New water woes add to concerns at the Vernon art gallery

Dauna Kennedy Grant, executive director of the Vernon Public Art Gallery.

VERNON - The Vernon Public Art Gallery has sprung yet another leak.

Water started dripping from the ceiling of the storage and permanent collections area sometime over the night of Jan. 5 to 6, according to executive director Dauna Kennedy Grant. It’s the latest in a string of leaks at the gallery over the past few years. In winter of 2014, the gallery was forced to close for a month due to flooding.

“We have our regular leaks in areas we know we have water issues, but this is a new one,” Kennedy Grant says of the recent leak.

The gallery has buckets on hand 24-7 and even has some of the collections draped in plastic just in case, but Kennedy Grant says the ‘little surprises’ make things difficult.

“It’s hard to do our job, which is in part to preserve the community’s collections, when we don’t know where it’s going to be next,” she says.

Fortunately, no artwork was damaged in this week’s leak, but with ongoing issues at the facility, Kennedy Grant is concerned they won’t be so lucky next time. The leaks, alongside space issues and other concerns with the building, are why the gallery is pushing for a new facility.

“Ultimately, we shouldn’t be here in the first place,” she says.

She says plans for a new art gallery have been put on the back burner for years and is hoping for progress in 2016.

The Greater Vernon Advisory Council has said in the past it is waiting for an arts and culture master plan to be finished before taking next steps towards a new art gallery.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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