Dollars from SIDIT arrive for the Christina Living Arts Centre

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
April 15th, 2010

Not only was Wednesday Apr. 14 a beautiful spring day, it was also a great day to receive a cheque for $150,000. Luby Pow, chief executive officer for the Southern Interior Development Trust (SIDIT), was on site at the Christina Living Arts Centre to pass on their contribution for the project to Bob Dupee, representing the Christina Lake Arts and Artisans Society, Brenda LaCroix, co-ordinator at the Christina Lake Stewardship Society, and Sheldon Wiegle of the Christina Lake Chamber of Commerce.

The project is the fruition of over 10 years of work by the community to develop a welcome and interpretive centre, but the key to its attraction is in the environmentally friendly design. Regional Director Grace McGregor was unable to attend, but has also been instrumental in assisting in this project.

When completed, this will be Canada’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Artisans Gallery, part of the 6,000 sq ft Centre. It will also house a welcome centre for the region, an interpretive centre featuring the work of the Christina Lake Stewardship Society, and other amenities for visitors and locals. A key educational feature of the project will be the solar aquatics system which is a sustainable water management facility.

Jim Thomson, chair of the SIDIT, was pleased to announce the trust’s support of the project.

“SIDIT’s objective is to support regionally strategic investments in economic development projects that will have long-lasting and measurable regional benefits for the Southern Interior” said Thomson. “SIDIT’s investment will make a significant contribution to the sustainability and diversity of the local economy. This creates significant positive impacts across the region through direct employment and indirect business expansions.”

SIDIT has contributed $150,000 in non-repayable funding to the project for the first phase of the Christina Living Arts Centre facility which will house a number of artists and artisans providing them with the means to showcase and market their products while attracting increased tourist visits.

The final phase of the project will be an artisans’ studio complex which will be offering courses and demonstrations in glass blowing, woodworking, pottery and more. The $1.7 million first phase is being overseen by the Christina Lake Chamber of Commerce and the Christina Lake Arts & Artisans Society, with funding from Western Diversification (Federal), SIDIT, Towns for Tomorrow (Provincial, Federal and Regional District Kootenay Boundary), gas tax funds from regional area C and private donations.

A critical factor in ensuring the overall success and long-term sustainability of this project is the joint venture involving the Christina Lake Chamber of Commerce and the two other strong and well established community organizations – the Christina Lake Arts and Artisan Society and the Christina Lake Stewardship Society.

Video – Bob Dupee takes SIDIT CEO Luby Pow and a small group on a tour of the Christina Living Arts Centre currently under construction in Christina Lake. One of the centre’s main features is the environmentally friendly construction and the solar aquatic system for natural sewage treatment.

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