Okanagan School of Arts finds new office digs in Penticton - InfoNews

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Okanagan School of Arts finds new office digs in Penticton

The art school called the Shatford Centre building home for 10 years.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Okanagan School of the Arts
July 30, 2020 - 5:06 PM

The Okanagan School of the Arts will be relocating its office to Cowork Penticton following its eviction from the historic Shatford Centre.

While the new digs won't offer artists studio space, the Okanagan School of the Arts executive director Kim Palmer said Cowork Penticton will offer a vibrant and collaborative environment to allow the group to plan for the future.

"We may decide the most efficient way to run our programs is to use some of the great spaces we have available in the community and support their organizations," Palmer told iNFOnews.ca.

The art school had called the Shatford Centre building home for the last 10 years, renting the space for $1 a year from the Okanagan Skaha School District. While the rent was cheap, the building required around $6,000 to $7,000 in utilities bills and maintenance costs each month.

In June, as their lease was just about to expire and with the COVID-19 pandemic drying up revenue streams, the art school tried to negotiate a vastly reduced rate with the school district but had no luck. The City of Penticton then chipped in $17,000 giving the art school two months' breathing space to find a new home.

Palmer said the new office space will give the art school a base to plan with a new vision for a new future. Palmer pointed out that when the art school was founded in the 1960s and began offering classes and workshops it used spaces and rooms throughout the community.

Palmer described leaving the Shatford Centre as "bittersweet."

"It's an incredible building and we've had the opportunity to do some amazing things here, at the same time because we have to move on, we're eager to take those next steps and start really looking at our new vision rather than looking back," she said.


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