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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A job posting will be issued next week for a arts and culture manager, according to City of Fort St. John CAO Milo MacDonald.

MacDonald wrote an open letter to the community following the city’s announcement earlier this week, saying it will assume management of the North Peace Cultural Centre.

“A job posting will be issued early next week for the Arts & Culture Manager to develop, implement and promote opportunities for the arts to grow and flourish, said MacDonald in a statement Friday.”

A management agreement —established in 2015—between the city and the North Peace Cultural Society for the operations of the NPCC ended in 2020.

“They will be responsible for developing and delivering innovative programming throughout the community through various programs, exhibits, performing and visual arts, film, food, lectures, story-telling, festivals and signature events. Further, they will liaise and collaborate with our arts and cultural groups to maintain, develop, and broaden cultural experiences in the community.”

The city is looking to fill the position as soon as possible to ensure a smooth transition.

“Further, we have met with the BCGEU and continue conversations regarding providing transitional opportunities to those currently supporting the Centre’s operations.”

NPCC users and community members will be consulted to address accessibility and cost concerns, said the city.

“We are fully committed to working with you to ensure we continue to build a flourishing arts and culture scene and supporting our local artisans while ensuring those who currently enjoy the facility will continue to do so moving forward.”

A lease agreement is currently being discussed between the city and the public library to “ensure their financial viability well into the future and provides employment security.”

North Peace Cultural Society Director Baptiste Marcere recently told Energeticcity he was confused by the city’s announcement.

“The city has, for the past few years, owned the building and given us 25 per cent of our income to manage the centre. We were renewing the agreement, and after three meetings, we received a letter on June 11th, dated May 25th, stating that after a closed council meeting, they decided to stop the agreement with us,” says Marcere.

At a meeting on Wednesday, the society heard that it’s just the centre’s management that will change.

As far as Marcere knows, the transition will happen on September 9th.

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