Metro/Laurie Callsen Cathy Daniel and Michael Spassov of the Edmonton Opera perform during a funding announcement for the company, which will see $850,000 from federal and provincial governments for renovations to production and set building space.

The Edmonton Opera production studio will become a hub for set construction in Edmonton after federal and provincial governments pledged financial support Friday to renovate the building.

Minister of Public Works Rona Ambrose and MP Laurie Hawn announced $450,000 in federal funding to renovate the Edmonton Opera production area, which would allow the company to build larger and more elaborate sets.

“Thanks to many people in this area, Edmonton has thriving arts culture, one that attracts enthusiastic audiences from throughout the city. We understand that arts and culture organizations contribute to the cultural vitality of our communities and enrich the quality of life of all Canadians,” said Ambrose.

Alberta’s Minister of Culture Heather Klimchuk promised a further $400,000 to the project.

“When we think of the opera, we think of the extraordinary voices of performers, but what’s also spectacular are the backdrops that are so crucial to the story,” Klimchuk added.

The expanded space will allow other arts groups to build and create sets in the 22,500-square-foot space, as well as store props and costumes.

“This facility marks the first home of it’s kind for the company, which is 50-years-old,” said Sandra Gajic, Edmonton Opera CEO.

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