The Creative Space Initiative (CSI) has been a committee reporting to the Nanaimo Arts Council Board. Its primary mandate was to locate a space for a gallery/ performance space, artist studios, classrooms and maker space, preferably within the downtown core. Research to determine the needs of the creative community in Nanaimo and an investigation of available real estate in the downtown core was done. Three conclusions where made: (1) Nanaimo very much needs a gallery and performance space that promotes local talent and local production, studio space, and classroom space; (2) No one space in our downtown core is capable of satisfying all our needs, and (3) all available spaces require some renovation to address our needs.
Nothing can be done without money. Our first step is to campaign for enough money to permit the renovation of a space and establish an operation. Our priority will be to establish a gallery and performance space. We will be fundraising this year with that particular goal in mind. We need to raise about $50,000. This amount of money will allow us to build suitable walls, appropriate lighting and air conditioning. As well, we will be able to establish a curatorial staff and a revenue stream that will support the on-going operations of this gallery. We expect to have a space to move into by July 2018.
Following the establishment of the gallery, we will be working towards acquiring a space for artists studio. This space will be divided up and rented to artists on a monthly bases. This will give artists studio space that is flexible, and has easy access to equipment and facilities that can be shared with other artists. It also allows artists to form working relationships, align for specific projects, share ideas and insights and develop their own community. It would be managed the same as a shared office space along the lines of The Network Hub. Fundraising for this facility will begin early next year and should allow us to move into a space sometime in 2019.
Our next step would be to acquire classroom and maker-space. Classrooms would be rented on an hourly bases and provide a venue for workshops, demonstrations, life drawing and other small scale events. The maker-space would be a workshop with equipment that can be rented to complete a specific project. The maker-space might be associated with the studios, but it would be rented by the hour. The target for completion of this project would be 2020.
In the next few years we will be raising close to a million dollars. This is no small task, however, each step represents a considerable improvement to our city centre and the abilities of our creative sector to inspire and unite our community. We have a lot to do, but many hands make light work. Your involvement in these projects would represent a significant improvement to our city.