Upgrades required at arts facility

A grand opening for Summerland’s new arts and cultural centre will be held on Oct. 1, but there is still work to be done to the building.

A grand opening for Summerland’s new arts and cultural centre will be held on Oct. 1, but there is still a lot of work to be done to the building.

Earlier this year, the Summerland Community Arts Council was moved into the former library building on Wharton Street.

The location is the third home for an arts facility in Summerland in the last two years.

Previously, the former municipal building on Main Street had been used as the home for the arts centre and gallery, but in 2014 that agreement came to an end.

The building was demolished and the present library branch was erected at that site.

The arts centre was moved to a vacant retail location on Main Street, but earlier this year, that agreement came to a close as a retail tenant was found for the location.

The latest move, earlier this year, was to the former library building.

Karan Bowyer, office manager for the arts centre, said the arts council and the municipality have entered into a 10-year agreement for the use of the building.

While the arts council has been using this building throughout the summer, the space requires some work before it can be used as a gallery.

“We are moving forward, but we’re doing it slowly because we want to do it right,” Bowyer said.

The work includes upgrades to wiring, duct work and the addition of walls in order to create a gallery space.

Bowyer said the arts council has applied for grant funding to help cover these costs.

Linda Tynan, chief administrative officer for the municipality, said details about the use of the building must be determined before renovations and changes can be made.

At present, a governance model for the facility is still being created.

The new location will not be an art gallery exclusively. Instead, Bowyer said the facility would serve as a cultural space, with the arts council as one of the tenants using it.

“We are one tenant in the district’s building,” she said.

The facility is expected to be a long-term location for arts and culture in Summerland.

“The district’s absolutely committed to the development of an arts centre,” Tynan said.