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Media Release: June 25, 2012

John Banks, President of Performing Arts Lodge (PAL) Stratford announced today that the city of Stratford has released the building permit for the construction of five affordable housing apartment units at 101 Brunswick Street. Securing the permit represents over a year of dedication in the planning process from volunteers, board members, municipal advisors, architects, engineers, designers and construction and mechanical specialists.

Gordon Sherwin, Vice President and Building Committee Chair said: "This is a long awaited day and it comes after perseverance, determination and a lot of hard work. Construction will begin immediately with hopes of occupancy before the year's end." In February of this year, PAL purchased the property at 101 Brunswick Street in central Stratford. While the primary purpose is for the artistic community, any eligible person can apply for residence. The project will provide five much needed affordable housing units for the community.

PAL is dedicated to providing affordable housing and other services for artists who are in the twilight of their careers and find themselves with financial challanges. "Artists frequently spend their life going from one role here, to another one somewhere else, and often find it difficult to make ends meet. There are PAL chapters in most major performance centres across Canada and it's fitting that there is now one in Stratford." John Banks said.

This marks the beginning of "places,please," PAL Stratford's capital campaign the goal of which is $ 400,000 to retire the mortgage. Other funding has been earmarked from the City of Stratford for the construction itself.

PAL Stratford grew from a 1998 conversation between Herbert Whittaker (Critic Emeritus for the Globe and Mail) and Tom Patterson (founder of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival). Long on the waiting list to live in the PAL Toronto residence, Herbert suggested to Tom the need for PAL Stratford. Tom got the project underway. In 2002 the organization was incorporated and in 2006 received charitable status. Today it is one of seven chapters of the national organization, PAL Canada.

Tax deductible donations are welcome.

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Home page header images by Marg Boemer, Lynn Boehler, Amanda Ryan.
PAL Stratford logo design courtesy of Maxine Graham.