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Media release: Ontario Trillium Foundation turns Theatre Ancaster into living lab for 100 Mohawk College students

HAMILTON (March 14, 2013) – The play’s the thing for 100 skilled trades students from Mohawk College.

With a $74,700 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to Theatre Ancaster, students from Mohawk’s Construction Engineering Technician – Building Renovation diploma program are carrying out major renovations to the second storey of the Old Firehall Arts Centre in Ancaster. Work began March 11 and is scheduled to be completed by March 22.

“It’s great to see so many different people and organizations working together to make our community stronger and more vibrant. I salute everybody involved in this great project,” said The Hon. Ted McMeekin, Minister of Community and Social Services and MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale.

Minister McMeekin and OTF will present Theatre Ancaster with a plaque during an announcement at the Old Firehall Arts Centre on Friday, March 15 at 2:30 p.m.

This marks the first time in Ontario that OTF, through its grant-making, and a community college have collaborated on a renovation project. Funds from the grant are being used to help cover the costs of renovation materials, new flooring, equipment, plumbing, electrical and costs for permits.

For the past five years, Mohawk professor Brad MacDonald has made a community building project part of the curriculum for his students who volunteer their time. “Our partnership with the Ontario Trillium Foundation allows Mohawk students to apply what they’ve learned in college to work on a major project and make a significant difference in the community,” says MacDonald. The project at the Old Firehall Arts Centre is the largest yet for Mohawk.

“It’s a great partnership,” said Gord Conroy, President of Theatre Ancaster. “ It’s a win-win for everyone. As Brad said, the Mohawk students get superb on-the-job-training, and Theatre Ancaster gains a newly renovated facility in a quick two week turnaround to meet the teaching and rehearsal needs much more effectively for both adult and youth productions and programs.”

A leading grant-maker in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities. For more information, please visit www.otf.ca .

Theatre Ancaster is a community musical theatre noted for its quality programs and productions. Upwards of 8000 patrons enjoy three major productions each year, plus a number of student productions. More than 200 volunteers donate their creative energy and time to make this happen. In addition, Theatre Ancaster employs some 40 part-time college and university students in their youth programs. Check www.TheatreAncaster.com for more information.

Mohawk College serves more than 16,000 full-time students and apprentices and 42,000 continuing education registrants at campuses in Hamilton and Brantford and is a leader in health and technology education. For the second consecutive year, Mohawk is the number one college in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area for overall student satisfaction.



Mohawk professor Brad MacDonald, 905.575.1212 ext. 5280, Bradley.macdonald3@mohawkcollege.ca

Communications director Jay Robb, 905.979.8893, jay.robb@mohawkcollege.ca

Theatre Ancaster president Gord Conroy, 905.648.6786, gordconroy@cogeco.ca

Ontario Trillium Foundation communications officer Lori Kay, 1-800-263-2887 ext. 216, Lkay@otf.ca