Talks focus on new art gallery

There may be progress on the cultural scene.

There may be progress on the cultural scene.

Vernon council met behind closed doors Monday with representatives from the Vernon Public Art Gallery.

“The discussions were about a new art gallery but I can’t get into details,” said Dauna Grant, VPAG executive director.

“We are progressing and a business plan is being finalized.”

The business plan will eventually be presented to the Regional District of North Okanagan, which is responsible for cultural services in Greater Vernon.

“We hope there will be more concrete information over the next month or so,” said Grant.

Mayor Wayne Lippert would not comment on whether a specific location for a gallery has been identified.

“The art gallery continues to look for possible locations but everything is in-camera,” he said, adding that provincial legislation dictates that real estate matters must not be discussed in a public setting.

The gallery presently occupies 6,200-square-feet in the 31st Avenue parkade, but gallery 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 goal is to have a new facility in place by 2015 when the gallery will host the Okanagan Print Triennial.

“Being an international event, we want to showcase Vernon,” said Grant.

The Greater Vernon Museum is also in need of additional space, but it has not been part of the discussions between VPAG and the city.

“At this point, it is strictly the art gallery but we are open to considering other organizations,” said Grant.