Society for Arts on the South Island (SASI) board members Kathryn Fudge (left), Sheryl Parsons and Niki Green say they hope to find a new space for the Coast Collective Art Centre by 2021. Until then, they’re moving out due to the pandemic. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)(Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Society for Arts on the South Island (SASI) board members Kathryn Fudge (left), Sheryl Parsons and Niki Green say they hope to find a new space for the Coast Collective Art Centre by 2021. Until then, they’re moving out due to the pandemic. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)(Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Colwood art centre shuts its doors indefinitely

Board members look for new location when feasible, continue online

Kathryn Fudge is up to her waist in boxes as she begins packing up the remnants of a once-bustling arts centre. The only things left in Coast Collective Art Centre in Colwood are disassembled shelves, a slew of mannequin torsos and every box size you can imagine.

The storefront on Wale Road is closed indefinitely due to the pandemic.

“We had just hired a new staff member when the lockdown came into effect,” said Fudge, the current president of the Society for Arts on the South Island (SASI). “It was such a difficult decision. It’s not just a business, it’s a community. Without any revenue, it’s been difficult to justify us going forward. We’ve had to write a lot of cheques.”

Fudge said their schedule for the arts centre was booked through the end of 2020 with galleries, day rentals and workshops. They even had an Australian artist set to fly in for a gallery show in July.

READ MORE: After a double lung transplant, Langford barber understands importance of safety precautions

Due to their workshops bringing in a majority of the income for the collective, Fudge realized they wouldn’t be able to pay their staff of two part-timers and a new recruit for too long. With the collective not wanting to run into debt, they avoided applying for federal government COVID-19 benefits because every avenue only offered interest-free loans, which they couldn’t afford to repay in the long run.

Throw in the cost of monthly rent and the numbers didn’t add up. That’s when they sent out an email to their collective of nearly 80 artists to ask advice on the next steps.

ALSO READ: When crisis hits: How West Shore RCMP has dealt with the pandemic

“It was an overwhelming vote to keep the collective together,” said Fudge.

“We have a strong desire to start again, but it’s all in a matter of time. This space is so important for the community to experience local art. If you took away this place of expression and artistic learning, we’d be living in a dull place.”

Going forward, the collective will keep their online presence active and keep their ear to the ground for potential places to re-open when it’s more economically sensible.

“It’s tough because things were looking really good for us before everything shut down,” said Fudge. “We knew we had to close when we did or we’d go completely broke.”


@iaaronguillen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

Arts and cultureCity of Colwood,

 

Society for Arts on the South Island (SASI) board members Kathryn Fudge (left), Sheryl Parsons and Niki Green are packing up the remainder of the Coast Collective Art Centre in Colwood. Their operation has come to an end due to the pandemic. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Society for Arts on the South Island (SASI) board members Kathryn Fudge (left), Sheryl Parsons and Niki Green are packing up the remainder of the Coast Collective Art Centre in Colwood. Their operation has come to an end due to the pandemic. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Just Posted

Nanaimo Airport. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Airport coping with low passenger counts, uncertain recovery

Airport CEO Dave Devana says it will take years to return to pre-pandemic passenger levels

Sophia Seward-Good and Aunalee Boyd-Good of Nanaimo’s Ay Lelum – The Good House of Design are showcasing their latest collection Yuxwule’ Sul’sul’tun – Eagle Spindle Whorl at Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto. (Photo courtesy Helena Lines)
Nanaimo’s Ay Lelum makes Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto debut

Clothing design company showing new collection, Yuxwule’ Sul’sul’tun – Eagle Spindle Whorl

Gracie couldn’t stop nursing from her previous owner’s goats which was problematic given the goats were trying to be dried out to breed. Gracie now lives at A Home for Hooves. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Cowichan animal sanctuary gets international accreditation

A Home for Hooves farm sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

Nurse Doreen Littlejohn takes a longterm approach in her outreach work with homelessness in Parksville Qualicum Beach, but says more needs to be done now. (Auren Ruvinsky photo)
‘Women face a much different experience on the street’

Vancouver Island nurse says community needs to be part of solution to homelessness

The Sepura is a garbage disposal system that separates solids from liquids and allows for stink and hassle-free composting. (Courtesy of Anvy Technologies)
Goodbye garburator, this Victoria company has a clean composting solution

Sepura has made Time Magazine’s ‘100 Best Inventions of 2020’ for its hassle-free functioning

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

The property at 113 and 161 Island Highway is currently being dismantled as the developer attempts to salvage ‘usable’ lumber for their development application to the City of Parksville. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Development application delayed for high-profile Parksville property

Council refers application to staff for further improvements

Work is underway to bring a Nordic-themed Christmas display to Uptown Shopping Centre. (Black Press Media file photo)
Outdoor skating rink, road mural among holiday festivities at Saanich mall

Santa dons a clear mask for photos at Uptown this winter

Peninsula Panthers' owner and general manager Pete Zubersky questions the decision-making process leading to the suspension of play in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL). (Black Press Media File)
Peninsula Panthers’ owner questions process behind suspension of Junior B hockey action

Pete Zubersky does not understand actions of provincial body administering amateur sports

Most Read