Local artist Jim Dodd’s rendering of what a potential $30-million arts facility, including a performance hall, rehearsal space, green rooms, gift shop and art gallery could look like on the West Shore. (Jim Dodd photo)

City of Colwood supportive of West Shore arts centre

Exploring arts development part of Colwood’s draft strategic plan

Colwood’s council supports the creation of an arts centre to help turn the city into a “renaissance community,” Mayor Rob Martin said.

“Council is saying we understand that our community continues to grow and not only has recreational needs but arts needs,” Martin said. “We think this would be a very good fit … council is very supportive of a new arts centre.”

Colwood tentatively earmarked a $2,000 grant to the Juan de Fuca Arts Centre Society — the group lobbying for an arts centre on the West Shore.

The Juan de Fuca Arts Centre Society has been working on plans to build an arts facility on the West Shore over the past few years. The centre would have a performance hall, rehearsal space, gallery and educational spaces so both professional and amateur community members could make use of it.

The society’s president, Judith Cullington, said that while the centre may not make a lot of profit, the society is dedicated to making the facility largely self-supporting, rather than relying on municipal tax dollars.

Cullington said in order to do so, finding key partners and fundraising for the centre are necessary.

“Our main goals are fundraising and making sure it’s a realistic business model that can be largely self-supporting,” Cullington said.

Martin said council will hopefully be able to support the society in non-financial ways.

“I think there’s a role for advocacy,” Martin said. “We’re not just saying we’re supportive of it but also messaging out to the general population and specific funders that this is what we need in the West Shore.”

Martin said he’s more than happy to write letters and talk to funders on behalf of the City of Colwood.

The City released a draft strategic plan earlier in January that highlighted a focus on developing jobs, culture and entertainment in Colwood.

One of the City’s goals in the draft plan is listed as “creating special places” and one of the priorities under that goal is exploring the potential for an arts theatre or centre in Colwood.

“Long ago we used to talk about creating sort of a renaissance community,” Martin said. “What that means is you’re well-rounded so that you have your recreation, your libraries, your social services. Arts is an essential part of that.”

The next step for the Juan de Fuca Arts Centre Society is to find a two-acre site where the facility can be built. Martin said council could potentially help the society find that site.

“I think this council has recognized that as we continue to build the community, [the renaissance community] has to be essential to our long term viability, success and happiness of our residents,” Martin said.

Just Posted

Victoria seniors want to know more about marijuana

Four presentations on the medical properties of cannabis for seniors come to Victoria

Rickter Scale: California Dreaming with Steve Shutt

The Rickter Scale is a weekly column in the Goldstream News Gazette

Victoria gears up to axe free parking on Sundays

Council vote puts Sunday parking fees towards bus passes for youth

Oak Bay one step closer to deer immunocontraceptive test

Up to 80 deer could be given ‘birth control’ vaccine in the fall

Parents still seek clarity for future of Victor School

Motion avoided to remove special needs Victor School from boundary review proposal

VIDEO: Massive elk herd runs across Washington State highway

Elk have been making an appearance in the Pacific Northwest

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

BREAKING: Woman, off-duty cop stabbed outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

Winter storm freezes U.S., halts air travel

Storm dumps snow or heavy rain, snarls travel in much of U.S.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Skier sued me to exploit my fame, wealth

The incident happened in Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Most Read