September 2017 First Edition Letter about New Arts Centre Fundraiser

New Arts Centre


Hornby Island’s New Arts Building a Reality – We Just Have to Build it!


Dear Art Lovers and Friends,


Likely you are aware that Hornby Island Arts Council (HIAC) wants to build a new arts centre to improve the visibility and promotion of Hornby’s artists. You also probably know that HIAC’s current working space is a tired old 1967, 12’ X 52’ mobile home. Many of our artists don’t use the space because it does not accommodate the size of their work, their medium requires an entirely different setting (i.e., the performing arts), or they feel the building fails to meet their professional standards.


Our Hornby artists have individually adapted to the absence of an appropriate central and collective arts facility by:


  • Displaying their work in the Co-op;
  • Participating in the Studio Guide brochure;
  • Building their own galleries;
  • Renting our multi-use Community Hall; or
  • Hauling their work to and from the Farmer’s market.


While these marketing approaches are adequate, we know that our members and the public would like better opportunities to exhibit and view art produced on our island.


As an Arts Council, we are committed to all the arts. In addition to Hornby’s weighty history in visual arts, sculpture and ceramics, in recent years, we have seen incredible change in our digital arts, film, sound, and photography, in our theatre, poetry, and fiction, and in our musicianship and dance. We believe the time has come to showcase all our local artists and renew the reputation of the arts on Hornby with an arts centre that fulfills this need.


Proposed Programming


With a new arts centre, HIAC feels our artists will have a central and collective home from which to collaborate and improve as groups and individuals. As examples, we can see opportunities for this new space to:


  • Exhibit large works and large bodies of work in a worthy well-lit setting;
  • House workshops, demonstrations, lectures, and courses by/for local and visiting artists, especially during the shoulder seasons; and
  • Provide a central space in which our performing arts societies can support each other.


Fast Approaching Deadline


HIAC is under a deadline to begin construction of a new building on the proposed land before 2020 or we risk forfeiting our lease. Recently, HIAC received news that a grant submission to the Island Coast Economic Trust has advanced to the second tier. Our community has until December 31 to raise as much funding as possible in order to receive matching funding from the Province.


HICEEC also recognizes the benefit of having a new arts centre on Central Road and would like to include a visitor centre desk in the building.


The new arts centre will generate revenue by establishing a gift shop; fill the missing gap in on-island arts-supplies; promote rentals of Hornby Island art work; rent out the space for private functions; and provide – we hope – a space that is also inclusive of First Nations peoples and culture.


HIAC’s Immediate Fundraiser


HIAC’s fundraising committee is appealing to the many Vancouverites who frequent Hornby to hold a live auction in Vancouver. Our idea is to hold the auction on October 29 (location to be determined), ask Robert Heffel to act as the auctioneer, and feature many Hornby Island artists and others. John McLachlan is willing to provide a short concert to kick off the evening. HIAC is asking that the entire community get behind this project, not just artists.


We believe we could generate a lot of revenue by auctioning off accommodation to non-residents. Perhaps you or your neighbours and friends might be willing to host or provide a place for a period of time either on the shoulder seasons, or perhaps even during the summer. This is a big ask, but consider the reward.


We would also appreciate help from those who offer services to the community to provide auctionable items, like a fishing trip, landscaping services, health and wellness services, photography package, etc. We welcome your creativity.


We have a genuine opportunity here to build something really special, to support the 40% of islanders directly involved in the arts who live on Hornby and make our culture thrive.


My name is Cheryl Milner and I am heading the off-island fundraiser for HIAC. I am also looking for some assistance to help me organize the event. As they say, many hands make small work. I look forward to speaking with you.


You can reach me directly at: Cheryl Milner Cell 604 805-1262 or email:

or Andrew Mark, PhD, HIAC Administrator, 250 335-2070 or email




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