Hopefuls for Vernon city council will be asked where they stand on a proposed cultural complex.
The Vernon Public Art Gallery and the Greater Vernon Museum hope to press their need for expanded facilities leading up to the Nov. 19 civic election.
“We will be talking to all of the people who are nominated (for mayor and councillor) and we want to make this an election issue,” said Dauna Grant, gallery executive director.
“We want to get their views on arts and culture.”
The gallery hopes to get together with candidates Nov. 10.
The gallery, museum, city hall and the Regional District of North Okanagan have been considering options for a joint facility.
“We are continuing to work on it,” said Grant.
The gallery presently occupies 6,200-square-feet in the downtown parkade, but officials say there’s a need for a 16,000-square-foot building with 16-foot-high ceilings. Climate control is required under federal policies for large, national travelling exhibits.
The museum is 13,000-square-feet in size, and exhibition and storage space is limited. Officials say climate control is necessary to preserve fragile artifacts.
A location for a new complex has not been announced although there has been some community speculation that one possibility may be the city-owned Vernon Flower Shop site on 31st Avenue.
The timeline for a new building is tight as the gallery will host the Okanagan Print Triennial in 2015.
The event is expected to draw people from across Canada and around the world.
“We need some commitment from local government about a building and with the election underway, that causes a delay in the process,” said Grant.