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Nanaimo Art Gallery looks for further community input into gallery’s future

Open house to be held at 150 Commercial St. on Feb. 17
The Nanaimo Art Gallery will hold another open house on Feb. 17 to gather community input on the future of the gallery. (Submitted photo)

The Nanaimo Art Gallery has invited community members to an open house this week to discuss its future.

A press release about the event previewed that participants can learn about the work that has been done over the past year “to realize the future Nanaimo Art Gallery, and share your ideas for how we can create more space for arts, culture and community.”

The gallery held a similar event a year ago to determine if its current space adequately serves the community or if expansion is required, either at its current site or as a new building.

Art gallery executive director Carolyn Holmes went before city council last summer to present the findings of an exploratory feasibility study.

During the presentation, Louisa Plant, a manager with the consulting firm Nordicity, reported a “crucial need” for a new and expanded gallery, noting that the study found the current space inaccessible and faces “operational limitations” such as a lack of space.

Three options discussed included renovating the current site, which was noted as more costly than replacement; demolishing and constructing a new building at the same location, with an estimated price tag of $21 million; or finding a non-site specific greenfield space which was favoured since the existing gallery could still operate during construction.

The open house will be held Friday, Feb. 17, between 3-6 p.m. at the gallery at 150 Commercial St. The event will include live music, refreshments, an interactive art activity and surveys.

READ MORE: Nanaimo Art Gallery envisions new location with potential $20-million price tag

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