A work by Pitt Meadows painter Jeanette Sambrook of the group United-at-Ten Artists in Pitt Meadows.

A work by Pitt Meadows painter Jeanette Sambrook of the group United-at-Ten Artists in Pitt Meadows.

Pitt Meadows establishing art gallery

Council approves renovating former tourist office

Pitt Meadows will be getting its first city-owned art gallery.

City council approved a $28,000 renovation of the former tourism office/visitor centre at 12572 Harris Rd., and a $10,000 remediation to remove asbestos.

The Tuesday night meeting started with resident Lynda Sangster, an emerging artist and president of the Garibaldi Art Club, urging council to approve the facility. She said it would be a great showcase for local artists, and added she would volunteer there.

A report from Susann Sigmund, the city arts, culture and heritage coordinator noted the city has initiated a cultural strategic plan.

“Early in this process and as part of community and stakeholder engagement, an art gallery within the city was identified as an overwhelming vision and goal for the community,” said the report, noting it provides a place where local artists can connect with the community.”

It said the building is central, walkable and highly visible. Gallery volunteers will staff the gallery, work with the public, and assist at events like exhibition openings and artists talks.

“Members of the community will be given the opportunity to showcase their work, including artists, artist groups, youth, seniors and Katzie First Nation through a series of rotating exhibitions,” said the report.

Coun. Janis Elkerton said that the expenses were relatively small, and it was a good use of the vacant building

“It’s very little budget to put in, for artists in our community,” she said. “And I know artists will support it big time.”

That was the opinion of local artist Jeanette Sambrook of the group United-at-Ten Artists, who said local artists now look outside the community for opportunities to display their work.

“We’ll be very pleased. This is small, but will hopefully have everything we need,” she said.

The cost of asbestos removal in the building’s flooring has been estimated at between $5,000 and $10,000.

The estimated monthly operating budget would be $1,200, including promotions and advertising.

Additional renovations would be electrical, and conversion of the space to its new use.