In his letter to the editor from August 29, 2012 Wayne Brown publishes a statement that contains untruths that are hurting two innocent organizations: the Lakes Artisan Cooperative and the Lakes District Arts Council. Quote of Wayne Brown’s Statement:
“I wrote a letter of support for an artisan centre when the co-op was applying for grants (more taxpayer dollars) in order to start up such a centre but not at the expense of my business …”
1. The Lakes Artisan Cooperative never applied for a grant –let alone grants. None of our members ever received a penny of grant money. Wayne Brown’s letter of support supported a successful application made by the Lakes District Arts Council a year before the Lakes Artisan Cooperative was established. Here are the details:
On October 7, 2009 the Nechako-Kitimaat Development Fund Society (NKDF) granted $2,500 to the Lakes District Arts Council (LDAC) for an Artisan Feasibility Study.
Copied from NKDF’s list of approved projects:
“Lakes District Arts Council (LDAC) was approved for funding assistance to hire a consultant to determine the possibility for creating an Artisan Centre in Burns Lake. If it goes ahead, the Centre will be a place for visual artists to collectively pool their knowledge and resources while accessing retail markets. A space where local quilters, painters, print-makers, scrap-bookers, photographers, potters, sculptors, woodworkers, and textile artists can showcase their products for the purpose of cultural tourism, education and revenue. LDAC plans to hire a consultant for a period of 12 weeks to carry out the research to determine the feasibility of the Artisan Centre.”
Wayne Brown was, at the time when the grant was received, a director on the board of LDAC. Laura McGregor was the “hired consultant” and received the money. She was never a member of the Lakes Artisan Cooperative. She moved to Terrace four months before we opened the Artisan Centre in June 2010. The Lakes Artisan Cooperative was registered on Oct. 15 2010, a full year after the Arts Council had received the grant.
2. The source of funds distributed by NKDF are: 50 per cent Rio Tinto Alcan, 50 per cent Province of British Columbia. Not (or at least only 50 per cent) taxpayers dollars!
Beate Marquardt, founding member of the Lakes Artisan Cooperative