Friday, March 16, 2012 - for immediate release

Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre opens March 24

Grand opening celebration includes a full day of free activities and events for the whole family

The Town of Oakville’s new recreation, arts and cultural hub – Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre (QEPCCC) opens Saturday, March 24 with a full day of free activities and events for the entire family. The grand opening celebrations, which run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the one-of-a-kind building, will feature a wide-range of performances, demonstrations, classes, drop-in activities and workshops. There will also be plenty of time to explore the new facility and meet with many of the arts and cultural groups that call QEPCCC home.

Located at 2302 Bridge Road, QEPCCC has more than 144,000 square feet of activity space, making it one of the largest venues in Canada to house such a diverse collection of artistic, cultural and active living opportunities. It also provides a vibrant space for artists, musicians, performers, and cultural and heritage groups to live and work.

“The opening of QEPCCC represents a great milestone for our town,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “QEPCCC is symbolic of our unanimous vision as Council for Oakville to be the most livable town in Canada. It is the latest facility in Council’s plan to catch up with the needs created by the growth we’ve experienced. In fact, during the two terms of Council beginning in 2006, we have added 800,000 square feet of space to the town’s 1.1 million square feet of facilities – that’s more than a 70 per cent increase.”

QEPCCC offers inspiring programs for all ages and abilities including classes, workshops, camps and drop-in activities. The facility boasts an aquatics centre, two gymnasia, a youth centre, an older adult centre, dance studios, a recording studio, fine arts studios, a rehearsal hall, black box theatre, gallery, museum space, and more.

“Oakville is a community rich in arts, culture and heritage; this new facility demonstrates the town’s innovative leadership in seeking diverse and inclusive solutions to the needs of its citizens,” said Victoria Behune, president of the Oakville Arts Council. “QEPCCC provides an opportunity to showcase the talents of Oakville citizens, while encouraging others to participate and explore their personal creativity through activities at the centre.”

QEPCCC sits on the former site of Queen Elizabeth Park High School (QEP). One of the centre’s most unique elements is how the frame and structure of the high school building were salvaged and incorporated into the new design. Architects maintained 90 per cent of the high school’s original structure, including the floors, walls and framing. Minor interior changes were made to adapt the high school layout, creating a welcoming environment that intuitively directs traffic flow throughout the building. Labs and classrooms were transformed into multipurpose and active living spaces. The swimming pool was upgraded with new tiles, a state-of-the-art mechanical system, fully accessible and family change rooms as well as an impressive wall of windows to take advantage of outdoor lighting. The two gymnasia were also upgraded with new finishes.

Planning for QEPCCC began in 2005 following the town’s purchase of QEP from the Halton District School Board. The site, first constructed in 1971, was declared surplus by the school board in 2004. With a total redevelopment cost of $27 million, Oakville needed to be innovative in its approach to the creation of QEPCCC. The town subdivided and sold several lots on the perimeter of the site to offset the amount of capital funding required. It also secured $7.4 million in funding from the provincial government as part of the budget surplus of 2007-08.

Since taking ownership of the QEP site, the town has worked extensively with a wide range of community and cultural groups to develop the centre’s space plan. Groups were consulted on the design, layout, storage, facility needs and usage, as well as programming, concession operations and space requirements. This input resulted in significant community support for QEPCCC and created a strong desire amongst the user groups to ensure QEPCCC remains supportive and nurturing of creativity, innovation and community building.

Visit the QEPCCC page for more information.

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For more information contact

Sarah Douglas-Murray
Senior Manager, Cultural Services
289-242-9927
sdouglas-murray@oakville.ca

Kimberly Moser
Senior Communications Advisor
905-845-6601, ext. 3096
kmoser@oakville.ca


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