I am writing to ask our local, elected decision makers, and taxpayers, to take seriously the need for a new museum/gallery and archives facility here in Greater Vernon.
This subject has been talked about and studied for too long, yet the need will simply not go away.
We are fortunate to have the wide range of publicly funded and operated sports facilities here along with a great performing arts centre and the almost-new public library. The playing field and running track by Okanagan College are now fully on stream and providing great service. We have walking and hiking trails in abundance and more are being developed. The second ice sheet by Kal Tire Place is underway. All of these are (or will be) used and appreciated by a diverse population of all age groups.
A region like ours that does not look after its cultural heritage and artifacts, as well as written records from individuals, families and community organizations, is guilty of a disservice to past, present and future generations. I even wonder about important heritage items and records that have been discarded, lost or donated elsewhere. Greater Vernon needs a combined museum/gallery and archives comparable to the performing arts centre and the public library. It should have a downtown location ideally on land already in public ownership. Possibly an off-site location for long-term storage of items would reduce the cost and size of the structure that should be built.
Leaving this decision to the local and regional officials to be elected this fall will simply result in more study and delay. And the need and frustration will grow stronger.