Space at the ArtsPost in Fort St. John is at capacity, and the Community Arts Council is turning its eye toward developing a new creative hub for the visual and performing arts in the North Peace.
“It’s very early days right now, but this is something we’ve talked about for a long time,” said Arts Council member Margaret May. “It’s become clear to us over quite a few years that we’re just short of space, creative space for artists to work.”
The Arts Council has started the legwork on a feasibility study, with a public survey already online for artists and residents to give their input on what the hub needs.
The Arts Council was founded in 1970, and currently operates out of the ArtsPost on 94 Avenue. The creative hub is envisioned to be a long-term, multi-use facility offering space for artists, artisans, performers, musicians, and other creators to pursue their craft.
A new facility would charge user fees in order to keep the hub sustainable, May said.
“Right now, we do sublet some space to the potters and the Spinners and Weavers, even that’s become really inadequate,” May said. “It’s way too small, they’re trying to expand and grow. The lack of physical space has been an issue for a long time.”
Plans for the study have always been in the works, said May, with local arts and culture champion Sue Popesku having secured the funding before her passing last year.
“She always said the cultural centre was meant primarily as a presentation space, which we desperately needed at the time: a proper theatre, a gallery, and, of course, the rooms for some classes,” noted May. "But primarily it’s always been where the artists present."
To complete the survey, click here. It is open until Sept. 7.
Stakeholder workshops will be held Aug. 26 from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and Sept. 2 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., both through video teleconference. To register, click here.
Workshops will begin with brief a presentation about the project process followed by facilitated activities to collect input.
The feasibility study is expected to be completed by early December.
Tom Summer, Alaska Highway News, Local Journalism Initiative. Email Tom at email@example.com