Summerland Receives Award for Art Installation – Summerland Review
The Municipality of Summerland received a Community Excellence Award in the Social Responsibility category from the Southern Interior Local Government Association.
The award was presented at the association’s annual convention in Salmon Arm in late April. It was awarded in recognition of the Municipality’s revitalization of the George Ryga Arts and Cultural Centre.
The building underwent extensive renovations, which were completed in 2021. These renovations included energy efficient upgrades to electrical and heating, ventilation and air conditioning, restroom upgrades to improve the accessibility, fire and life safety upgrades, new lighting, flooring and partitions, and functional features. multipurpose spaces including a new art gallery, meeting rooms and storage spaces.
The Arts and Culture Center promotes inclusive, accessible and affordable community connectivity for all ages and social groups. The project also promotes economic development by ensuring artists have access to a modern space to advance business opportunities through the Artists in Residence program, showcase and sell their artwork in the art gallery and the gift shop, and coordinate and conduct programs and events.
“Summerland’s Cultural Plan, which was completed in 2016, showcases the community’s cultural values and assets to shape Summerland’s identity and develop economic prosperity and social cohesion,” said the Mayor of Summerland. , Toni Boot. “The Council is proud of the work that has been done, which has also been formally recognized by the Southern Interior Local Government Association for excellence in social responsibility.”
The renovations cost just under $600.00. The money came from the contribution of the municipality’s Capital Reserve Fund, the BC Gaming Grant from the Summerland Community Arts Council and the Rick Hansen Foundation.
The Summerland Cultural Plan includes a recommendation to name a street or public space after George Ryga, a nationally acclaimed playwright who wrote most of his major works in his Summerland home, including The Ecstasy of Rita Joe. Council took the unanimous decision to name the renovated building George Ryga Center for the Arts and Culture.
The building used for the cultural center was constructed in 1981 as the Summerland branch of the Okanagan Regional Library. In 2016 the library moved to a newly built facility on Main Street and the community arts center moved to the building on Wharton Street.
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