Brad Grigor makes his presentation to North Cowichan council. (Photo by Lexi Bainas/Cowichan Valley Citizen)

Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society continues its quest for a permanent facility

Presentation to North Cowichan council outlines many other organization activities

The Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society outlined its long list of ongoing activities in a presentation to North Cowichan council.

The society has been actively involved in planning for the development of a regional arts centre. Brad Grigor spoke on behalf of the society at the Sept. 4 meeting, touching on that all-important project and a lot more.

Grigor noted the presentation to council served a variety of purposes, including the opportunity to thank the municipality for entrusting the organization with programming at the Waterwheel Park Bandshell in Chemainus.

Citing a famous quote from the Beatles’ John Lennon, “I hope we passed the audition,” he quipped.

Council was also provided details on what the CVCAS has been doing.

“We’ve been fostering and supporting the arts and culture in North Cowichan for over 20 years with so many events, activities and initiatives that I could barely get them into four PowerPoint slides,” conceded Grigor.

The special points he stressed included: the CVCAS being on track to distribute more than $60,000 back to artists for the most recent 12 months of operation; the CVCAS’ status as the second oldest arts council in the region despite not having a street address, office or year-round permanent facility; and the fact Rainforest Arts is self-funded from operations, but receives no grants and pays rent that they’re grateful is subsidized by Coastal Community Credit Union.

Grigor further indicated the CVCAS is expanding its working relationship with First Nations and working hard to secure a permanent facility.

Progress on the creation of a CVCAS Community Arts Centre includes: a written Strategic Plan & Frequently Asked Questions document; written specs for a Feasibility Study, running a Request For Proposal and selecting a consultant; and starting a pledge drive on July 1 with more than $11,000 pledged now.

The CVCAS will soon be launching a website for pledges and running fundraising events, according to Grigor.

In the end, he asked council to consider four motions:

1. to appoint a councillor as a liaison to the CVCAS board (as is the case with the Chemainus Festival of Murals Society and the Chemainus & District Chamber of Commerce).

2. write a letter of support for the CVCAS Community Arts Centre.

3. authorize staff to participate in interviews with the consultant during the Feasibility Study for the Arts Centre.

4. Include an A-Team member (Peter Collum or Tom Andrews) on the Official Community Plan Advisory Board. Both have applied and represent the A-Team and the Murals Society.

The CVCAS Arts Centre Committee is also known as The A-Team.

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