The artisan centre is a gift & good fortune

Editor: I was most pleased to visit the Burns Lake Artisan Centre again this year as I had done one year ago on my first trip to Burns Lake.

Editor:

I was most pleased to visit the Burns Lake Artisan Centre again this year as I had done one year ago on my first trip to Burns Lake.  The number of quality artists that your community has to offer is quite impressive.  As a seasoned traveller, I often seek out such artisan centers as I know this is where I can find the products and crafts of local artists who often cannot afford the overhead to display and sell their work.

Upon my visit this time, I was shocked and extremely concerned to hear that there is apparently a threat to have the Lakes Artisan Centre closed down for political reasons.

Promoting local arts is, as it should be, an essential objective of any local community.  Culture is the very crux of what distinguishes one community from the next.  Tourists come to visit culture which is made up of scenery, music, beliefs, customs and art which captures all of this.  The primary reason for travel amongst tourists is to visit the unique aspects of a place, visiting art galleries, historic sites and museums and seeing live theatre.

The mere thought that someone might be considering closing down a self sufficient display of local arts is quite frankly astonishing and in my opinion, would be a grave mistake.  Moreover, allowing such a treasure to close down would be tantamount to sending the most negative message to your locals artists as well as crushing the culture of your community.

It is a well known fact that artists of all genres make approximately $23,000 per year.  It is unrealistic to expect an artist to open up shop and display their unique craft. Nor is it realistic to expect local artists to start running a business with all the time and money that is required to do so.  You would no longer have local artists dedicating their time to their craft, you would have struggling business people who no longer have time to make art.

At the Lakes District Artisan Centre, you have the gift and good fortune of having these artists come together as a cooperative to offer a museum like experience to tourists and to the citizens of Burns Lake all the while affording themselves an outlet to offer their works of art.

It is my hope that upon my visit next year, I can come to the Lakes Artisan Centre for another incredible experience.

Rachelle Laforge,

Artists Legal Services Ottawa