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Kootenay Gallery seeking funds to relocate

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
November 6th, 2015

The Kootenay Gallery of Art is moving forward with relocation plans and has asked the City of Castlegar to kick in $8,000 to that purpose.

At its regular meeting Monday night, council heard from a gallery delegation, including board chair Audrey Maxwell Polovnikoff.

“At the March 2014 Strategic Planning session, the Board of Directors gave clear direction in the three=year plan to proceed with investigating the possibility of the relocation of the gallery to a more visible location within the City of Castlegar,” Polovnikoff explained. “A sub-committee was established and has been meeting regularly to research and design a strategic approach to the relocation planning. To date, community engagement exercises have been held including surveys to gallery membership and stakeholders. A community roundtable (with 42 attendees) was also held to give interested citizens an opportunity to provide input. The response to both the surveys and the roundtable were excellent with an overwhelming number of respondents agreeing that relocation would be a positive move. 

“It is now time to hire a consultant to conduct a Feasibility Study.  A draft terms of reference has been written with the following deliverables: conduct a review of the existing building and programs and determine the ability of the Kootenay Gallery to sustain such a move, research location and funding options and include options for the existing building should a move take place.”

Polovnikoff said the budget for such a hire is roughly $20,000, and they have already achieved a verbal commitment from CBT and are engaged in talks with the RDCK, and hoped the city would allocate $8,000 toward the project.

When asked by Mayoe Lawrence Chernoff what size of building they would require, Polovnikoff said it would depend on what the gallery could comfortably expect to sustain. “Starting out smaller with the potential for growth might be the way to go,” she said, adding they’d like to hire a project manager by January and that 2017/18 would be the ideal time to start building and/or renovating on a new site, preferably one in the downtown core.

Councillr Kevin Chernoff pointed out that the Chamber of Commerce is also contemplating relocation, and asked if the gallery is considering ‘roommates’ – collaborative cooperation to perhaps pair with this or other community organizations on a joint build. Polovnikoff indicated that the gallery board is definitely considering all options along those lines.

The request for funding will now be referred to city council’s finance committee, which will then bring forward its findings and recommendations for council to consider.

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