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Community works together to bring a new Visual Arts Centre to Moosomin

Moosomin, Sask. -

Within just a year of planning, a new spot in the Town of Moosomin has been dedicated to the arts – the Moosomin Visual Arts Centre (MVAC).

“We did not expect to have a building and be open in a year, that’s very fast,” said Krista Crellin, a photography business owner who helped get the idea for the centre started.

The centre recently opened its doors to the public on Feb. 1, offering various classes and free studio time to artists in the community.

“Right now we have painting classes going, drawing classes, and macramé, zentangle” said Crellin.

“We hope to have cooking classes available, pottery, digital arts, really the sky’s the limit. Any types of visual art, we will entertain a class for it.”

Shortly after a survey for local businesses was completed last year, the idea of having a visual arts centre in Moosomin came about.

“I reached out to every business in Moosomin asking them what are their favourite parts of Moosomin, what they believe Moosomin is lacking,” said Casey McCormac, Moosomin’s Economic Development Officer.

McCormac said Crellin reached out to her to discuss the lack of arts.

“From there, she met with my economic development committee and we formed a plan of what she was going to do."

Once Crellin touched base with the town and spoke with like-minded people in the community, a board was created for MVAC. However, organizers hit a bump with they could not find a building to host the centre.

Luckily, members from a local church stepped in and offered its space to the new group.

“Terry (Grant) and Krista started the process for the centre and I saw an article in The World-Spectator and I thought this would be a great space for it,” said St. Alban’s Anglican Church member Sheilagh Garrett.

“We were struggling financially so something needed to be done with the building and I though this would be the perfect solution.”

Prior to the arrangement, Garrett said the church’s space outside of the chapel was rarely being utilized.

“We will still have our regular Sunday service, this sacred space will remain so,” said Garrett pointing to the chapel.

“I think the main thing is the building is going to be utilized, it's not going to sit empty, it's not going to be sold and pulled down or turned into condos or whatever else, it's going to be utilized by the community.”

The Town of Moosomin is providing $50,000 a year for three years to the non-for-profit organization to help cover the cost of renting out the building.

One of the MVAC board members, Terry Grant, said he hopes the centre attracts local talent and upcoming artists of all ages.

“I hope this creates an environment where people can feel welcomed and encouraged to create, to explore new ideas,” he said.

“Whether it be a gallery where people go to see other peoples art, or give an opportunity for people to come out of their basement where they’ve been quilting or needling, whatever it is. There’s some amazingly talented people in our area and we hope this gives them a chance to come together and create that art community.”

McCormac added that the new visual arts centre will also help the community economically.

“I think it will bring in a lot of economic value because people will drive to Moosomin for this and it will also benefit the people of Moosomin to have a place to go learn arts and do arts,” she said.

“People currently leave Moosomin to go do the arts in Birtle or in Estevan, so now we can draw from those people and bring them to our town.”

Now that the centre is up and running, supplies and donations are needed.

"Any help at this point is welcome, basically, we're just getting started,” said MVAC board member Kara Kinna.

“We're a brand new group, this is a brand new endeavor for our community so the more we can have come in, in terms of donations of equipment or dollars, that will help us get going."

The centre’s list of supplies to run classes and programs are around $90,000. Kinna said they are looking for sponsors in the community, as well as monetary and art equipment donations. Top Stories

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