City and Brock University finalize agreement for downtown arts complex


6 March 2012


St. Catharines Mayor Brian McMullan and Brock University President Jack Lightstone today signed the document that clears the way for a fine and performing arts complex to be constructed in downtown St. Catharines.

Mayor McMullan and Dr. Lightstone signed the deal in a brief ceremony at the University shortly before noon on Tuesday, just 12 hours after St Catharines City Council had given its approval. The agreement had earlier been approved by the University’s Board of Trustees at its Feb. 16 meeting.

The pact allows the two parties to formalize all terms and conditions as the City and University prepare to start construction of two major projects that comprise the Academic and Cultural Arts Centre in the city’s urban core.

The City will build a $60.8-million civic Performing Arts Centre at the corner of St. Paul and Carlisle streets. That is adjacent to the site where the University will spend $39.6-million to renovate and expand an empty textile mill to house Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. Construction on the projects will begin this year, with completion set for 2014.

The “umbrella agreement” contains the legal framework that includes, among other things, the terms by which the City will transfer to Brock the former Canada Hair Cloth building at 198 St. Paul Street, as well as annual financial support and logistical commitments.

“This agreement solidifies the partnership between the City of St. Catharines and Brock University,” said Mayor McMullan. “Our downtown performing arts centre and Brock’s school of fine and performing arts will shine a spotlight on our community and breathe new life into our city’s core.”

Brock President Lightstone said the University is now looking forward to the start of construction.

“This whole project is a win-win-win for the University, the City of St. Catharines and the broader community of Niagara,” he said. “Brock has welcomed the chance to work with the City and with our partners in the community, to create a dynamic and innovative arts complex that gives us the advanced learning space we need, and also helps invigorate the downtown for the benefit of everyone in the community.”

For more on the downtown project, go to


Media contacts:

Mayor Brian McMullan, 905 688-5601 x1540

Kevin Cavanagh at Brock University, 905 688-5550 x5888

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