News Release Archive

The former Sydney Courthouse will soon be transformed into a
multimedia and digital technology incubation centre, a digital
media college and a gallery for digital and visual art.

Total cost of the project is $3.26 million, of which $2.86
million is being provided by the federal and provincial
governments through the Canada/Nova Scotia COOPERATION Agreement
on Economic Diversification. The investment was announced today
by Premier Russell MacLellan and Senator Al Graham on behalf of
Fred Mifflin, Secretary of State for the Atlantic Canada
Opportunities Agency and Enterprise Cape Breton Corp.

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality will administer the
COOPERATION agreement funds to renovate the former courthouse and
adjacent MacDonald House, which will become a student residence. 

"The project takes advantage of the inherent strengths of the
growing Cape Breton multimedia sector," said Premier MacLellan.
"The centre will create new jobs, generate a number of small
business ventures, increase exports and help to revitalize the
downtown area."

Said Senator Graham: "This project is a prime example of the kind
of innovative thinking and far-reaching business objectives that
the region needs to thrive in the new knowledge-based economy. We
have a number of aggressive companies determined to develop their
businesses and create employment opportunities for the many
talented Cape Breton technology workers."

"The centre will create a focal point for existing multimedia
companies and encourage the formation of new small high-tech
businesses," said Ken MacLeod, president of McKenzie College and
Silicon Island Inc. Silicon Island Inc. is owned by Mr. MacLeod
and Donnie Snow of McKenzie College. The company will be
responsible for annual operational costs of maintaining the
building over its 15-year lease, and will also assist tenants in
marketing their production services and help bring together
larger contracts to be shared among the businesses.

The renovation of the former courthouse will create about 55
construction jobs. Within the first five years of operation, the
complex expects to create 30 full-time and 10 to 20 part-time
digital media jobs, and 10 to 15 new businesses.

"The project's incubation centre will accelerate the growth of
the fledgling multimedia sector in Cape Breton and create an
environment to attract outside interests," said Mayor John Coady
of Cape Breton Regional Municipality. "It will also provide
public access and a natural link to the newly completed
boardwalk, thus further enhancing the downtown core."

The facility will house state-of-the-art technology, including a
high-speed 100-megabyte network that will connect workstations to
each other. Through a partnership with the Cape Breton Community
Network, clients will have access to the world via CB-Net's
high-speed Internet connection. This network can process
high-speed videos over the Internet for clients.

A wall of digital screens will be set up in the foyer to house
the digital art gallery. Clients and students can access the
screens to display digital art. A video theatre, which will seat
40, will be created on the lower level for client presentations,
and two community boardrooms, equipped with computers, will also
be available for clients and outside groups. 

Renovations will be completed by December 1998. Two-thirds of the
facility have already been booked by tenants, including McKenzie
College, the Centre for Distance Education, Trifos Design
Consultants, Media Fusion, Virtual Media Productions, and ADI
Nolan Davis Engineering. Many other high-tech companies have
expressed interest.

The Canada/Nova Scotia COOPERATION Agreement on Economic
Diversification is managed federally by ACOA and Enterprise Cape
Breton Corp., and provincially by Economic Development and


Contact: Renee Field
         Economic Development and Tourism
         cell: 902-471-3147

         Marcie Stanley
         Enterprise Cape Breton Corp.

ngr                   September 12, 1997               4:10 pm