Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna has announced the first recipients of the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings (GICB) program, which supports green and inclusive community buildings across Canada through retrofits, repairs, upgrades, and new builds. Projects receiving support will reduce energy waste and emissions, enhance climate resiliency, and contribute to more accessible and inclusive community spaces.

“Community buildings are at the heart of places where Canadians want to live, work and raise their families,” said McKenna. “Through the new Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program we’re investing almost $5.6 million to retrofit and upgrade buildings to improve energy efficiency in New-Wes-Valley, Newfoundland, Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Sandy Lake First Nation, Ontario, and Magnolia and the Alexander First Nation in Alberta.”

Among the projects approved is the upgrading and retrofitting of the Beothic Arena in the Town of New-Wes-Valley, Newfoundland and Labrador. This project involves a large retrofit to the recreational facility which will include a major roof repair and operations systems upgrades to improve overall energy efficiency, reduce GHG emissions and enhance the climate resilience of the building.

Four other projects will also receive funding under the new program. In Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, the Cape Breton Miners Museum will be upgraded with the installation of solar panels and improved LED fixtures in the lobby, “Men of the Deeps” Theatre, Lamphouse and pre-tour area.

Sandy Lake First Nation will see retrofits to its arena, as well as roof and ceiling repairs, improved insulation and ventilation upgrades. Two projects in Alberta, the Magnolia Community Centre in Parkland County and the Elders Lodge in Alexander First Nation will benefit from retrofits and upgrades that will lead to significant energy savings and improved accessibility.

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As part of the Strengthened Climate Plan, GICB will deliver $1.5 billion in funding over the next five years to projects that improve the places where Canadians gather, access services, and connect with others in the community, while saving energy, cutting pollution, and creating thousands of good jobs.

Through the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program, we continue to work together for Canadians to achieve triple benefits: grow our economy and create jobs, tackle climate change and build a more resilient and inclusive country for all.

“The Miners Museum is fundamental in educating tourists, and even local community members, on the history of Cape Breton’s Coal Mining industry, and the sacrifices made by resilient men and women who went to work in the mines every day,” Mike Kelloway, Member of Parliament for Cape Breton—Canso.

“As tourism, and arts and culture sectors have been some of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m so happy to see this culture space receive close to $630,000 from the federal government to support their infrastructure improvements, making the museum energy-efficient, more inclusive, accessible and welcoming for all its visitors.”

The GICB program was announced in April 2021. Funding recipients include Indigenous and local governments, provincial and territorial governments, and not-for-profit organizations. At least 10 per cent of this funding will be allocated to projects serving First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, including Indigenous populations in urban centres.

The Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program complements the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s $10-billion Growth Plan, which includes $2 billion for large-scale energy-efficient building retrofits.

Information about the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program may be found on the Infrastructure Canada website. Interested governments, not-for-profit and Indigenous governments, governing bodies and organizations are invited to apply.

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Project Information:

Project Name Location Project Details Federal
Elders Lodge Deep Energy retrofit Alexander First Nation

Rivière Qui Barre, AB

Facility upgrades with an emphasis on energy efficiency and accessibility including: HVAC system upgrades, infrastructure repair and increased accessibility to the facility. These improvements will greatly benefit and improve the living standards of the in-house elders as well as various high-needs communities in the First Nation. $480,019 $0
Magnolia Community Club Magnolia Community Club,


New spaces for accessible washrooms as well as better insulation, solar panels and improved lighting will ensure the facility meets current building and fire code standards, improves overall access, and integrates new technologies to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. $270,753 $99,121
Beothic Arena Retrofit and Upgrades Project New-Wes-Valley,


A major roof repair and upgrades to the building’s operations systems will improve overall energy efficiency, reduce GHG emissions and enhance the climate resilience of the building, providing residents a safe and comfortable facility for exercise and socialization. $1,448,088 $362,022
Interpretive Renewal Project Phase II Cape Breton Miners Foundation,


An upgrade and retrofit to the

Cape Breton Miners Museum including the installation of solar panels, and improved LED fixtures in the lobby, “Men of the Deeps” Theatre, Lamphouse and pre-tour area. Upgrades will also enable those who have physical challenges and mobility issues to enter the museum’s underground exhibits.

$629,796 $170,203
Sandy Lake Arena Retrofit Sandy Lake First Nation, ON Upgrades including roof and ceiling repair, wall and ceiling insulation, and replacement of the ice plant mechanical system, ventilation, and adding ramps and accessible washrooms will increase the community arena’s energy efficiency and accessibility. $2,799,850 $193,568


Featured image courtesy of the Cape Breton Miners Museum.


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