Montague officials Andy Daggett, Mayor Richard Collins and Andrew Rowe at the site of a building that will be renovated this spring into an art gallery and studio as part of the south-side development.
MONTAGUE - The icing on the cake for eastern P.E.I.‘s largest town will soon be underway following a $320,000 government funding grant aimed at making the town a cultural destination.
The long awaited approval for the south side development now allows the town to upgrade the opposite side of the river from the waterfront park, marina and train station.
“This is a major step in our goal to make our town a destination site to visit and enjoy,’’ said Mayor Richard Collins. “It will bring focus to our lovely waterfront and offer plenty of things to do and see.”
Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea and P.E.I. Rural Development Minister Ron MacKinley announced a combined investment of $320,000 towards the necessary enhancements on Friday. The construction is expected to begin in early April.
“Tourism plays a key role in helping keep rural communities vibrant and strong,” said Shea about the funding. “Montague will become a cultural destination.”
The town intends to renovate a building below the heritage museum to accommodate the successful “Artisans on Main” project by opening a gallery and studio on the riverfront. The project will also include a significant art trail through the town and improved accessibility with a promenade along the trail in the downtown area of Montague.
“This funding reflects our support to enhance rural communities by supporting local business and boosting the economy,” said MacKinley.
The year-round studio and gallery will attract up to 40 local artisans to work and sell their art collections from a central location while the art trail will improve the visual appeal of the downtown area.
“It’s very exciting,’’ said Collins. “This has been in the works for years and it’s going to make big changes.”
The north side of the waterfront includes the marina park, where entertainment is held throughout the summer, a full and bustling pleasure boat marina, the Confederation Trail, and a brand new 30 room hotel overlooking the river.