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Government of Canada invests in cultural programming and infrastructure upgrades at the University of Victoria

Press Release

From: Canadian Heritage

January 16, 2023

Cultural spaces are essential to the strength, openness and vibrancy of our cities. As community gathering spaces, they provide outlets for artists and performers to freely explore and nurture their creativity.

Today, Chris Bittle, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced $117,000 in funding for infrastructure enhancements and cultural programming at the University of Victoria’s Farquhar Auditorium. He made this announcement on behalf of the Minister of Canadian Heritage Pablo Rodriguez.

The government is investing $75,000 through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund for specialized equipment, including upgraded sound, video and lighting technology, at the Farquhar Auditorium. This support will ensure that artists will be able to rehearse and perform in a safe place while audiences will benefit from an enhanced performance experience.

Additional funding was made through two components of the Canada Arts Presentation Fund—the Development Component and Re-engaging Audiences Fund for Professional Arts Presentation Organizations, a COVID-19 support measure.

The Farquhar Auditorium’s Voices in Circle: Amplifying Indigenous Cultural Voices presentation series will receive $22,000 through the Development Component. This will help promote and celebrate Indigenous cultures through programming centered around meaningful engagement and reconciliation. This unique series was developed by Indigenous community members and will feature a variety of performances and activities.

The government is also investing $20,000 through the Re-engaging Audiences Fund for Professional Arts Presentation Organizations to help stimulate the relaunch of live performing arts and in-person activities at the auditorium, following its COVID-19-related closures and capacity restrictions.


“Victoria is home to many cultural spaces that play a critical role in the community by encouraging dialogue and creativity. These important upgrades to the Farquhar Auditorium will allow for an enhanced audience experience and dynamic live performances. This support will help strengthen the mission of the auditorium, where Victoria’s cultural community can continue to flourish and amplify Indigenous voices.”

—The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“With this investment, we are demonstrating once again our continued support for our artists, our performers and our cultural industry. Places like Farquhar Auditorium are key to sharing our stories and helping amplify Indigenous voices. We are happy to help provide Victoria and its surrounding communities with modern and safe performing spaces.”

— Chris Bittle, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

“The University of Victoria is honoured to work with Indigenous artists to engage broad audiences in the community. UVic is committed to truth, respect and reconciliation as well as creating opportunities, structures and processes that focus on amplifying inclusivity and diversity of voices in the arts. With this funding support, UVic can continue to contribute to a cultural sector with opportunities to perform and that reflects all voices.”

— Chris Horbachewski, Vice-President, External Relations, University of Victoria

Quick facts

  • With 1,051 seats, the Farquhar Auditoirum is the third largest performance venue in Greater Victoria and the only custom-built recital hall on southern Vancouver Island suitable for live musical and symphonic performances. The auditorium partners with community organizations to present events and performances for more than 12,000 people a year.
  • The Canada Arts Presentation Fund supports organizations that professionally present arts festivals or performing arts series as well as organizations that offer support to arts presenters.
  • The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund supports improvements to the physical conditions for arts, heritage, culture and creative innovation. The fund supports renovation and construction projects, the acquisition of specialized equipment and feasibility studies related to cultural spaces.
  • Budget 2022 announced $500 million to help stimulate the post-pandemic recovery for the arts, culture, heritage and sports sectors throughout Canada.

Associated links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Laura Scaffidi
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage



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