The letter below is one that I have sent to each member of the North Battleford City Council. I encourage all residents in the Battlefords and area to do the same:
I am writing to you regarding the Chapel Gallery. In a time when we are looking to enjoy safe activities that take us out of our homes, provide spiritual and emotional nurturing, allow us to appreciate art, the Chapel Gallery is closed to the public. Art galleries around the province are still open. We have attended shows at the Remai Modern over the past year for example.
I understand that the Mayor and Council are using the space for their meetings and that this is the reason. Although I have also heard rumours that the closure may be permanent. I can’t express strongly enough what a blow this would be to The Battlefords. Surely in a community of this size the council can find a place to hold meetings that does not take away the most important artistic and cultural centre in The Battlefords.
In my 30 years of living here, the Chapel Gallery has consistently hosted the highest quality art exhibitions. As a family we attend shows regularly and we always come away amazed and inspired. When hosting guests to our community, the Chapel Gallery is always on the “to do” list and many visitors from far and wide will talk of the shows that they have seen there with us. This is not to take away from the amazing Allen Sapp Gallery, which is always on our “to do” list as well, but is clearly of a different nature than the Chapel.
In addition to the art shows, the Chapel has been the centre for many community events, from the Walking with our Sisters event to Battlefords Jazz Society shows to myriad concerts of many different kinds, dance and art workshops and alternative body-work events. This is on top of the weddings and other family events that the Chapel is used for.
So why is the Chapel Gallery closed? And are there plans to re-open the gallery for art shows? When?