Project Title:

Shared Performing Arts and Culture Hub Links Artistic Community and Economic Development in Powell River

Project Organization:

Pacific Region International Summer Music Association

Project Investment:

  • Island Coastal Economic Trust: $200,000
  • Total Budget: $744,466

Project Highlight:

The Shared Performing Arts and Cultural Hub Project addresses diverse user group demand with a dedicated space for the artistic community in qathet.

About the project:

Pacific Region International Summer Music Association (PRISMA) will establish a Shared Performing Arts and Cultural Hub in Powell River. Inspired by a social enterprise model, the venue will support diverse community groups, grow local businesses, and attract visitors to the historic Townsite area.

The project is supported through the Island Coastal Economic Trust’s Capital and Innovation Program, with its focus on Entrepreneurs and Local Businesses.

For further information, please read the news release announcing the project.

Strengthening Community Wellbeing:

PRISMA recognizes that an event-ready venue would further link the artistic community with economic development, tourism and cultural engagement. Through this project, PRISMA will transform a 5,000-square-foot venue within a historic building into a vibrant arts hub with flexible performance spaces, workshops, and galleries. The location will be available to community events and organizations through sublease agreements or one-time rental opportunities.

Economic Prosperity: PRISMA events attract thousands of participants and spectators to the region annually. When combined with the eight confirmed user groups, a conservative estimate of $2 million in annual economic impact once the project is completed.

The hub directly supports local businesses by attracting increased foot traffic and visitors to Powell River’s historic Townsite. This influx of visitors will enhance the vibrancy of the area, encourage entrepreneurs and local businesses to offer new or expanded services and foster a dynamic economic environment.

Cultural Vitality: Community engagement with local arts and cultural organizations, businesses, and community groups have confirmed strong interest and anticipated usage of the hub, showcasing its potential for broad community impact. The project also strives to build cross-cultural bridges between Tla’amin First Nation and settler artists and creators in the region, advancing reconciliation through an arts lens.

Social Empowerment: During the construction and renovation stage, the project will create up to 20 temporary jobs. Once completed, PRISMA estimates the arts hub will help create at least 3 permanent and 4 seasonal jobs. The project, which received widespread community support, will also provide stability to eight other user groups committed to using the space for their events.

Climate Resiliency: The project incorporates several energy-efficient features and sustainable practices. The use of recycled materials and energy-efficient electrical systems are planned. The addition of a solar panel array installation is also being considered.

What Leaders are Saying

“I am extremely grateful for the support of ICET, which helps us to transform the dream of an Arts Hub into a reality. The support helps us realize PRISMA’s vision to create a new home for our festival and academy, and to extend our reach to support other arts organizations by providing them with a home base and rehearsal and storage spaces. Over a decade ago, PRISMA started in a basement, and now we are ready to help others the way we were helped. I look forward to the journey ahead, knowing that the entire community will benefit, including the Tla’amin Nation. May the new Arts Hub become a place where people connect and find inspiration, a place of creating and learning, and a place where bridges are built, and lives are enriched. May the Arts Hub cause a ripple effect that is beneficial for the entire community and region.” – Arthur Arnold, Artistic Director, PRISMA

“Our collaboration with the PRISMA Festival Orchestra is a testament to the harmonious potential of cross-cultural exchange through the arts—a journey that speaks to the heart of reconciliation. An Arts Hub at the Townsite Market offers an unprecedented opportunity to deepen connections, not just for the Tla’amin Nation but for the entire qathet region. PRISMA’s Arts Hub will be more than a venue; it will serve as a vessel for healing, and it will foster understanding and unity through cultural expression. This Arts Hub will catalyze the sharing of knowledge and skills between cultures, cultivating a richer, more diverse community. I am excited about the potential to expand our horizons and pave new paths for collaboration and understanding within the qathet region through this visionary undertaking.” – Drew Blaney, Culture and Heritage Manager, Tla’amin Nation

“The establishment of this performing arts and cultural hub is a significant milestone for Powell River. It not only revitalizes a historic building but also demonstrates our commitment to fostering creativity, cultural diversity, and economic growth in the qathet region.” – Nicholas Simons, MLA, Powell River – Sunshine Coast

“We are committed to invest in PRISMA as they lead this initiative, because this space will truly bolster Powell River’s already well-respected arts community that attracts people from around the world to their beautiful remotely located community. The widespread community support, which included commitments from eight different community groups, clearly illustrates both the need and promised success of this project.” Aaron Stone, Chair, Island Coastal Economic Trust.

Media Contacts

Jeff Bartlett
Communications and Impact Manager
Island Coastal Economic Trust

Andy Rice
Development Director
Pacific Regional International Summer Music Association


Island Coastal Economic Trust approved funding for this project in March 2024 through the Capital and Innovation program.