Proposed arts center funding match is met in Canandaigua

This could be an example of just how excited the community is about the proposed Fort Hill Performing Arts Center.

The Sands Family and Constellation Brands Inc. contributed an initial gift of $500,000 — and on Thursday, the center’s board of directors announced a matching gift of $500,000 to be used toward the renovation of Canandaigua Academy’s former auditorium, which is located in the Fort Hill Apartments. Conifer Realty LLC, which owns the apartments, also is renovating the facility.

The latter Sands’ gift was a match of the $500,000 coming from the community, which according to Gordon Estey, president of the FHPAC board, was raised in just two months.

“We are so overwhelmed and grateful for the generous support and gifts from the community and their ongoing support and to the Sands Family and Constellation Brands,” Estey said in a prepared statement.

“I am so proud that our community supports the arts,” Estey said. “It will create additional value to the already great quality of life in the greater Canandaigua area.”

Canandaigua Mayor Ellen Polimeni, who also serves on the board, said the support for the center is coming not only from former students in the community, but parents of former students.

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