The InterArts Centre for Makers is one step closer to becoming a reality after organizers secured a building in Rock Bay.
The 4,000-sq.-ft., two-storey building is the former home to Allied Glass, 2610 Rock Bay Ave.
It also has a 3,000-sq.-ft. outdoor mezzanine with loading docks and gated parking, and has M2 zoning, which would encompass the needs of all three non-profits (Olio Artists and Workers Cooperative, CineVic Society of Independent Filmmakers, and Victoria Makerspace) currently moving into the space.
It is slated to open this summer — right on schedule.
“We have a place to do it. It’s our first concrete element and we’re phenomenally excited about it,” says Joey MacDonald of Olio at the building announcement held at Phillips Brewery Thurs., March 21. “We would try to take the whole building. If we couldn’t, we’d take just the ground floor.”
The next step is a call for proposals from other arts groups, makers, non-profits and other organizations to share the space, which is larger than the needs of InterArts alone.
“So from here we’d like to put out a request for proposals to see who else can use the space, because it’s really, really big and we know how we can use about half of it immediately and functionally, but there’s another half that we have the option of taking, the upstairs, that could make it a lot more relevant to a lot more people,” says MacDonald.
The building is open and functional. The front third of the building needs major renovations before it could open, while the back of the shop needs less work.
“It’s a fixer-upper,” says MacDonald.
InterArts organizers have been busy applying for grants that would help cover renovation costs.
The building is centrally located one block off Bay Street, is highly visible, and is close to many suppliers and amenities (read: breweries).
The lease, however, is relatively low cost, thanks in part to a soft commercial real estate market, says MacDonald. The building has long-term prospects, with the possible option to purchase or rent-to-own.
Thursday is the last day to donate to the InterArts Indiegogo campaign (indiegogo.com/interarts), which is non-essential, but beneficial funding and a measure of the community’s confidence in the idea, says MacDonald.
Another benefit is that almost all of the equipment that will fill the space already exists, some of which is in storage because the organizations don’t currently have functional space to use it in — like Olio’s letterpress studio.
InterArts would house the letterpress shop, large format and giclee printers, flatstock and textile screenprinting, colour photocopying, die cutting, embossing, plate making, book binding and publishing, laminating, foil stamping, paper and vinyl cutting equipment from Olio; professional video equipment, 8mm and 16 mm film facilities, audio/video recording and editing suite, lighting and grip equipment, dollies, jib-arms, tracks and more from CineVic; and a full wood working shop, metal working and welding shop, laser cutting, 3D printing, CNC wood cutting, metal forge, prototyping and arduino resources and other tools from Victoria Makerspace.
There is also the opportunity to rent the space for events, openings and other private functions (the large outdoor deck would come in handy here).
“We’re still hammering out the details and after that all the organizations would look at the lease offer. How else can we use the space? What haven’t we thought about? Anytime we put out feelers about it, it’s come back with an amazing result.”
Contact MacDonald (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Olio, Vanessa Pattison (Vanessa.email@example.com) from Makerspace or Bryan Skinner (Bryanskinner@mac.com) from CineVic with any proposals or requests for information.
There will be a Build The Space benefit event for InterArts, Fri., April 26, possibly in the new space. Tickets go on sale Friday. Don’t wait to buy them, because if the turn-out to the launch event in January was any indication, they will sell out! Visit Interartscentre.ca for more information.M