Morden-Winkler MLA Cameron Friesen stopped by the Winkler Arts and Culture Centre last week to announce $35,000 in Provincial funding for the on-going renovations.

He explains the grant through the Community Places program will help cover the costs of creating the gallery, classroom and office space within the repurposed water treatment plant.

"Community Places saw the value in this project," Friesen says. "We all understand locally this is very significant project, a very unique project, to create a real hub for art in the City of Winkler and the surrounding area."

While the $35,000 represents one of the largest grants from Community Places, Friesen notes it reflects the scope of the project and the support from the region.

"The City of Winkler has been a great partner here," Friesen says. "Area businesses have collaborated and made good investments here, there have been many gifts in-kind, the board has worked hard to raise the funds. So this is just a great example of community cooperation. "

WAC President Ray Derksen explains they've heard great responses from the more than 1,500 people who came through the gallery during Harvest Festival weekend for their first show.

An official grand opening is scheduled for September 9th at 10:00 a.m.

The new permanent gallery space is a first for Winkler and features work from local artists from around the region