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)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Garden-sharing map connects Victoria landowners and gardeners

U-Map created by Young Agrarians after COVID-19 created uptick in garden matching requests

Saanich wins award for climate plan cut from 2020 budget

‘It’s truly an exceptional plan,’ says councillor disappointed with lack of funding

New exhibit at Point Ellice House examines history of waste, water and privilege

Night soil scavengers in the 19th century would collect human waste and dump it around the city

Two injured hikers airlifted from North Vancouver Island Park

Campbell River and Comox Search and Rescue hoist team rescued the injured from Cape Scott Provincial Park

Victoria man collects 28 bags of trash along two-kilometre stretch of highway

20-year-old spent 12 hours collecting garbage near Thetis Lake

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Nanaimo RCMP ask for help finding missing 19-year-old

Haley Murphy has not been seen since Tuesday, June 30, say police

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

Most Read