Eye on the prize
Thanks for coming back!
So, we’ve had our eye on a property in downtown Guelph for a few months now, and while we must continue to keep the location secret, we do want to share the journey with you!
Guelph Arts Council has been in negotiations for this space for the last couple of months and we have presented our letter of intent to lease to the landlord and come to a preliminary agreement, wherein a list of conditions must be met in order for us to proceed with a formal lease.
The space is simply awesome. It is a big, open industrial space with high ceilings and beautiful natural light - a perfectly inspiring place to create, learn and share. It is very much a blank canvas at the moment, and the project concept at this stage is to renovate the space into a highly flexible place that will be able to accommodate arts programming of all kinds, including: workshop and teaching space, gallery and performance space; and other shared resources for artists and arts administrators.
After much planning the Guelph Arts Council Property Committee presented this opportunity to our Board of Directors in the form of project plans and budgets. They were encouraged by the plans to date and gave us the go-ahead to proceed with the next important steps of determining whether the property itself would meet our specific conditions.
Some of these conditions include whether we could conduct the business that we want to conduct on the property under the current zoning, while other items relate to what would be required for the building to meet Ontario Building Code for our intended use of the space.
The City of Guelph has been very encouraging of this initiative and we are working with different departments to determine our best approach to securing the property for the purpose of creating a new shared arts space for the vibrant creative community here in Guelph. The property owner has also been really wonderful to work with throughout this process and we are grateful that he also values this project so highly.
Thank you to everyone for the strong support of this project to date. This really is a shared initiative that will take all of us coming together to bring it to life.
Otherwise, enjoy the sunshine and I’ll send out more updates soon.
Thanks for staying in touch!