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SCHOOL SEEKS PERMANENT HOME

After 13 years at its current location, the Vancouver Island School of Art (VISA) is looking for a permanent location that will ensure the school can continue to provide quality art programs to students throughout the Capital Regional District. And it’s turning to supporters to help in the search.

The search follows a School District 61 decision to terminate the school’s lease on the 10,000-square foot building in Quadra Village. Discussions with commercial realtors, business corporations and other school supporters have been ongoing since SD61 confirmed that it wanted to use the building for other purposes.

"We love our space and are grateful to the School District for allowing us to lease it while we developed into a successful and thriving arts organization” explained Wendy Welch, Executive Director. “We would like to stay in our current space for two more years while we work to establish a possible permanent location by 2020."

"VISA is the only contemporary, art-focused school in the city and not only draws students from Victoria and surrounding areas but also from centres such as Shawnigan Lake, Duncan and Nanaimo," Colette Baty, Board President said. "About 3700 students have taken advantage of our many workshops and programs, many of whom with no previous art experience."

"VISA is more than its classes. It is a very special community…one that is warm and welcoming regardless of age or experience," Anne Petrie, former CBC broadcaster, writer and VISA student pointed out in a letter to the Minister for Education. "The Quadra Street building is part of the magic of this very special school. Accommodations aren’t fancy but the spirit of VISA and that funny old building on Quadra Street belong together."

As it now stands, VISA will have to leave its current home August 31 when the School District plans to renovate the building. SD61 says Increased school enrollment is resulting in a need to access spaces previously available for the community to rent.

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For more information contact Wendy Welch, Executive Director

The Vancouver Island School of Art is a learning community dedicated to the advancement of art education through comprehensive programs and presentations for adults of all ages. The focus of the courses and workshops offered by the school is on technique, personal expression and contemporary context.