Lakes Artisan Cooperative at home

Long term stability will increase profile of local artists.

A Burns Lake resident takes in the arts available from the Lakes Artisan Centre. The co-op was awarded a three year lease.

The Burns Lake Interpretive Centre Building will remain the home of the Lakes Artisan Cooperative (LAC).  The Village of Burns Lake has committed to a three year rental agreement starting Jan. 1, 2013.  The local co-op currently occupies the building but their lease was set to expire at the end of this year.

Some controversy was associated with the co-op’s rental of the facility.  A number of letters directed to Village of Burns Lake council expressed concern that the artisan’s use of the facility was in effect a subsidization of a private business by the Village of Burns Lake because the rent did not cover the cost of the building.

This situation could have been interpreted as a conflict with the municipal statutes that govern the village’s dealings with local business.   On the advice of legal council the village determined that a public tender of the facility would both determine the fair market value of the lease as well as protect the village from allegations of a subsidizing a local private business.

On Nov. 2, 2012 the Village of Burns Lake issued a call for an ‘expression of interest’ from local businesses or individuals that might be interested in leasing the building from the village.

According to an Oct. 1 Village of Burns Lake council report there are $9585.88 per year in costs associated with the building.

Only one group expressed formal interest in renting the building, and that was the current renters.  The LAC proposed a five year renter’s agreement but village council agreed to three years.  They will rent the building for $500 per month for three years including utilities, taxes, exterior maintenance and snow removal.

The LAC’s stated purpose in renting the facility is to “provide a wide representation of all artistic aspects of the Lakes District” and they are actively encouraging First Nation artisans to join the co-op.

“It’s always been our focus to encourage First Nations artists,” said co-op member Candice Little.  “First Nations art is in high demand, and now that we have three years of stability we can develop those relationships.”

The space will continue to house an art gallery showcasing local artists and artisans and it also serves as a retail store and a space for work or social exchange like author readings or small cultural gatherings.

“We only showcase local art here,” said Little.  “We’ve had lots of offers to sell work on commission from other communities like Smithers, but we only sell local artists.”

The building was originally built using funds from the Softwood Industry Community Economic Adjustment Initiative fund through Western Diversification of Community futures Development Corporation Nadina under the stipulation that the building be used as a “first-class tourism information and interpretive centre that is vital to creating new businesses, investment and employment in the tourism sector.”

The LAC is confident that they meet the intent of the original funding not only by supporting local established and emerging artists but in directing visitors to other local shops and eateries.

“We’ve had buses stop in here after visitor centre hours,” Little explained, “and we’ve opened our doors to provide coffee and information about the area.”


Just Posted

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

Northwest Fire Centre open burn ban lifted

Recent rain, cooler temperatures have lowered the region’s fire risk

Telkwa pot plant application passes review

Cannabis company claims new Health Canada regulations are working in its favour

Cullen demands action on Ecstall River

Failing to penalize parties involved undermines all salmon conservation efforts, MP says

Governments, industry bid on optimism amid timber review

The possibility of reduced forestry activity in the near future is sinking… Continue reading

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

B.C. residential school survivor’s indomitable human spirit centre of school play

Terrace theatre company plans to revive Nisga’a leader Larry Guno’s Bunk #7 next year

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Most Read