The Arts Council For The Shuswap: Facilitating Amazing Collaborations for Clients

Did you know that Community Futures Shuswap is even more diverse than advice and loans for small and medium sized businesses? We also partner with community organizations, non-profit groups, and strategic partners throughout the Shuswap region to facilitate strong collaborations to strengthen the community as a whole. This story is a great example of how a strategic collaboration created a win-win-win for a non-profit, a society, and our community. The Arts Council for the South Shuswap is a non-profit organization offering arts and cultural programming to residents and tourists of the South Shuswap region. It is governed by a Board of Directors passionate about arts, culture and giving back to their community. The Arts Council oversees four main events and/or initiatives including: FACES which offers year-long lessons in visual art, dance and music for children and adults; MUSIC IN THE BAY, a series of eight complimentary waterfront concerts in the summer; SOUTH SHUSWAP CHILDREN'S THEATRE FOUNDATION, teaching children all aspects of theatre on the stage and behind the scenes culminating in a full-scale production each year; and SHUSWAP LAKE FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS, an annual festival showcasing visual arts to the public held in July. Due to funds received through various foundations and levels of government, the Arts Council is able to provide quality instruction and events at a very minimal price point. But when the time was right, an idea was born that would benefit multiple organizations. Karen Brown, Administrator for the Arts Council, commented on the result of the collaboration with Community Futures Shuswap saying, "There is no question that we could not offer our arts and cultural programming to the community without the involvement and support of Community Futures”. Last fall the Arts Council collaborated with the Carlin Hall Society to move into the lower space of Carlin Hall. This required a complete renovation of over 1900 square feet to turn the lower level into a full art workshop, two sound-proofed music rooms and a bright, fully mirrored dance studio, complete with sprung dance floor. The foyer area also doubles as a gallery and can serve as a community meeting space as well. Coming to the new space resulted in the monthly rent dropping to a fraction of what it had been for the Arts Council, resulting in an influx of monies to the Carlin Hall, making both non-profit organizations highly sustainable due to the sharing of the space. Construction began and within four months, with the entire renovation costing just over $50,000 was complete. Local government, through a Community Works Fund, helped offset costs to replace lighting to LED and toilets/sinks to low-flow and the remainder was secured through a loan with Community Futures. Rhys Laug, President of The Arts Council for the South Shuswap, said, “For the Arts Council for the South Shuswap, Community Futures was instrumental in assisting with financing to complete the renovations to the lower level of Carlin Hall in 2015 to create a new home for ACSS where we have been able to collaborate with the Carlin Hall organization to provide a centre for arts and culture in our community.” If you have an idea for a collaboration in our community, we’d love to hear from you. Together we can create more wins for the communities of the Shuswap.

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