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Hope and District Arts Council applies for grant to renovate part of Hope Arts Gallery

Federal funding has been applied for through the New Horizons for Seniors Program
The Hope Arts Gallery hopes to get a renovated kitchen and bathroom through a grant that they have applied for. (District of Hope photo)

The Hope and District Arts Council is applying for grant money to get a long overdue renovation done.

Funding would come from New Horizons for Seniors Program, a federal program that, according to its website, “provides money for projects that make a difference in the lives of seniors and in their communities.”

In this case, the council is seeking just south of $25,000 which would be used to rejuvenate the kitchen and washrooms at the Hope Arts Gallery at 349 Fort St.

“For lack of a better word, I’d call the current kitchen ugly,” said Hope and District Arts Council president Janet Wort with a chuckle. “It’s sort of a mishmash of little cupboards people have donated, probably because they were renovating something. There’s a very old sink and very ancient flooring. We do have a microwave, so we’re modern enough for that.”

What Wort most wants to see in the kitchen is a new sink with a higher counter along with new flooring.

“With the bathroom, the main change would be the toilet and sink,” she said. “The toilet is an old-style one that’s very low, and we want some grab bars in there. We’ll be installing a new countertop, sink and flooring.

“When it’s finished, it’ll be lovely. Right now, I keep the door to the kitchen closed because I don’t want our visitors to see what an ugly room it is.”

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Twice previously the Hope and District Arts Council received funding through the New Horizons for Seniors Program.

One time it paid for new potters’ wheels and shelving in the Art Machine building next to the Hope Art Gallery building. The second time it provided for new lighting in the gallery.

“The whole grant this time, including taxes, comes to $24,400,” Wort noted. “I’m hoping we’ll get approved for the full amount, or maybe we’ll get approved for part of it.”

The District of Hope signed on to the effort. At the last council meeting, a letter of support was issued to include with the grant application. If the funding is approved, Wort will be very happy. If it’s not, she said the renovation won’t go ahead because they can’t afford it.

Like many groups, their fundraising has taken a huge hit from not being able to hold social gatherings during COVID.Most of the money they have comes from commissions paid by artists who sell in the gallery, and that won’t pay for a reno.

Wort said they’ll find out around April if the grant is approved and she’s got her fingers crossed.


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Eric Welsh

About the Author: Eric Welsh

I joined the Chilliwack Progress in 2007, originally hired as a sports reporter.
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