The Town of Ladysmith is receiving $3,307,500 dollars in funding to help implement the vision of the Arts and Heritage Hub.

The hub is centred around the historic Machine Shop and part of the funding will go toward building a 4,500 square foot studio for local artists, including Stz’uminus First Nation carvers.

“The Arts & Heritage Hub is the public heart of our entire Waterfront Area Plan and the receipt of this critical funding is another big step forward in our ongoing work to return our waterfront to a place for locals and visitors to explore the history, culture, and art in an integrated way,” said Mayor Aaron Stone.

“Through our ongoing collaboration with Stz’uminus First Nation, we are adding value and economic opportunities for our communities and today marks another milestone in that shared journey.  We are thankful for the opportunity to create a space that not only showcases our industrial heritage and flourishing arts community but is an opportunity to embrace and bring Stz’uminus culture back to this side of the harbour as we build cultural connections so important to reconciliation,” added Stone.

Once completed, the hub will create an opportunity to showcase more than five thousand years of Indigenous cultural history in the area.

Some of the funding will be used to build an above-grade boardwalk running the full length of the hub, connecting the Machine Shop with the studios and it will serve as an entry point.

The funding comes from the Canada Infrastructure Program.