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New Tibetan centre faces time constraints

July 30, 2010

Dalai Lama to attend grand opening in October
JEFF HAYWARD
Inside Toronto (Canada)
July 28, 2010

New Tibetan centre faces time constraints. Lhakpa
Tsering, administrative manager of The Tibetan
Cultural Centre, holds an image of what the
centre will look like after the major renovations
are completed. The hope is to have most of it
done by the end of October when His Holiness the
Dalai Lama visits Toronto. (July 28. 2010) Staff photo/ANICE WONG

Inside, it doesn't look like much now.

But the Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre (TCCC)
on Titan Road in south Etobicoke is undergoing
major renovations. The centre's officials have
big plans for the facility, $6.6 million plans to
be exact, that include a revamped front entrance,
gymnasium, assembly hall and "multi-purpose"
room, said Lhakpa Tsering, the centre's administrative manager.

Despite a federal government funding announcement
in April, work only began in early July, because
of "permit issues", said Tsering.

Work had stopped July 28, with no signs of
construction crews on site. But Norbu Tsering,
president of the TCCC, assured in an email, "Work
will resume from tomorrow", making reference to
the front entrance and main hall.

However, time is running out, with a planned
visit from the Dalai Lama to the centre on Oct. 23 for the grand opening.

Lhakpa is well aware of the tight timeline. He
anticipates 80 per cent of the work will be done
by Oct. 23, with work on "details" to continue
following the religious leader's visit.

Aside from time constraints, there could also be
cash restraints, he acknowledged. The federal
government announced it would pay for half of the
project. But, "the government promised to give us
$3.3 million provided we can match that amount," he said.

Lhakpa didn't have the current fundraising
numbers available, but said, "It is challenging
to raise (money) ... fundraising is still going on."

The centre is not only to serve the Tibetan
community, he added. "As this becomes a better
place, more people will use it," he said.

The building isn't getting bigger to accommodate
the project, he explained. "We are not extending,
we are staying within the walls," he said, noting
other upgrades could be coming. "A museum is still in the business plan."

The centre has between 5,000 to 6,000 members, he
said. But centre users are not out of a gathering
place during the construction; the administrative
manager said the TCCC has secured space within
nearby Queen Victoria Junior Public School in the
meantime. "All our programs are organized there," he said.

For more information about the centre or to make
a donation, visit www.tcccgc.org  For information
about the visit of the Dalai Lama to Toronto this
fall, visit www.dalailamatoronto2010.org
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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