Penticton Art Gallery presenting at next council meeting after city budget cuts their funding

Art Gallery challenges cuts

The Penticton Art Gallery expressed their "deep disappointment and frustration" this week after the city's budget took a chunk out of their annual operating grant.

On Thursday, an official statement from the Penticton Art Gallery Staff and Board expressed their troubles with the cut of over $70,000 from last year, made by city council, which they said will significantly impact the gallery's "daily operations, programming, and exhibits for the remainder of the year."

"The Penticton Art Gallery has been an important cultural institution in our community for half a century, attracting over 20,000 visitors each year and running 18 to 20 exhibits annually."

The gallery is hoping to see council reconsider this decision and restore the annual operating grant to its previous level.

On Friday afternoon, the City of Penticton responded with a statement from Mayor Julius Bloomfield on the cuts.

“Penticton is a community that is passionate about the arts and we have seen that ardor on display as some have wondered why the Art Gallery didn’t receive the full amount it requested through the city’s grant program," it reads.

“Council and staff make decisions based on the information provided during the application process and in keeping with budget constraints. This year that information suggested a lower financial need for taxpayer support. However, we’re always open to new information."

Bloomfield announced that a delegation from the Penticton Art Gallery, including curator Paul Crawford, will attend the next Committee of the Whole meeting on April 3 at 10 a.m. to provide more details to council.

“This will be an opportunity for the Art Gallery to update documentation and for council to ask detailed questions before any changes – which could impact the budget – are made.”

In the meantime, the gallery said they will build a petition and collect signatures during the Art Walk at Penticton Art Gallery this Saturday.

"We hope that while you enjoy the newest exhibit opening March 25 at 7 p.m., you are able to support us in this regard."

To check out the gallery's upcoming installation, visit their website here.

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