Mayoral candidates Mary-Jo O’Keefe and Klaus Tribes listen to a question asked by Vernon Public Art Gallery president Andrew Powell at the gallery’s arts and culture election forum Thursday.

Election 2014: Candidates draw up art gallery ideas

City of Vernon: The need for a new building to house the Vernon Public Art Gallery was at the top of the agenda

The need for a new building to house the Vernon Public Art Gallery was at the top of the agenda at Thursday’s election forum on arts and culture at the gallery.

All Vernon mayoralty candidates agreed that arts and culture are an economic generator in bringing both tourists, businesses and potential residents to the city. However, differences in opinion came on whether a potential new building should be a single or multi-purpose unit that would house the gallery along with other facilities such as the museum.

“I want to go up,” said Jamie Morrow to the approximately 90 people in the audience. “I would like to start with a multi-use building that would see the gallery on the main floor and residences above, allowing for high density and a way to revitalize downtown and bring people downtown.”

Klaus Tribes agreed that a larger facility is needed and that he would like the museum to remain at its current location, in Vernon’s Civic Square.

“I hoped the old library building would be used as the gallery, but the bureaucrats decided it was not big enough. I would love to see the gallery in the civic centre,” he said.

Mary-Jo O’Keefe said the new gallery’s proposed location, at the old Vernon Flower Shop and next to the new city bus depot, has been targeted due to its location.

“We had momentum on this with the last council. It’s why we put the outdoor shelter there,” she said, adding the proposed gallery would utilize the outdoor space for art.

Questions also came on how to pay for the facility and to sell it to the public.

Victor Cumming said he would support the gallery being part of an umbrella organization that would include tourism, however, he said funding for tourism mainly comes from the hotel tax.

“It would be difficult to get around,” he said. “I see it as a two-hump camel with tourism in Vernon having the strongest hump in summer when there are lots of activities in arts and culture. The gap is when you want to do it and when the visitors are here. You need product development and marketing year round.”

Akbal Mund said he would have liked to have seen the referendum for a new gallery go on the last election ballot and would like to see per capita funding for arts and culture.

“I support that and look at arts and culture as an education tool for youth,” he said, “I see people with young families that want to see arts and culture grow in the community.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dance stages Indigenous identity quest in Vernon

Tlakentli merges dance and theatre with two artists from Mexico, of Nahua and Mixteco descent

Pumphouse project puts Vernon taps back on Kal

The capital project at the Kal Lake Pump House to make it flood-resistant is near completion

Accident causing traffic delays in Vernon

The accident happened near the intersection of Alexis Park Drive and 42nd Street

Carlton Cards to close its doors in Vernon

All 254 retail stores across North America will close in the next four to six weeks

Okanagan among Canada’s most at-risk habitats: WWF report

Report found the Okanagan is inadequately protected despite being a hotspot for at-risk species

UBCO students raise funds for those affected by Philippine volcano eruption

All proceeds will be donated to the Philippine Red Cross

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Empty speedboat sinks off Kelowna shore on Okanagan Lake

This is the third report of a boat found in the lake in the past two weeks

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

UPDATE: Revelstoke City Council gives themselves a raise, councillor resigns in protest

The mayor’s pay is set to go from $30,000 to $60,000 over three years

Kelowna General Hospital takes steps to prevent spread of coronavirus

So far, at least six people have died and 275 people have contracted the virus worldwide

Most Read