Keyano Hosts First Open House for the Arts Centre Project
Local residents were given the opportunity to learn more about Keyano College’s upcoming Arts Centre project during an open house on January 30. The first of many engagement sessions for the future facility, the event gave attendees a chance to ask questions, and learn about Keyano’s perspective on the project’s importance.
“People asked very poignant questions, and the general vibe was they were interested in listening to answers. It’s been a positive event,” noted Heather Pert, Director, Marketing & Communications, Keyano College.
“This is a big part of inclusion. This town is big in sport and recreation, which is good for people who like it. But, for those kids who want to be in the arts, theatre, writers, and poets, more opportunities are needed. The biggest piece of this project is that Keyano is bringing arts programming back.”
Keyano’s Visual & Performing Arts diploma programs in various disciplines were offered until 2012 – only a one-year certificate program in Art & Design remains.
When the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Council approved $16.8 million for the Art Gallery last November, it came with conditions like “reaching a legal agreement, investigating additional funding sources and conducting rigorous public engagement.”
Trent Keough, President, Keyano College, was pleased with the turnout.
“We are already hearing feedback on if there should be additional architectural renderings, and maybe let the community pick the design. We are hearing about adding multicultural components, and even commissioning local artists for the grand opening, which is a great idea. People are surprised to learn that this is about more than just an Art Gallery. It’s about refurbishing our theatre, creating maker spaces for artists, managed by Art Council Wood Buffalo, not us, because they understand the business.”
Keough added the Arts Centre would be “managed by the community, and a Board of Directors…that group in collaboration with experts will determine which shows and exhibitions come to the theatre. It will truly be committed to the community.”
The consultation process is expected to last a year with quarterly updates provided to Council during public meetings. No construction date for the new facility is set yet.
A survey and additional information about the project can be found here: https://www.keyano.ca/en/theatre/arts-centre-project.aspx