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October 27, 2017 8:21 pm

Community Arts Council Seeks Increased Funding

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 @ 6:57 PM

Prince George, B.C.- The Community Arts Council has been around for  nearly 50 years,  and is looking  for  increased support  from the City.20161109_1906351

In a presentation to Prince George Council,  Executive Director Sean Farrell says the CAC  has some  challenges  which include the  aging  Studio 2880, dilution of public funding, and diminishing traffic  and consumers at the Studio 2880  gallery.

“We are really trying to seek out new  ideas for our programs” says Farrell.

( at right, Sean Farrell makes  presentation to Council )

“Downtown  revitalization is a key area” says Farrell  who says the CAC  is interested in developing  performance space in the downtown.

While interested in increasing new memberships and  development of  new programs to generate fees,  Farrell   presented a case to  call for  increased funding for the CAC.

Specifically,  he called for  long term ( five year) funding agreements to major  cultural  organizations, and that  an annual cost of living  increase  of 2.5% be built  into those agreements.   If Council were to adopt such a plan,  it would see the CAC’s funding  climb from  $43,800  this year, to  $52,000 in 2017  which would be the first in a five year contract that would  see the CAC  receive $57,400  in 2021.

Council  expressed support for the Community Arts Council and has  agreed to send the matter  to  Administration  to see if the funding request can be accommodated. The matter will likely  be addressed at budget time in January 2017


“who says the CAC is interested in developing performance space in the downtown.”

Oh just call it for what it is, a Performing Arts Center.

    Performance space does not mean performing arts centre.

    We have several performance spaces in the city for theatrical as well as musical performances, including in downtown.

    The old Odeon theatre has been bought by the local First Nations band. TNW was interested in that space as well. It sounds like that might be a “performance space”, meeting facility, etc.

    The Civic Centre has a large multi-use space which can be and has been used for performances. We saw Buffy Sainte-Marie there several years ago performing to a group of about 300.

    Books and Co. has a small stage for regular Friday night music performances which will pack in as many as 60 people. Upstairs has been used for live musical and theatrical performances for decades for 200 or so.

    Judy Russell produced “Cabaret” in the Ramada Ballroom in 2000. Plaza 400 still has the old movie theatre space which became the casino for a few years.

    If you know downtown and you understand what a performance space is rather than continuously having the fear of a PAC in the back of your mind, then you should be able to say to yourself: “oh, now I understand. I also know more such spaces which are used for purpose-made or as-found performance spaces.”

Calm down, nobody said the word “PAC” last night! I watched the entire presentation and they were clearly talking about their own organizational requirements, which would include a small performance space for arts show etc, much like they have in their existing space at Studio 2880. I kind of liked the fact they they were there representing a new funding model for all of the major arts & cultural groups, and that Cold Snap was brought into the discussion. The Cold Snap Festival, in my opinion is a cultural gem for Prince George.

If , as you claim Mr Farrell,there is diminishing traffic and consumers at the Studio 2880 gallery, what does that tell you?
That you should have more money or maybe LESS could it be you have lost the public’s interest in what you are offering.
Just a thought

    “If , as you claim Mr Farrell,there is diminishing traffic and consumers at the Studio 2880 gallery, what does that tell you?”

    THE function of studio 2880 is to promote its artist by providing them a place to practice their art as well as a place to sell their art.

    As with any “business” it is location, location, location first.

    Tell me that access and location are not one of the causes and likely the main cause for business to be down and show me some reasons why it is not, then you might have a point.

As I understand it, the decline traffic is due to Ticket Master pulling out of all its smaller point of sale outlets across the country last June and the growing trend of other local organizations going to online ticket sales. Like many organizations who face these challenges, its just a matter of adjusting to a new business model. I think they will be just fine.

Studio 2880 is warm and inviting and residents feel welcome. Two Rivers gallery is not. I’ve purchased many lovely and unique items from Studio 2880 artisans. I’ve been to Two Rivers Gallery twice and will not go back again.

    I think they have a major decision to make.

    1. stay in that location and provide a major upgrade to the building. An investment that should last at least 20 years.

    2. abandon the buildings, sell the site, and invest that and additional funds for a new location, likely downtown, and either an existing building with alterations or a new building.

    The police station has been talked about frequently as a building which could be re-used for the PG Arts Council. The exterior could be refurbished just as easily as the RBC Building and the Scotia Building were.

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