By David F. Rooney
Local sculptress Audrey Nanimahoo is giving up on Revelstoke and plans to move to Malakwa, forced, she says, by municipal policies that make it impossible for her to create her stone sculptures at her Moss Street home.
Her fight with City Hall goes back to last July when she was told there were complaints about noise generated by her work in a backyard shed.
“A City inspector barged right into my shop and said I had to stop carving,” Nanimahoo said in an interview. “He was really rude.”
No one would tell her who filed the complaints and Nanimahoo, who has been carving stone in her backyard since 2003, says the situation was complicated by the City’s refusal to grant her a home-occupation business licence. Then, when she looked at acquiring an industrial space on Sandstone Road she was told she would need to upgrade the space with things like a wheelchair-accessible washroom.
“They wanted things that would cost about $39,000,” Nanimahoo said.
City Planning and Bylaw Enforcement Director John Guenther says the City would like to work with the artist.
“She wouldn’t have to install anything like that if the building wasn’t going to be accessible to the public,” he said. “We can work with her on things like that.”
But Nanimahoo has had enough.
“We’re looking at Malakwa but we have to sell our home here, first,” she said.
Nanimahoo is holding all-day open house at her home, located at 213 Moss Street, until March 20. For more information please call her at 250-837-0830.