Shatford continues to build on momentum

Community invited to witness the improvements taking shape at Shatford Centre

The Shatford Centre Founding Contributor Program winds up on March 31. It was extended from Dec. 31, 2011 to include as many individuals, organizations and businesses in our community as possible. There is still time and everyone is invited to participate through cash donations, in-kind donations and volunteer hours and we hope you do.

Individuals who come to the Shatford Centre appreciate that it has been saved and is now being used for community events and as an entrepreneurial creativity centre operated by the Okanagan School of the Arts. All levels of government and several funding bodies invested in Phase I of the Shatford Centre to bring the building up to code and to allow it to open for the public. Necessary upgrades such as a new elevator, washrooms, south fire escape, front doors and entry were first on the agenda.

The Shatford is now in Phase II, which is enhancing and upgrading the facilities. Phase II’s improvements are being done with enthusiasm, ‘elbow grease’ and as economically as possible, salvaging whatever materials and supplies we can find or have donated. Others require funding. We would like to keep the momentum going and accomplish as much as we can as quickly as we can to enable this community facility to flourish today and for future generations.

Although the Shatford story is quite old in our city’s history, we are at the beginning of its new role. Creative and community events have been ongoing at the Shatford since Spirit Festival in 2011, which was a week-long creative convergence and extravaganza. Since then, there have been events such as Ann Mortifee and Paul Horn’s Concert/Workshop, Broadway Bound Dance Convention, Arts B.C. Sustainability Seminar, the Shatford’s first film (sold out) Forks Over Knives sponsored by Okanagan Health Forum and so much more. Coming events include March 31, everyone is invited to come to Earth Hour from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Shatford to enjoy the dark ambience in a community setting. Also, this spring the Shatford Centre is headquarters for Pen High’s 100th celebrations. It is ideal that this building is available for committees and volunteers to plan and prepare for this historic occasion. Along with the new Pen High building, the Shatford will serve as a gathering place through May 18 to 20, to welcome returning alumni, teachers and staff. (For additional info, go to www.penhigh100.com.)

OSA’s year round programming continues to be developed. We also have a call out to visual artists, potters and print makers to explore affordable collectives at the Shatford that are developing. With this in mind, there is excitement in the air to have the Shatford be a creative and engaging destination for visitors and residents by this summer. To learn more, go to www.shatfordcentre.com, browse through the stories and articles and then subscribe to the weekly newsletter.

If you haven’t been to the Shatford Centre yet, please drop in to 760 Main St. and have a tour. You will find it to be a work in progress and yet you will be able to see what has been accomplished to date and its potential. If nothing else, come to see Pen High’s original auditorium, which has been lovingly restored, seats 300 people and continues to be enhanced.

Russ Stasiuk, OSA director and media arts teacher extraordinaire, has produced a delightful video to share the Shatford story and explain the Colours of the Shatford Founding Contributor Program. To watch this video go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcOjZRT2OZw. As Russ says in closing, “Let the true colours of our community be expressed for all to see.”

Jane Shaak

 

Shatford Centre