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Ottawa arts group seeks $175 grant from city

One of Ottawa’s leading theatre, cultural and arts groups is looking for a $175,000 grant from the city to help pay some bills.

One of Ottawa’s leading theatre, cultural and arts groups is looking for a $175,000 grant from the city to help pay some bills.

Today, the city’s community and protective services committee will consider a request for financial assistance from the Great Canadian Theatre Company to help make payments on a $1.6 million loan it took out when building the Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre.

The city has already committed $1.3 million to cover construction cost. When that money was approved by city council, it represented 25 per cent of the cost of the project. By the time the building finally opened in 2007, the city’s contribution was only 11 per cent.

Of all the large arts centres in Ottawa, the GCTC received the least amount of funding from the city, said Kitchissippi Ward Coun. Christine Leadman.

While the company is not entitled to more money, the city has a policy of contributing 25 per cent of the construction cost for large community projects. Even with the additional funding, the city’s share is only 12.6 per cent.

Leadman said $175,000 is not beyond what others have asked for.

By the end of June, the GCTC will have paid $294,652 in interest and principal payments.

While they continue to fundraise to repay their debt, the company cannot pay it off using operating revenue.

“We’re not asking taxpayers to fund the entire amount,” said Peter Doody, chairman of the GCTC board of directors.