Menelik Hall one of 14 projects in Cape Breton sharing $388,000 in provincial funding
Cape Breton community halls and spaces to get financial boost.
A financial boost from the provincial government will mean more than just a new roof for Whitney Pier’s Menelik Hall.
That $29,000 announced Wednesday will mean essential community groups and programs can continue.
“The funding today is critical because without a roof that can support the weather and prevent it from causing damage, we have to shut it down,” said Michael Morrison, chair of the hall.
“Then many people can’t come here.”
Some of the people who use the hall serenaded the crowd during Wednesday’s funding announcement.
The youth were participants of the Community
Black Education program, which provides everything from summer education to a good meal, he said.
The Black Education Association also rents space for tutoring during the school year and groups from across the municipality, including quilters, exercise classes and church groups, also run their programs at the hall.
“The Menelik Hall over the past number of decades has been an important hall and an essential fabric of the AfricanNova Scotian community of Whitney Pier and surrounding areas,” Morrison said.
“It is still today where our youth, seniors and community at large gather to celebrate, recognize and promote each other’s rich culture that make up this great community of Whitney Pier.”
The hall was one of 14 projects in Cape Breton that will share in $388,000 in funding from the province’s Community Facilities Improvement Program, including the nearby St. Michael’s Polish Benefit Society that will receive $17,000 for a new roof.
“The two halls, they tell a big story of Whitney Pier and
surrounding areas,” said Sydney-Whitney Pier MLA Derek Mombourquette, who is also minister of Municipal Affairs.
“It’s important that we maintain sustainable community centres. They are more than just buildings, they are part of people’s lives.”
Across the province a total of 35 projects will share in more than $900,000 from the fund, which provides up to 75 per cent of projects costs for non-profit groups.
“Projects like this will help
build and maintain strong communities,” said Mombourquette. “Projects like this will bring together residents so they can spend time with one another.”
Participants in the Community United for Black Education program, elected representatives and members of community halls in Cape Breton posed for a photo at Menelik Hall in Whitney Pier on Wednesday morning following a provincial funding announcement. Funding for 14 projects was announced.