Letter to the editor: Save the Shatford Centre

“It is a shame to see the doors of Penticton’s major cultural centre being closed.”

To the editor:

During this whole COVID period, culture and arts have been our collective saviour. Whether you are reading, binge watching a Netflix series, painting rocks, doing a virtual museum tour, listening to your CD collection, watching the live streaming of plays or operas, or just hanging out in YouTube and enjoying the originality of musicians, singers, comedians, and performers expressing their artistry using Zoom, window ledges, and balconies, chances are you would have been in a major funk without some form of the arts to help you through the last few months.

Therefore, as we come out of our isolation fog, it is a shame to see the doors of Penticton’s major cultural centre being closed. School District 67 is about to kick out the Okanagan Summer School of the Arts from the Shatford Centre, the only place in the city where all cultural and community groups were able to congregate whether for meetings, rehearsals, displays, lectures, classes, performances, or fundraising activities.

READ MORE: Okanagan School of the Arts evicted from Penticton’s Shatford Centre

It is evident that many organizations, including SD67, are suffering financially from the COVID shutdown, but there must be a better solution than shutting the doors completely and leaving this heritage building to gather dust while creating a cultural void in the city.

Ideally, there would be a benefactor in our midst who could come in and save it. Barring that, maybe it’s time for some of the organizations and major arts groups in the area to come together. Imagine what a cultural centrepiece the Shatford could be if the Okanagan Summer School of the Arts (OSA), Penticton & District Community Arts Council (PDCAC), the South Okanagan Creative & Performing Arts Centre (SOPAC), the Penmar Community Arts Society, along with the City and Regional District (RDOS), joined financial and philosophical forces.

I hope SD67 comes to its senses and finds a reasonable solution that would allow the OSA to stay and operate the Shatford Centre as a cultural hub. After all, there will soon come a time when we will leave our homes and will want a space to enjoy the arts again as a community.

Leslie Manion, Penticton

Write to us by emailing editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Letter to the Editor

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Column: One parenting book certainly doesn’t fit all

Like the fingerprints they are born with – each child is different.… Continue reading

Influx of tourists helping to nurse Penticton’s economy back to health

The city has seen visitors multiply tenfold in recent weeks

Two vehicle crash on Highway 97 in Penticton

The crash happened before 3:30 p.m. in front of the Lakeside Inn and Suites

Pooch abandoned at Penticton doggy daycare suffered from oral disease

A fundraiser for Okie held by the BC SPCA surpassed its goal of $1,700

Keremeos Volunteer Fire Department receives $25k grant

Money used on a truck with low volume, high pressure water pump to fight wildfires

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Summerland Blossom Youth Ambassador Program to hold coronation

Event will be held by video as a result of COVID-19 precautions

Vernon shutterbugs capture rainbow

A rain event July 9 made way for a glorious sight

Most Read