The Prince Albert Arts Centre will soon have a new name.
At City Council’s Executive Committee meeting on Monday council unanimously approved renaming the heritage building the Margo Fournier Arts Centre.
The process began after the city sold the former Margo Fournier Centre to the Prince Albert Grand Council in 2022. Ward 5 Coun. Dennis Ogrodnick made the motion in support of the name change.
“I’m very, very happy that we keep … the name Margo Fournier in our community,” Ogrodnick said. “That’s one thing I mentioned when we were selling the Margo Fournier Centre to PAGC, that you see a need to make sure that we find something appropriate for the name Margo Fournier.”
Community Services Director Jody Boulet presented a report to executive committee on the name change. The department first identified the Arts Centre as a possible building up for re-naming when the old Margo Fournier Centre was first sold.
Fournier was a member of the “All Clear Canadian Forces Show” during the Second World War. She frequently performed for troops in Canada before they went overseas. Ogodnick said that Fournier’s work to keep soldiers’ morale up helped to turn the tide of the Second World War.
In 1983, Margo was inducted into the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest civilian honour, for her work with youth in music and for her contribution to the development of musical education in the community of Prince Albert. Fournier is also remembered for her work with the Prince Albert Boys’ Choir and her work in athletics with swimming and diving at the midtown pool.
“To also have a national historic site now named in her honour, I think says that we remember, we respect and we need to make sure that the community knows who Margo Fournier is,” Ogrodnick said.
Mayor Greg Dionne also voiced support for the name change because of what the whole family continues to do for Prince Albert.
“It just didn’t stop with Margo. They continue at many events where they volunteer. They are part of our community, they have great voices, (and) they sing everywhere,” Dionne said. “They are musicians.
“Out of respect to her and her family I am 100 per cent supporting this motion because they continue to be a vital part of our community,” Dionne added.
The Prince Albert Arts Centre is a national historical landmark and is formally recognized by the City of Prince Albert as a Municipal Heritage Property. The Facility was constructed in 1893 and formerly served as the Prince Albert Town Hall and Opera House.
The facility currently serves as an arts facility offering a wide variety of art, craft, music, culture and other creative opportunities for all members of the community.
Members of the Fournier family were present in the gallery.
Consultations have included the Fournier Family through the City Solicitor Mitch Holash’s personal relationship with the family. This consultation will continue as the Department works toward a formal Public Recognition Event.
Due to the fact that the former Margo Fournier Centre was previously named without a formal agreement or term, the Margo Fournier Arts Centre will be a permanent name without a 10-year term.
A new exterior sign will be required to reflect the Margo Fournier Arts Centre name change at an approximate cost of $1,000. The cost for the new signage will be funded from the Community Services Department’s Advertising and Promotions account.