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Smithers Art Gallery to take step back from the library/art gallery project

The Smithers Art Gallery says it will no longer be participating as a benefiting partner for the Library/ Art Gallery project.

This comes after the project has been denied funding from two grant applications to senior levels of government.

According to Smithers Art Gallery Manager Nicole Chernish, the gallery now has their space requirements after the Creation Station was made available and that their current and future needs have been met.

She said that the art gallery also felt that since their needs are met that they didn’t bring anything to the ability of the project.

“When you look at the priorities of the government right now and the priorities in our community we just felt like there are things that were more vital and that perhaps we would be holding back the process of getting a new library,” Chernish said.

She added that they did not want to stand in the way of the project.

Chernish said that the Art Gallery board came to the decision by evaluating what is a need versus what they want.

“That made it quite clear that we are doing excellent things in this community and perhaps a new facility is not necessary to continue doing that, perhaps we can find new innovative ways to meet community needs,” she said.

In a news release the Town of Smithers said that it intends to continue working towards a new library building.

It also said that the Town and the library will also be exploring alternative models that will increase the likelihood of receiving the necessary support from senior levels of government.

It is anticipated that another update for the project will be shared in 2023 after strategic and financial planning activities have occurred.

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