The Town of Smithers says the Library/Art Gallery project remains a top priority after they were denied a grant from the federal government.
The proposed grant was worth $12.8 million and a part of Canada’s Infrastructure Program.
During a Committee of the Whole meeting on Aug 4, Chief Executive Officer Allan Harris said there is another round of funding the Library/Art Gallery can apply to.
According to Smithers Art Gallery Manager Nicole Chernish, during the meeting town staff and other stakeholders spoke on how the project can be successful in receiving the second phase of the grant.
Chernish said the town saying it’s a top priority is recognizing the need for access to library materials and the visual arts.
“This is such a diverse community and it is essential that we kind of broaden that, so we not only have access to sports facilities and recreation opportunities but also that we are able to access libraries,” she said.
During the meeting, it was also discussed that there would be value in involving Witset, the Office of the Wet’suwet’en, and the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako.
Chernish added that she believes cultural representation in the community is vital.
She also said the money from the project will go into future generations.
“The energy and the dollars that are put in now are going to repute rewards not just for us but for future generations and I think that’s really vital for this community,” she said.
The Town must apply to the second phase of the grant by Oct 1.