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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – After failing to come to an agreement, on Monday, the City of Fort St. John informed the North Peace Cultural Society it would assume management of the centre.
A management agreement —established in 2015—between the two entities for the operations of the North Peace Cultural Centre ended in 2020. In a statement Tuesday, the city said fundamental differences were identified during discussions relating to the responsibilities and opportunities of community cultural services.
“As we look at the cultural programming and events in other communities, we have not seen the same level of programming locally,” said the city’s statement.
Seeking a community-wide approach to arts and cultural services, the city mentioned it has “invested heavily” in additional cultural amenities, including the new Centennial Park stage and the Festival Plaza.
“The North Peace Cultural Society has contributed to many aspects of culture within the community, and for that, we thank them. This was not a decision that Council took lightly, and we reviewed many aspects of arts and culture across the community,” said Mayor Lori Ackerman in the statement.
“We are committed to enhancing the art and cultural programming and ensuring cultural spaces are affordable and available for all. Council looks forward to working with the existing users of the centre and the entire arts community in a new and invigorating way as we move forward.”
The management change will also allow a lease agreement to be established with the public library, said the city.
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