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New Arts Centre

Dear Friends and Artists,

I hope you are doing well and had a wonderful summer. My name is Cheryl Milner, a relatively new resident of Hornby. I am writing to you in a fundraising capacity for the development of a New Arts Centre for Hornby Island. We will be holding a rare auction of current and past Hornby Island artists as well as local services on Sunday October 29th at the Arbutus Club in Vancouver, (although I am still trying to find a suitable gallery).  I want to personally present you with this special opportunity to show your work broadly to a Vancouver audience. We intend to attract many Vancouver collectors who have built connections to the island over years and are eager to support this centre.

Why Vancouver and not Hornby Island?

Hornby’s history in the arts has enduring ties to Vancouver. We are going to Vancouver to build further relationships that will help ensure the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of the New Arts Centre into the future.

The entire community:

We recently sent out a flyer to all residents on Hornby to get behind this event and have already received some terrific services and some beautiful residences for short stays for auction.

Those who are donating services and those willing to share time in their homes will be assisted with presentation and photography, if required. We are ready to help all artists who need help transporting and documenting their work.

In order to give our auction some special publicity, all juried pieces will be auctioned by Robert Heffel of Heffel Galleries. A submission of up to 3 pieces by JPEG accompanied by a short 1 page CV and biography will be accepted by our three adjudicators by no later than October 1st.

Our adjudicators are well known to you. They are Scott Watson, Department Head of Art History, Visual Art and Theory and Director/Curator of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at UBC, Charo Neville, curator at the Kamloops Art Gallery, and Pablo de Ocampo, Curator at the Western Front (de Ocampo to be confirmed).

For participating artists there is an option to keep a percentage of the selling price and a tax receipt for the remainder.

Format for the Evening:

The evening will unfold in three parts. First, John McLaughlin has agreed to offer a shortened version of his sold-out multi-media performance that takes his audience to the Hornby of his youth.

Second, Professor Watson will speak to the role of that Downes Point artists have played in the development of the arts on Hornby and BC.

Finally, we will feature Robert Heffel who will conduct the live auction of the art for the evening. All other services and stays will be auctioned off through silent bidding.

Appetizers and wine will be served, an entrance fee will be set at between $150 and $250, and a $150 tax receipt will be offered to guests.

Why an Auction and Why Now?

To build the New Arts Centre, the Hornby Island Arts Council presently stands a very good chance to receive matching funds from the Island Coastal Economic Trust to assemble the funds necessary to proceed. The grant application has moved to the 2nd tier of review, which will take place early in January. Prior to that time we must raise as much money as possible, and to date, we have raised close to $200,000. We need to raise at least another $150,000.

Deadline drawing closer:

We must begin construction before 2020 or risk forfeiting the land to go back to the Province.

No one knows better than you that our current collective spaces for the arts do not fully serve the needs of artists on the island. While many have adapted to the lack of proper space by creating personal studios, it is important to see the building of a New Arts Centre as a both a living breathing space for production of new ideas and also as a legacy centre where local art history can be collected and preserved.

Imagine its’ uses:

  • a place for large works and large bodies of work to be displayed;
  • a place to house workshops, demonstrations, lectures, and courses by and for local and visiting artists, especially during the shoulder seasons;
  • a central space in which our performing arts societies can support each other.

We have already received art from Mr. Gordon Smith, prints from Mr. Robert Bateman, and we have just begun. We are really looking forward to your participation in helping build this important facility for Hornby Island into the future.

We look forward to speaking to you further about this project at your earliest convenience. Please contact Dr. Andrew Mark, Hornby Island Arts Council’s new administrator, for any assistance in participation. 250 335-2070 or

And this is really IMPORTANT, we need to reach a broad group of people to attend this event. If any of you have a special email list you are willing to use for this event, please let me know and I will send you the E-VITE to send to your list of friends and possible patrons. Many thanks.


Cheryl Milner

Fundraising Committee for New Arts Centre

Hornby Island Arts Council


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