The Smithers Art Gallery has long hoped to have more wall space and now it will.
On Jan. 22, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport announced Smithers was among the first recipients of its new Arts Infrastructure Program.
The gallery received a grant of $11,850 with which it will buy 18 to 20 feet of portable walls for up to 288 to 320 square feet of additional display area.
“We’re excited to order and install the new moveable walls to offer larger, more diverse and dynamic exhibitions,” said Nicole Chernish, gallery manager.
Chernish said the walls are available in two- and four-foot wide by eight-foot high panels. The gallery has not decided yet how many of each they will purchase.
“The walls are four inches thick so they will have the “feel” of a regular wall,” Chernish said.
“The walls are double sided (of course) and can be set up in multiple formats to be customized for each show. We can put all the walls out or some of the walls, depending on what is needed. The walls are freestanding so they will not impact our heritage building and can move with us to any other space.”
A total of 50 arts organizations in the province received $2 million in funding, including four in the North.
Stikine MLA Nathan Cullen said the importance of the arts goes beyond entertainment.
“The arts and culture groups in the northwest represent the very best of who we are,” he said. “Our government is spending $200,000 for programs across our region to better help tell our stories and connect our communities. This new support for the Smithers Art Gallery will help make it better able to do just that.”