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Culture groups speak to Lake Country council

There are growing demands to expand cultural amenities in Lake Country.

Representatives from the Lake Country Art Gallery and the Lake Country Museum presented updates on their activities to district council Tuesday.

“There was a request for a bigger museum and art gallery but they realize it’s sometime in the future,” said Mayor James Baker.

“Part of our long-term plan is to have a cultural  complex in the town centre. It would be a major draw and an economic driver for the community.”

However, any development of facilities could be delayed by the cost — possibly a total of $3 million.

Key to any construction would be federal and provincial grants.

“We’re working on that all of the time,” said Baker.

In her report, gallery president Sharon McCoubrey emphasized that programs and exhibitions have expanded Lake Country’s cultural scene.

“It is also the case that the gallery has brought many people from other communities into our municipality,” she said.

“We know that a future art gallery, perhaps within a civic centre, would sustain this cultural gem and ensure its community contributions for the future.”

In 2013, more than 8,000 people attended gallery exhibitions.

At the Lake Country Museum, more than 2,436 people passed through the doors in 2013. That is up from 1,849 people in 2012.

“One of the ongoing goals is to continue to increase visitorship to the museum,” said Duane Thomson, museum president.

“This is being accomplished through special exhibitions, community workshops, partnerships and increasing community awareness through our website, Facebook page and print media.”

While there is no firm timeline for new cultural facilities to be developed, Baker says he is impressed with the efforts of the art gallery and the museum.

“Our community has a viable cultural aspect because of them,” he said.

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