By David F. Rooney
The Revelstoke Visual Arts Society has experienced tremendous success since its founding about 12 years ago and trend continued last year, its members were told during their Annual General Meeting at the Visual Arts Centre on Wednesday, June 15.
“Along the way we spent a lot of time soul searching and developing a strong vision of who we are, what we stand for and what we want to be,” Chairman Ken Talbot said.
“These things were possible only because of everybody pulling together. I’m talking about everybody — our members, our supporters, our staff, our board, our volunteers, our artists, our instructors, our suppliers and our benefactors. I’m talking about City Council and staff and our local museums. And I’m talking about our partner organizations, including Parks Canada, our high school and elementary schools, the North Columbia Environmental Society and the Local Food Initiative. With this many people and organizations pulling together, great things are possible.”
Among those great things last year and this are the bold exterior and interior renovations, the walkway to The Centre from Victoria Road, the fabulous vegetable and flower gardens, and the addition of the gorgeous John McKinnon bronze sculpture, Blowin’ in the Wind.
Executive Director Jackie Pendergast noted that 2,802 people visited The Centre’s art galleries last year and over 200 adults took art classes in 2015. Membership continues to be very healthy with 195 members. The Potters’ Guild, the Community Woodworking Studio members and the Golden Girls Watercolour Group are major users of the facilities. The rental artist studios are rarely empty and there were over 4,000 user visits last year.
Last year’s revenues. As calculated by Treasurer Margaret Pacaud, amounted to $137,550.41 with $9,900 of that coming from gallery sales and $12,396 coming from studio rentals. Much of the rest of the income came from grants from the Columbia Basin Trust ($13,000), the BC Gaming Commission ($20,000), the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance ($3,000), the provincial Tourism Infrastructure Program ($3,000), and the City of Revelstoke, which underwrote our taxes and rent for the building. Expenses last year came to $124,200.60 so the society finished the year with a $13,350 surplus.
Jackie and Ken also handed out certificates of appreciation to the hard-working hanging crew and to long-time volunteer Chuck Ferguson who puts in a lot of time doing odd jobs and maintenance, including regular paint jobs to the interior gallery spaces.
And finally, there were elections to fill four vacancies — two term expiries and two resignations. Tina Lindegaard and Pauline Hunt were returned to the board and Krista Stovel and Nicola McGarry were elected to replace Andrew Stacey and Donna Naprstek who had resigned.
The 10-member board now consists of Ken Talbot, Keri Knapp, Bruce MacLachlan, Margaret Pacaud, Krista Stovel, Nicola McGarry, Tina Lindegaard and Pauline Hunt, plus Pottery Guild Representative Jocelyn Kutcher and City Hall Representative Linda Nixon.