Ladysmith, March 9, 2018 - Ladysmith’s Comox Logging and Railway Shops Building, also known as the Machine Shop, will receive significant upgrades thanks in part to nearly $1.8 million in federal Gas Tax funding. The total cost of the project is estimated to be approximately $2.25 million. The Town’s Waterfront Area Plan, created in partnership with the Stz'uminus First Nation, played an instrumental role in helping to secure the funding.
The Machine Shop, highlighted as a central anchor within the Arts and Heritage Hub of the new concept plan for Ladysmith's waterfront area, will undergo architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical repairs and upgrades to ensure this important heritage building remains an operational and publicly accessible arts, culture and heritage fixture in the Ladysmith harbour.
Originally constructed in 1943, the Machine Shop houses the Ladysmith Waterfront Art Gallery, Harbour Heritage Centre, artist studios, and administrative spaces for the Ladysmith Arts Council and Ladysmith Maritime Society.
Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone -
"This funding represents an important first step in realizing our joint vision with the Stz'uminus First Nation regarding future development of Ladysmith's waterfront area. This and future funding opportunities will help to ensure the Machine Shop and surrounding Arts and Heritage Hub will continue to play a pivotal role in Ladysmith's unique waterfront experience for decades to come."
Kathy Holmes, President, Arts Council of Ladysmith -
"As an arts, culture and heritage hub in Ladysmith, the Machine Shop provides a wonderful location for people of all ages to appreciate and enjoy art in its many forms. Each year, thousands of people visit this treasured community space, and we are delighted that the Town was successful in its efforts to secure such a significant amount of external funding to renovate the building."
Rod Smith, Managing Director, Ladysmith Maritime Society -
“Revitalization of the Machine Shop will allow us to continue educating the public about Ladysmith's proud and interesting marine history, foster our community's heritage and culture, and ensure our beautiful and unique waterfront area is available for future generations to learn from and enjoy."
Ed Nicholson, President, Ladysmith & District Historical Society -
"Many of our residents may not be aware of how unique this facility is - the transition from train to truck as a method of transporting timber was a major step forward in B.C's logging history. Restoration of this important structure signals the Town's commitment to preserving our rich history and revitalizing the waterfront area."
Updates and additional information can be found on the Town's website at www.ladysmith.ca.
Mayor Aaron Stone