MEDICINE HAT, AB — A new provincial grant is allowing Medalta to enhance its tourism programs.
The Friends of Medalta Society were among the 13 recipients of a Tourism Growth Innovation Fund grant from the provincial government on Tuesday. The organization is receiving just over $23,000.
“We’re really excited about this support the province of Alberta has shown us,” said Aaron Nelson, executive director of Medalta, on Wednesday.
The money will help create the Stay and Play With Clay program at Medalta. The program would allow artists and tourists to come down to Medalta, stay at its new Artist’s Lodge for up to a week, and use Medalta’s facilities to immerse themselves in the world of pottery and ceramics.
“That can be from introductory experiences right through to professional development experiences,” Nelson said.
It’s a project Nelson has been wanting to have at the centre for several years. He says the grant, and the new Artist’s Lodge at the IXL plant, have helped make the program a reality.
“You cannot hear about tourism these days without hear the word experience,” he said. “This is what people want. They want to travel to places for meaningful experiences. I feel at Medalta, we can offer so many meaningful experiences to people.
“This Artist’s Lodge allows us to give them a holistic experience. We’ve wanted to do that. We’ve wanted to become better at connecting with our tourism market.”
The lodge features 13 spaces for people to stay, along with a communal kitchen and meeting spaces. Nelson says seven artists will be moving into the space for the Artists in Residence program beginning on Thursday.
Nelson says the Stay and Play with Clay program will begin next summer.
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