EDITORIAL: GVAC can’t ignore gallery

Greater Vernon Advisory Committee unwilling to consider prospect of new art gallery at this time

It’s difficult to know where the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee is coming from.

On Thursday, it stated it’s unwilling to consider the prospect of a new art gallery until a review of all cultural services is completed in June at the earliest.

“There are some concerns we’re being directed by that group without any input from our side,” said chairperson Mike Macnabb referring to the Vernon Public Art Gallery.

“We’re out of the loop but they’re asking us to go to referendum.”

If elected officials are out of the loop, it’s  not because of the advocates for an art gallery. They have made numerous presentations to the GVAC board, spoken to directors one-on-one and had discussions with bureaucrats. They have been up front about what they want in terms of a design, cost and the need to gain taxpayer support through a referendum.

Every time the matter comes up at GVAC, there is little discussion and directors indicate they are preoccupied with more pressing topics, including the upcoming vote on a sports complex.

And while there’s no question the GVAC agenda is full, the art gallery can’t be ignored forever because the current facility is inadequate for a growing community.

The only reason VPAG appears to be driving this bus is because there has been a lack of elected leadership.

If the politicians want to be in the loop, they  need to step up to the plate and start seriously talking about the location of a new gallery, costs and the ability of residents to pay given other financial pressures.

Ultimately, GVAC may decided not to proceed with VPAG’s current design but at least it will have climbed off the fence.