COURTENAY – An investment of $175,000 from the Island Coastal Economic Trust will support the Hornby Island Arts Council project to establish a permanent arts facility, enhancing the Island’s arts sector and creating year-round economic and cultural opportunities for the Island’s residents, businesses and visitors.

The community has evolved into a hub for artists, and arts-related economic activity is closely tied to the Island’s sense of identity. Working in arts and culture is a primary source of income for 40% of the Island’s residents, and visitors consider Hornby’s artist and artisan works to be a significant draw.

“As people tell us, we are an arts centered community with no arts centre,” said the Executive Director of the Hornby Island Arts Council, Andrew Mark.  “This facility will be a heart and home for arts, where everyone is welcome. In particular, it will help Island artists gain greater visibility and improve their financial security, grow new and existing arts-related businesses, and contribute to Hornby’s identity as a destination for the arts.”

The proposed Hornby Island Arts Centre will be located in the heart of the community’s cultural hub, adjacent to the Community Hall, Farmers’ Market and other health, social and recreation facilities.

The 2,900 square foot facility will marry unique design features with multi-use functionality, serving diverse user groups. The Centre will be a customizable exhibition space, capable of hosting a range of activities from traditional gallery shows to workshops, educational events, concerts, and more.

“This is a project with a long history and wide community support,” added Mark. “With this investment from ICET matching the private funds raised by the community, we’re now in the final stages of fundraising to build the Centre,” added Mark.

Josie Osborne, ICET Chair, said that funding for the project was approved through ICET’s Economic Infrastructure and Innovation Program, designed to support sustainable economic diversification.

“We look for projects like this one that build on community strengths,” said Osborne. “Hornby has a well-earned reputation for the arts, and this new facility will enable the community to host new events, festivals, workshops and attract visiting artists and exhibitors to create a more sustainable year-round economy.”

Economic projections prepared by ICET’s economist estimate that 3-5 years post-completion, the $1.2 million centre will generate an annual spending impact of $2.1 million, and support the creation of more than 20 permanent local jobs.

Construction of the facility is anticipated to begin in the Fall of 2019, with completion and opening in 2020.

About the Island Coastal Economic Trust
Created and capitalized by the Province of BC, the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) has been at the forefront of economic diversification, planning and regional revitalization for the past twelve years.

ICET is independently governed by a Board of Directors and two Regional Advisory Committees which include more than 50 locally elected officials, MLAs and appointees from the Island and Coast. This exceptional team of leaders collaborate to set regional priorities and build vital multi-regional networks.
Through a community centered decision-making process, ICET has approved more than $50 million in funding for over 200 economic infrastructure and economic development readiness projects. These investments have leveraged over $270 million in new investment into the region creating more than 2500 construction phase jobs and 2600 long term permanent jobs.

For further information:
Line Robert, CEO
Island Coastal Economic Trust
Tel. 250-871-7797 (Ext. 227)

Mayor Josie Osborne, ICET Chair
District of Tofino
Tel. 250-725-3229

Andrew Mark, Executive Director
Hornby Island Arts Council
Tel. 250-335-2070