Arts Council to vacate the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

The city was in negotiations for years but ultimately unable to reach a permanent agreement with the Chilliwack Community Arts Council board

Chilliwack Community Arts Council, known for creating the Bluegrass Festival and the Christmas Craft Market, will be leaving the Chilliwack Cultural Centre in the new year.

Arts Council officials announced this week they are actively seeking new headquarters on the south side of Chilliwack, and have looked at three different locations so far.

They were in active negotiations for years, said city officials, but ultimately unable to reach a permanent agreement with the Arts Council board — mainly over financial matters.

Neither side was prepared to state publicly exactly what those particulars were, and the two groups have since resolved to part ways.

“Council supports the arts and culture in Chilliwack and we wish the CCAC well in their future initiatives,” says Mayor Sharon Gaetz.

She told The Progress the city has always valued its relationship with the arts organization, and had hoped they could remain a partner in the Cultural Centre operations.

The Arts Council will remain rent-free in their Cultural Centre space until Jan. 1, she said.

“The Board of Directors and the staff of the Arts Council are looking forward to the changes, and to continuing the work we have done in the community for the past 50 years,” Acting Arts Council board president Gail Caljouw.

They hope to be able to publicly announce their new location “very soon,” she said.

All programming in the Cultural Centre will now be the responsibility of the Chilliwack Arts & Cultural Centre Society.

“We’ll carry on,” said Mayor Gaetz. “We know the Cultural Centre is in good hands, and Chilliwack will not be bereft of arts programs.”

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