Questions asked, ideas given at City of Victor Harbor's arts and culture centre forum

PANEL: Arts and culture expert Patricia Marsland with City of Victor Harbor staff Graham Pathuis, Victoria MacKirdy and Vivienne Holloway answer questions about the proposed arts and culture centre at the forum on February 7.
PANEL: Arts and culture expert Patricia Marsland with City of Victor Harbor staff Graham Pathuis, Victoria MacKirdy and Vivienne Holloway answer questions about the proposed arts and culture centre at the forum on February 7.

Questions were fired at a four-person panel from interested residents at an open forum run by the Victor Harbor Community Action Group regarding a proposed arts and culture centre for Victor Harbor.

Community consultation is currently taking place surrounding a concept plan for the facility, which would see the Victor Harbor Town Hall and the old library transformed into a $5 million centre including a 275-seat performance hall, orchestra pit, gallery and gallery workshop.

The Gospel Centre in Victor Harbor was packed as City of Victor Harbor staff Victoria MacKirdy, Graham Pathuis and Vivienne Holloway, along with arts and culture expert Patricia Marsland, answered questions to and heard concerns on Wednesday, February 7.

The biggest issues which seemed to be brought up the most were the capacity and the location.

Ratepayer Joan Smith, like others in the room, was upset that there was only one option put forward to discuss.

“There is no question (the community) needs to have (an arts and culture facility). The whole idea of having a concept is to build an appetite from the community for a facility.,” Ms MacKirdy said.

“There is a huge amount of room for changes. The only restrictions are the heritage elements. Without an idea, we’ve got nothing to go from. With consultation, we get great ideas and concepts.”

Ms MacKirdy said the council would apply for state and federal government grants to help fund it and it would not all come out of ratepayers’ pockets.

“Whenever we have a cost of a facility of this magnitude, council would not attempt to pay for it alone,” she said.

A number of South Coast Choral and Arts Society members made their concerns clear, while another member, Allen Field, thought the proposal was ideal with a few tweaks.

“It will satisfy local needs; not national needs, not international needs, but it will satisfy local needs,” he said.

Ms Holloway said from the 1000-plus consultation responses council had already received, a majority would like the facility at the Coral Street site.

“We’ve been sitting at over 90 per cent which want an arts and culture facility, and between 80 and 75 per cent want it in that location.”

Consultation concludes on Friday, February 16.

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