Arts in Merritt on the Move
New Location for the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council
The Arts Will Grow
After 15 years at the Old Courthouse Gallery on Nicola Ave (Hwy8), the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council and the Old Court House Gallery have the arts on the move in Merritt, BC. In 2005 the Old Courthouse was purchased by a local doctor with the idea of turning it into a cultural space, which would provide a home to the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council, a music society and a dance studio. However the Council has decided it is time to move on.
The Old Court House Gallery
The Old Court House was a major step forward for the Arts Council because for many years they had no permanent home. At this time, their major project was the Performing Arts Series which brought many great musical concerts to town. The visual arts were handled by the Nicola Valley Visual Artists where Community art displays were generally relegated to their annual Art Show which was held at the Merritt Civic Centre. It was therefore, not necessary to have a permanent home Fortunately the Courthouse allowed the Community Arts Council to have a bigger presence in the community. For example, the current Arts Gallery Director, Jano Howarth gives a summary of the many activities carried out at this venue.
Arts in Merritt BC on the Move
The Courthouse building was sold and so that made the future use of the building uncertain. Consequently the Arts Council determined that the time was right to investigate a new location. Ultimately they were looking for a space that had high visibility, in the downtown core and large enough to provide gallery space, program space and an artisan shop. As a result their search led them to the Jackson Building (for the old timers, the Post building for us newbies) at the corner of Voght and Nicola.
The New Home Fits the Bill for Arts in Merritt
Location was one of the primary considerations in the move. As such this makes the building on the corner of the main
entrance to downtown at the corner of Voght and Nicola, the perfect location.
Gallery Space, Program Space and an Artisan Shop
The New Gallery
The new gallery is bright and airy and therefore is a great space for showing off the Artists’ work.
Space for programs was important as this is an area that the Council wants to expand on. Currently the picture shows the size of the room that will be used for programs but does not reflect the current condition of the space as this was taken before the move was complete. However, you can see that there is ample space.
The Artisan Shop has benefited from the new location. While in the Old Courthouse it was tucked away in a back room and was out of site, in the new space it is front and centre and therefore, has more space to display the contributions of over 20 Nicola Valley artisans and crafters.
Therefore the new location looks like it will be a great success for the community at large and in particular our local network of artists.
Arts on the Move – The First Show
Consequently, the opening show in the new space features Jean Kiegerl and Twin Willows Glass Arts.
Meet Jean Kiegerl
Because of her leadership and with a strong group of volunteers the Arts Council has flourished. Currently, her legacy is being carried on by the new Arts Council president, Mischelle Pierce.
Jean is also a family friend, as my wife and her spend many hours together painting and collaborating. As a result, I like her work so much I have one of her originals hanging in my hall.
Jean has produced work in water colours, acrylics and now oils which she prefers.
“I love the vibrant colours you can get with oil paints”—Jean Kiegerl
Clearly this can be seen in her painting of the red sports car that is on the poster for the show.
Glen and Susan Parkinson are the creative minds behind Twin Willows Glass Arts. They have been producing great work out of their studio for more than eight years. Incidentally they work in a variety of styles which includes, leaded stained glass, fractured glass on glass mosaics and fused glass.
Arts on the Move in Merritt, BC will be a Success!
Lastly, with this new location, a heightened enthusiasm by the volunteers and with a high visibility location the future looks bright.
Old Courthouse Gallery Contact Info
Nicola Valley Arts Gallery
2051 Voght St, Merritt, BC
New Hours Wednesday to Saturday
12 noon to 6 pm
(beginning Oct 21st)
Or text 250-315-3437
Arts in Merritt BC
Nicola Valley Art Gallery is Born
Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel & Adventure Guides
“Experience Community Program” (small and rural community authentic content marketing program) is a product of the EH? Tourism Marketing Group. Contact us for more information on this program at media(at)ehcanadatravel(dot)com.