The Kootenay Gallery of Art says it is having a tough time keeping up with rising operational costs.
Representatives asked the City of Castlegar for a $20,000 boost in annual funding during a budget presentation to city council this month.
Board chair Audrey Maxwell-Polovnikoff and executive director Jillian Kinakin explained that the only reason the gallery was able to post a surplus this year was because of a donation from the estate of a supporter.
They also saved money because they were without a curator and admin assistant for part of this year, but that put pressure on those who had to cover for those roles. With those jobs filled they are projecting a 14 per cent increase in wages for 2024.
Maintenance costs also doubled from $6,000 to $12,000 and exhibition and special project expenses were up 60 per cent. They said the gallery is always seeking to raise funds and searching for grants as they keep their eye on moving to the site of the Eremenko block in downtown Castlegar as part of a mixed-use project.
“Not a week goes by where I do not have a member of the community asking ‘what’s going on with the gallery? I hear you’re moving downtown,'” Kinakin said.
Attendance at the gallery was up from 3,000 in 2021-22 to 4,475 in 2022-23, council was told.
Council will consider the funding request as part of its budget deliberations.