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Ladysmith building new $4.1M Artist Studio

New studio is the first phase of the vision for a Ladysmith Arts and Heritage Hub
A concept drawing of the waterfront in Ladysmith with the Artist Studio. (Submitted)

There’s exciting arts news recently from Ladysmith.

The Town of Ladysmith is investing in the construction of a new $4.1 million Artist Studio, which will support the artistic and cultural works of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, with funding support from Island Coastal Economic Trust’s Capital and Innovation Program, said a press release from ICET, which is contributing $299,200.

It continues: the new studio is the first phase of the vision for a Ladysmith Arts and Heritage Hub. This Hub has been identified as a key piece in the implementation of the town’s larger $25 million Waterfront Area Plan. The plan has been a collaboration between Stz’uminus Elders and an Arts and Heritage Hub Steering Committee. The collective vision has been named One Heart + One Mind: Itst uw’hw-nuts’ ul-wum (we are working as one).

“This project is very important to me, as an individual, and as a member of the community in helping to build better awareness of who we are as Stz’uminus people,” says Elder George Harris Senior. “People can do arts and crafts and have these works interpreted to them. These activities will help explain more about our histories to non-Indigenous people and build a stronger sense of pride in our people. I am grateful for the involvement of other elders and to the Town of Ladysmith for initiating this project.”

“The Artist Studio directly supports Ladysmith’s vibrant arts, culture, and tourism sectors and will be a significant addition to the town’s cultural inventory,” says Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone. “It is our hope that this new studio articulates the hopes and aspirations for the future of the waterfront in a respectful manner and plays a key role in uplifting Stz’uminus culture and presence in our community.”

The building will be approximately 4,500 square feet, made up of a nearly 3,000 square foot interior and just over 1,500 square foot exterior working space, to house local artists including Stz’uminus First Nation carvers and other artists. There will be a large, shared community, multi-use and event space, along with several smaller studios designed to encourage visitor viewing opportunities and engagement with working artists.

Andrea Rondeau

About the Author: Andrea Rondeau

I returned to B.C. and found myself at the Cowichan Valley Citizen.
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