Penticton council comes to arts society's rescue with short-term funding | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton council comes to arts society's rescue with short-term funding

The Shatford Centre is back in the news as arts society directors met with Penticton city council in a bid for operating funds to keep the facility going until tenants can be found.
March 19, 2019 - 3:28 PM

PENTICTON - The Okanagan School of Arts Society took their financial concerns to Penticton city council this afternoon.

Board president Robin Robertson and director Georgia Krebs described the organization as “up against the wall” in terms of a cash shortfall and funding for necessary building repairs to the Shatford Centre at today’s regular council meeting, March 19.

Robertson said the board would be talking to the Society’s 200-plus members on Thursday night, but made a request to council for $35,000 towards operational funding and an additional $85,000 for building upgrades. He also requested the City waive the centre’s utility bills until September.

Robertson said the society’s plans to pursue a new mission for the arts centre by turning it into a “busy hub” are in jeopardy as the society doesn’t have the cash to make necessary upgrades to attract new tenants to the building, adding Shatford’s historic designation adds to barriers in making the necessary upgrades. He said boilers and the ability to control heat in the building were major concerns, with hydro costing $2,000 monthly.

When asked about the society's business plan, Robertson said the society had prepared an organizational framework and strategic plan that was not yet formalized.

Council agreed to provide $47,000 to fund short-term operational and utility costs, pending further staff investigation into other funding options.

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