The old Fort St. James court house is currently being renovated and the Community Arts Council is excited about what opportunities lie ahead.
The court house, located across from David Hoy Elementary School, is now known as Pope Mountain Arts.
Mary Willick, president of the Arts Council, is thrilled about the prospects for the new facility. “We have all kinds of ideas. We are just finishing our business plan and we will then see how many user groups there will be,” Willick said.
Mary Willick hopes that the facility will house a drop in Coffee house. The upstairs has potential for a fibre arts area and a quilting group space. The facility might even be able to host an artist in residence down the road.
“There’s a lovely backyard barbecue area and the basement could offer an excellent pottery space,” Willick said. “We will also partner with Music on the Mountain for home performances,” she said.
In order that the facility runs in a self-sustaining manner, a survey was sent out to residences asking for input on ways in which the arts and cultural needs within the community can be met as well as for cost/revenue sharing ideas for both space usage and future programs.
The Arts Council, consisting of about 46 members, is run completely by volunteers. “We want to be self-sustaining but it’s a lot for a few volunteers,” Willick said.
The Arts Council has received funding for the project including $4000 from City Council.
The Arts Council has also received various donations including furniture and carpeting.
“It’s amazing. We all stick together, we’re a small town,” Willick said.
If you would like to volunteer, contact the Fort St. James Community Arts Council and get you paint brushes ready for an upcoming painting spree.