Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster (centre) presents $50

Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster (centre) presents $50

Vernon Public Art Gallery moves forward with financial boost

The provincial government has provided the Vernon Public Art Gallery with $50,000 to develop a business plan for new facility...

Details for a proposed new art gallery are being  hammered out.

The provincial government has provided the Vernon Public Art Gallery with $50,000 to develop a business plan and analysis for a facility on 31st Avenue.

“It will give us momentum moving forward,” said Dauna Kennedy Grant, executive director.

Among the issues that will be considered is how much square footage is required and how the space in a new building would be used.

“We would explore with the community what are some of the other possible uses that could be accommodated such as a lecture theatre,” said Kennedy Grant.

The analysis process is critical if there is to be any government funding for construction.

“Certain granting bodies require certain studies and background documents to even submit an application,” said Kennedy Grant.

As part of the process, meetings will be held in June with federal, provincial and local representatives to discuss funding.

While a firm figure hasn’t been determined, it has been previously suggested that an 18,000-square-foot gallery could cost about $5 million.

The goal is to have a new gallery open for the 2015 Okanagan Print Triennial, an international event.

“It’s tight but it’s still possible,” said Kennedy Grant.

The Greater Vernon Museum, which also requires additional space, is not part of the process for the 31st Avenue site.

“They are looking at different options. The site is not a large enough footprint to accommodate both,” said Kennedy Grant.

The $50,000 came from the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

“The Vernon Public Art Gallery enjoys a well-earned reputation as a leader in arts and culture in the community and the region,” said Eric Foster, Vernon Monashee MLA.

“With support from the provincial government, the gallery will continue to play a key role in Vernon’s thriving arts scene.”