth Memorial Community Hall stakeholders which include the Blyth Centre for the Arts, the Blyth Legion Branch 420 and the Legion Ladies Auxiliary. The Blyth Centre for the Arts will continue to enjoy exclusive use of the facility during their season, which extends from the third Monday in May to the third Tuesday in September.

Although the lease takes effect immediately, there will no impact to the use of the facility over the 2016 summer months, as the Blyth Centre for the Arts hosts their 41st season of the Blyth Festival Theatre.

 "The Board of Directors of 14/19 Inc. are excited that Phase I of our plan to revitalize the community through arts and culture is imminent,” said Director of Operations Karen Stewart.   “Creating this new partnership with North Huron assists us in realizing our goals to build sustainability through increased rentals and revenue, increase our community’s knowledge of and appreciation for cross-disciplinary arts forms, create employment for a manager to market the facility, invite tourism activity (ancestry research in war memorial, established theatre and art gallery and new events) and advance community pride. We look forward to a rededication of Blyth Memorial Community Hall during a high profile Canada 150 celebration in 2017."

 North Huron Reeve, Neil Vincent stated, “The Lease Agreement with 14/19 Inc. is an excellent example of dedicated community members and stakeholders working together with the Township for the betterment of our community. This arrangement will help to expand the usage of the facility and increase revenues, while allowing the Township to divert former operating funds toward long term capital costs. This model will ensure sustainability for this important community asset, while maintaining its original significance as a living cenotaph.”

 Construction of a $3.8 million renovation on Memorial hall will begin on September 19, 2016 and the revitalized facility is expected to re-open May 20, 2017 in time for the 2017 Blyth Festival Season. 

For information please contact:
Sharon Chambers
Chief Administrative Officer
Township of North Huron
Phone Number (519) 357-3550
schambers@northhuron.ca