Arts and culture received a prime spot on the economic and community development agenda of the Township of Nipigon in 2015. Youth and their families were leaving the area to settle in Thunder Bay due to the limited arts and culture opportunities in the region. Recognizing the intrinsic virtues and impact of arts and culture on the individual and community development, the Township of Nipigon applied for and received a seed grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to develop an arts and culture strategy for the region, encompassing the areas between Dorion and Lake Helen Reserve. It financed the creation of “The Superior North Youth Arts & Culture Strategy”, a document adopted by Nipigon in July 2017 and later accepted by the councils of Dorion, Red Rock and Red Rock Indian Band.
In response to the strategy, the Township of Nipigon’s economic development department took the lead in establishing community space dedicated to the arts. Several capacious buildings on the Front Street were chosen for renovation and to serve as the birth place of the new arts hub. With $85,000 grant obtained from the OTF in 2018 and the Township of Nipigon’s contributing the remaining capital to complete the renovation, the present Edge Arts Studio & Gallery was no longer an abstract idea but a viable reality.