The Chester Art Centre is the only year round visual arts organization in the Municipality of Chester. To accommodate the growing demand for the CAC’s classes, workshops, lectures, exhibitions and events, the organization began developing a plan to create a larger and more dynamic space.
About 8 years ago, Sir Christopher Ondaatje acquired this location and provided a generous lease arrangement so that the Chester Art Centre could get started and have a home. He advised us three years ago that if the Centre raised 50% of the appraised value of the property he would give us the deeds to the properties and thereby secure a permanent location for the Centre.
In the spring of 2013 a small committee of the Board of the Chester Art Centre began working on an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to permanently secure our Art Centre property.
With the support of the friends of the Centre we met this challenge. Upon hearing of our success, and knowing how the community had come out to support our campaign, he generously donated the property to the Centre and advised us to use the money raised for renovations and upgrades to the building. As of year-end September 2014 we had a substantial Capital fund. We then applied to all levels of government to raise additional funds not only to renovate the building but to expand, and were successful in our funding requests.
A Chester contractor, Trevor Corkum Construction & Renovation, won the construction bid and work started in September 2015, finishing in February 2016. We came in on budget and could not have made this dream come true without the help of the many volunteers at all stages of the project.
Way to go Team !!