Friday 16 March 2012

Critical Opportunity for Cultural Development in Kings County, Nova Scotia

An important series of discussions will begin March 24 in Kentville, Nova Scotia that could have a significant benefit for the general arts community and the regional arts council of Kings County. It is a critical opportunity to make cultural development an ongoing regional priority, and to push for a modest regional cultural centre in the proposed multi-use library development in Kentville. Please view the exciting designs and related stories.

Starting at 8:30 a.m. at the fire hall, the Rotary Club of Kentville is hosting a meeting of non-profit organizations, municipal governments, and business community to discuss community needs and potential projects for the next 5-10 years. Representatives of the Alliance of Kings Artists, and several other like-minded organizations, have been invited to participate, and will be reminding others at the meeting of the social and economic importance of the art in Kings County.

But the real hard work begins after the March 24 meeting, when community organizations and municipal councils of the region, have to fully realize the long-neglected needs of the arts community, and the significant cost-benefits of supporting cultural projects now. This can only be accomplished by individuals making contact with councilors, business leaders, and members of community organizations like Rotary, Kinsmen or Lions. 

The focus of AKA’s efforts over the next few weeks will be the beautiful multi-use regional library project proposed for the Kentville and area. During the community meetings held to determine design and location of the proposed project, the inclusion of a cultural facility was a frequent request. As a result, the architects produced a design that could include a public art gallery, education rooms and administrative office for AKA. Other possible community needs would include a volunteer centre, heritage centre, or visitor information centre.

The Town of Kentville is responsible for the library space, but the other community services are regional in nature and would require the ongoing partnership of Kings County, as well as construction capital from provincial and federal governments.  The multi-use centre could cost between $2.4million-$4.3million, with municipal, provincial and federal governments picking up 85% of construction costs. Support from community fund raising and non-profit groups like Rotary would be responsible for 15% of cost.

The possibility of a cultural component within the larger project is real, but also a long-shot in terms of competition with other community needs, and past apathy of the arts community to fight for common improvements or cultural policy priorities within government. Jealousy, apathy, and parochial ambition will have to be put aside if we are to take advantage of this rare opportunity to create an additional jewel within the cultural diversity of Kings County.

Get others to take a look at the gorgeous architectural drawings and to give us a hand in shaping a reality.   To view these drawings click on the page link to the left titled Kings County Cultural Centre.

1 comment:

  1. If the idea of a cultural centre interests you, please do join the discussions on Saturday. This is an important opportunity to share your opinion.