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Town of Yarmouth approves proposal for design of the governance model of a proposed arts and culture centre

Participants in the second of three concept design and feasibility public study sessions for Yarmouth's proposed arts and culture centre shared their design opinions for the new complex on Feb. 21.
Participants in the second of three concept design and feasibility public study sessions for Yarmouth's proposed arts and culture centre shared their design opinions for the new complex on Feb. 21.

YARMOUTH, N.S. – The Town of Yarmouth has accepted a proposal for the design of a governance model for its proposed arts and culture centre.

At its March monthly meeting, town council approved a motion to accept the proposal from the firm McInnes Cooper of Halifax for a governance framework. The cost of the work is $23,700 plus HST.

The town is looking to build an arts centre on the site of the Collins Street parking lot.

In recent months it has approved a proposal submitted by MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects for a new arts and culture centre concept design and feasibility study phase. The Mackay-Lyons bid was $136,000 plus HST.

There have also been two concept design and feasibility study public sessions in the past couple of months and a third session is planned for March 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Rodd Grand Hotel.

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FIRST OPEN SESSION HELD JAN. 31

SECOND PLANNING SESSION FOR YARMOUTH'S ARTS AND CULTURE CENTRE HELD FEB. 21

The town has said it would be looking at municipal, provincial and federal funding, as well as sponsorship, to build the facility. There has been no official costing of an arts centre, but in the town’s capital budget and a list of future projects, a $3.3-million price tag was thrown out.

At its March 8 meeting the town also approved a motion to amend the definition of a community arts centre in its land use bylaw. The new definition reads: “Arts and Community Centre means any tract of land or building or any part of any building used for art or community related activities such as but not limited to classes, performances, and or functions whether used for commercial purposes or not.”

A report that came to the town said: “Traditionally these spaces have been non-profit in nature and owned by government agencies, however times are changing and there are now private entities that are interested in operating these centres for profit.”

It was recommended the land use bylaw be amended to encourage the establishment of community and art centres in the town of Yarmouth and support private business as well as non-profit, the report read.

The issue of governance of a new arts and centre facility in the downtown has been an issue for Th'YARC, which had intially proposed building a new arts centre on Parade Street at the site of its current facility. In December the president of Th'YARC said the former Arcadia school had been purchased to be used as a site for a new theatre and arts centre. 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT ON THE TOWN'S GETINVOLVEDYARMOUTH WEBSITE. CLICK HERE

Costs/work to date

• MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects Limited hired by town to work on following:

First phase, $25,000 - involved assessing three downtown locations.

Second phase, $40,000 - refining vision for the project and analyzing input from stakeholder meetings.

December 2017, $136,000 - complete design and feasibility study phase.

• McInnes Cooper proposal for design of a governance model approved by the town at March 8 meeting. Cost is $23,700 plus HST.

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