Art gallery deals with Duncan for Kenneth Street property to build huge new facility – Cowichan Valley Citizen


The vacant lot at 135 Kenneth Street in Duncan is set to form an integral part of the new world-class art gallery, studio and educational center that the Cowichan Public Art Gallery Society is proposing.

At its Feb. 22 meeting, Duncan City Council voted unanimously to negotiate an option to purchase with the nonprofit corporation for future acquisition of the property, for which the city paid $351,000. $ in 2019, which would be used for a section of the new 30,000 square foot gallery.

As part of the deal, the company has agreed to pay the appraised value of the property at the time the option is exercised, which is expected to be within three years.

The company’s concepts for the new Cowichan Public Art Gallery, expected to be Vancouver Island’s largest art gallery, are substantial and far-reaching.

Society President Jock Hildebrand told the board that the gallery is set to become a major cultural institution on Vancouver Island because of its unique programming, custom-designed buildings and strategic downtown location. town of Duncan.

He said through a combination of earned income, grants, and donations, the society intended to raise the $35 million needed to acquire the land, design and construct the building, and open the gallery.

Hildebrand said that in addition, the society will launch a parallel campaign to build the gallery’s collections, furnish the gallery and offices, and make the gallery a community asset and a major attraction for visitors to Vancouver Island.

He pointed out that for every dollar spent on cultural projects, the nationally accepted multiplier is $11 in spin-off spending.

“The society will draw on grants from federal, provincial, municipal and private foundations, as well as private donations to fund the project,” Hildebrand said.

“The expected time to obtain funding for this project is 36 months; likely by July 1, 2024. This project has long-term and short-term financial benefits for the region, not only creating jobs in the Cowichan Valley related to the design and construction of the facility, but also 13 full-time and 18 part-time jobs. hourly positions, as well as the indirect and induced jobs that surround and develop around a project like this.

Hildebrand said there will be new business opportunities through the leasing and leasing of specific gallery properties, including a food and beverage area, gift shop, multi-purpose room, existing commercial kitchen in The Green Door building next door, as well as the rental of outdoor spaces for special occasions; a product that is missing in downtown Duncan.

Additionally, Hildebrand said public restrooms are planned for the project and will be an added convenience downtown.

Com. Tom Duncan asked what financial support the society expects from the city, noting that the municipality must now bear the costs of maintaining order for the first time after its population exceeded 5,000 people in the last census.

Hildebrand responded that the company is not requesting funding from the city at this time.

He said the gallery is a Cowichan Valley-wide project that will serve the entire community, so the company will look to the Cowichan Valley Regional District for financial assistance.

David Coulson, a member of the company’s board of directors, added that the board’s decision to negotiate an option to purchase the Kenneth Street property which would be exercised when the company’s fundraising efforts are complete is all the support the city needs right now.

He said with the option to purchase the Kenneth Street property, it will be easier to secure financing at higher levels.

“As a charity, we can now take it to the next level of fundraising by saying we have goods and assets available to us so that we have a legitimate cause to fundraise for,” Coulson said.

“There are about 90,000 people in the valley and the city only has 5,000, so we don’t expect the city to make large contributions,” he said.


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