Young artists like Royal Bay secondary grad Hannah Jubb are among those featured at the Colwood-based Coast Collective. The arts centre moved to its current location about seven months ago and continues to adjust to life in a new building

Supporting local, unique: Coast Collective Arts Centre

Executive director Julie Lawlor checks in with some news from the WestShore Chamber of Commerce.

This autumn, the Coast Collective Arts Centre celebrates eight years as the West Shore hub for community arts and culture.

Operated by the Society for Arts on the South Island (SASI), Coast Collective provides the opportunity for residents of the West Shore, visitors and tourists to experience and access the arts. In addition to welcoming more than 15,000 visitors per year to their free public gallery, Coast Collective provides original art work to municipal and community offices and public spaces, offers more than a hundred workshops each year, and last but not least has a gorgeous gift shop in their premises next to the Holiday Inn at 318 Wale Rd. in Colwood.

Coast Collective moved to these new premises in January when it became clear that the necessity of a building site in close proximity to their location at Pendray House would likely mean the closure of the arts facility. Like all moves it is taking time to adjust, and Coast Collective is reaching out to its community for support during this time of transition.

Executive Director Cindy Moyer said: “Support can come in many guises, and the best one is via the public’s continued and increased patronage at our new location as we head into the second half of 2016. That means shopping local at Coast Collective for cards, gifts, fashion and home decor, and taking advantage of our great art classes and maker workshops for creative people of all ages. Any and all support is greatly appreciated,” she added.

Another way you can support Coast Collective is by purchasing tickets to their “Raise the Roof” fundraiser, taking place at Langford Legion on Oct. 15 from 8 p.m. to midnight. The low ticket price of $22.40 includes admission, dancing, mid-evening snacks and applicable taxes. Music will be provided by the funk and soul band Groove Kitchen, and there will be silent auction items on display. If you are interested in promoting your organization and helping Coast Collective through the donation of a silent auction item, I’m sure Cindy would be delighted to hear from you.

As a Chamber, we recognize that the arts not only support quality of life, but also support the local economy. In the case of Coast Collective, their central Colwood location means that visitors will also dine, shop, and potentially stay in the West Shore, supporting neighbouring West Shore businesses. As a tenant, employer and supplier, SASI also provides a direct and measurable impact on the local economy.

The West Shore is starting to come into its own with regards to tourism, with a number of tourism projects and initiatives currently under development. As the only centre for the visual arts in our area, there would be a significant gap in the West Shore offer if Coast Collective should close its doors. So stop by and have a look. I’m not going to say the word, but Coast Collective offers a great chance to do your early Chr!$+mas shopping!

Julie Lawlor is executive director of the WestShore Chamber of Commerce. You can reach her at jlawlor@westshore.bc.ca or by calling 250-478-1130. For more information on Coast Collective, please visit coastcollective.ca. To  find out more about the WestShore Chamber of Commerce at westshore.bc.ca.

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