The fate of the Okanagan School of the Arts, based in the Shatford Centre, is in the hands of its members, who will gather for a special meeting on March 24. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Plea for Penticton arts supporters to show for important meeting

Okanagan School of the Arts president is appealing to their membership to attend a March 21 meeting

The Okanagan School of the Arts president is appealing to their membership to attend a March 21 meeting that will decide the fate of the organization that has existed since the 1960s.

Robin Robertson said while members are committed to the future and success of the OSA, they’re also conscious of their financial responsibilities.

“If the members decide to dissolve the society, we will do everything we can as a board to make this transition as smooth as possible for everyone involved,” said Robertson in a news release.

“Our hope is that we receive support from our members and our community so that we can continue the mandate of the OSA.”

Related: Okanagan School of the Arts may cease operations

A notice to the membership went out on March 5, advising of a special meeting to deal with motions related to the OSA not having enough working capital.

That news came out of a Feb. 21 regular meeting where the budget and financial details of the OSA from the past several months were reviewed.

Robertson said short-term and potentially long-term cash flow situations were reviewed.

“After discussion at the meeting we determined that we should receive feedback from the membership before using our line of credit. If the membership is not willing to use the line of credit, the likeliest outcome will be the need to dissolve the society,” he said.

Robertson said there are multiple options and possible outcomes to be discussed at the meeting.

The Shatford building is leased from the school district, on a $1 lease, and staff are hired by the OSA, a non-profit society.

Started in 1961, the OSA moved into the Shatford Centre in 2011. Robertson said the building is in need of significant, and costly, renovations.

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