Council is using some Restart funding to re-think how to best use the Cumberland Cultural Cente (next to the museum and archives in foreground). Record file photo

Council is using some Restart funding to re-think how to best use the Cumberland Cultural Cente (next to the museum and archives in foreground). Record file photo

Cumberland re-thinks Cultural Centre use for future

Council agrees to use some COVID-19 Restart funding to help with new site uses

Cumberland is looking for some ways to use its Cultural Centre.

The facility is located on Dunsmuir Avenue, next to the museum and archives. At a committee of the whole meeting in July, council agreed to direct some of its COVID-19 Restart funding for minor improvements.

One of the objectives noted in a staff report is to consider new program delivery at the facility. An issue prompting this has been the departure of a long-term tenant from the centre, the Cumberland Old Age Pensioners. This means the village has an opportunity to consider new ways to use the space.

“We’ve started reaching out with the seniors’ community, who previously had access to that space through the OAP,” parks and recreation director Kevin McPhedran told council.

This could include activities like drop-in programs for seniors in the community. Since the OAP group announced it was leaving the ground-level space at Buchanan Hall, the space has been used temporarily by the museum and archives for storage during its renovations.

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McPhedran said the department is also looking at moving around existing programs based on the site layout, use and access.

“We’re just trying to get the right pieces in the right places,” he said.

He expects some of this work will happen during the fall, but over the long term, he hopes to present an arts, culture and recreation master plan to council that looks at programming and facilities.

In order to support some minor improvements, materials and supplies for the site, staff asked council to use $8,000 of the funding. Members of council were happy to support using some of the Restart funding to help with the facility’s future.

“I’m glad we’re looking at new programming,” Coun. Jesse Ketler said. “It’s great to make the most of the space we have available.”

The staff report noted activities at the Cultural Centre for this fall include quilters, seniors’ drop-in events, new programs such as dance classes, photography and youth drama, table tennis, taekwondo and internal village business such as meetings.

“It looks like it’s quite well used actually by a lot of classes already,” said. Coun. Gwyn Sproule.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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