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Penticton  

City provides $17K to give OSA more time to leave Shatford

OSA granted more runway

The City of Penticton is coming to the rescue of the Okanagan School of the Arts again, back-stopping an agreement between the school board, municipality and art school. 

The city says it will cover the utilities at the SD67-owned Shatford Centre for two months, providing the OSA until the end of August to make a transition of the building. 

The art school is being forced out of the historic building after 10 years due to plummeting revenues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the inability to pay utilities. The current lease set to expire June 30 saw the OSA lease the building from SD67 for $1 a year, but pay all other expenses.

The new agreement will see the city pay for about $17,200 worth of utilities while the school district gives the OSA another two months to vacate. 

“I want to thank the dozens of volunteers and community members who have contributed to the success of the OSA in the Shatford Centre,” said Penticton Mayor, John Vassilaki. “The City is pleased to announce this partnership today so that momentum is not lost during the transition.”

The City of Penticton provided the Okanagan School of the Arts an emergency $47,000 grant in March 2019, which helped stabilize the organization, but the bottom fell out during the pandemic. 

“While we appreciate the tremendous work the OSA had done during their tenancy in the SD67 Shatford building, SD67 is not in a position to use Ministry of Education resources directed to support student learning to maintain the OSA’s occupancy of the building,” said school district chair, James Palanio.

President of the OSA, Keith MacIntyre says while they would have preferred to stay at the Shatford Centre, the announcement will give them a chance to move elsewhere. 

"Our current priority is to ensure all our community assets are carefully moved. We will then chart a new path forward with our members so that we can continue to promote creativity and connection through our courses, workshops, and programs."



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