The quest for a new library in Summerland has left the Summerland Community Arts Council in a state of limbo.
In order to allow for the construction of the new library at the corner of Main Street and Kelly Avenue, a municipal building which had housed the Summerland Arts Centre and Gallery for the past 16 years will be demolished.
The municipality has provided the Arts Council with a vacant retail building across the street, but the long-term future of the centre is not known.
The municipality does not own this building, but instead is covering the cost of the rent for the Arts Council.
As councils change, each new council must decide whether to continue this arrangement.
This adds a level of uncertainty for the Arts Council, and it represents a change from the previous arrangement.
In the past, the municipality had provided the Arts Council with a rent-free facility. This arrangement has worked because the municipality owned the building.
One suggestion for the future home of the arts centre has been the existing library branch on Wharton Street. Since this building is owned by the municipality, it could easily be provided to the arts council at no cost.
The biggest drawback to this site is the future of this location. Twice in the past decade, developers have expressed considerable interest in a large-scale project for this site. Such a project, when it occurs, would once again displace the Arts Centre.
Over the past 16 years, the arts centre and gallery has become a busy place.
There are plenty of programs for children and adults. The exhibits have become more and more sophisticated.
If the community values the arts, then it is important to provide a permanent facility. The uncertainty does not help to create or maintain a vibrant arts scene in Summerland