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Arts hub planned for Townsite Market building

The co-founder of the PRISMA Festival has outlined plans for a future arts hub for Powell River.

Arthur Arnold says they need to make almost $800,000 in leasehold improvements to the upper floor of the Townsite Market building to make it happen.

PRISMA has signed a 10-year lease for the location at Walnut Street and Ash Avenue.

Arnold talked about the first time he saw the new space after having to leave the office space in the mall due to recent renovations.

“It was an ah-ha moment. I thought, wow, this could be a space where many arts organizations could benefit. Where many start in basements and this allows us to, among all of us, make it possible to share resources,” he said.

He says eight local arts organizations are already interested.

Arnold asked city councillors to approve a $94,446 Community Forest Project Grant in order to unlock a fundraising match.

The group has raised $450,000 and also has a grant application in the works for another $250,000.

“The project will assure cross-pollination between arts organizations and it will allow for equipment sharing. We believe that together as arts organizations we are stronger and we should not work in silos in this beautiful artsy town,” Arnold said.

The committee of council made no decisions on the grant ask Tuesday night but some councillors suggested other agencies Arnold could contact for other grants.

Once completed, the venue could accommodate 249 people for performances.

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