Kingsbridge Centre Project
near Goderich, Ontario
2019 Ecclesiastical Insurance Cornerstone Award (Transformative Projects)
When a 110-year old Catholic church in a rural Ontario community was closed and scheduled to be demolished in 2012, a group of volunteers banded together to save to building. With no other public building in over 15 km in any direction, they knew that without a central venue to hold programs and meet, the Kingsbridge community members would become isolated. In three short years, over 550 volunteers had raised the funds to purchase the building and contributed much of the labour needed to complete the renovations required to host a concert and theatre series.
In 2018, the site attracted more than 4,000 visitors to the 32 events held at the Kingsbridge Centre, In addition to preserving the building and supplying performance opportunities, the Kingsbridge Centre is also conserving the local heritage, culture and history of the area through the rotating displays of art and historic artifacts from the early 1900s. The remarkable success of the Kingsbridge Centre speaks volumes of the resilience of rural communities and their capacity to save and revitalize the places that matter to them.
Owners: St. Joseph’s Kingsbridge Community (Directors: Jennifer Miltenburg; Jim Van Osch; Lawrence Hogan; Shawn Dalton; and Mark Lalonde. Board Members: the late Barb Hogan; Don Miltenburg; Bridget Van Osch; Steve Van Osch; and Terrie Van Osch. Program Manager: Marianne Hogan.)
The Kingsbridge Centre Project was nominated by Roger Watt.