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Downtown Duncan Site Proposed for New Art Gallery

The organisation behind an art gallery proposal for Duncan wants to begin discussions with the city on a location downtown.

Jock Hildebrand, president of the Cowichan Valley Public Art Gallery, recently presented Council with conceptual drawings and a proposed gallery with entrances on Craig, Ingram, and Kenneth streets.

The conceptual drawings of the gallery were prepared by gallery board member David Coulson of Duncan.

Hildebrand says they want to begin discussing options with Council for a world-class facility.

He says the plan is to build a class A public art gallery, “there would be only a couple in the province. Having that classification means that we can bring any kind of an exhibition into the valley that we wish because we would the capabilities in terms of environmental controls and security and all those necessary items.”

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He says the benefit of creating a world-class gallery in the Cowichan Valley is substantial.

Hildebrand says they’ve studied examples from around the world where similar cultural facilities have brought great positive changes to a community.

“We’ve looked at many case studies, some of them very famous, around the world – the Guggenheim Bilboa in Spain which brought in a structure and completely changed the economy and the nature of the community there”

Hildebrand says the proposed gallery would employ up to 18 full-time staff, as well as part-time workers, and would be an economic driver in the Cowichan Valley

The plan is to build a completely “green” gallery that would be able to host major exhibitions.

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