FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – While the North Peace Cultural Centre was designed as a place to “present the widget,” the Community Arts Council says the community needs a place to “build the widget.”

Margaret May, president of the CAC, says the dream is to have a Creative Hub where groups can come together and pool resources, rather than fight for the tiny space they currently rent.

“We need the dedicated space for artists to create whatever it is that they create,” said May on Moose Talks.

May says the vision of the Creative Hub comes from local arts legend, Sue Popesku.

“As it was a surprise to nobody, the initiative that we’re engaged in right now was started by Sue and pushed by Sue. She’s always said the [North Peace] Cultural Centre was meant primarily to be a presentation space. That’s where we have found, and we have for many years, we’re short on space.”

May echoed the popular Field of Dreams quote, suggesting more people will use an arts hub if one was created.

“If you build it, they will come. So if you have the space, then it will get used, and these groups and artists will flourish.”

The potters guild operates out of the Community Arts Council building, and May says they are an example of a group bursting at its seams and in need of more space to create.

“The potters have grown amazingly since we’ve had the space, but now they’re stuck and they can’t grow any further. So that’s what we see, arts and culture will grow because they have the space to do it in.”

May says the Community Arts Council is in the first step of seeing what’s possible by conducting a feasibility study.

“We’ve hired Expedition Management Consulting to conduct a feasibility study. We have an online survey on our website to see what you need, what you would like to see, and what you think this community needs in terms of arts and culture, and how that can fit into a new centre.”

Financial support for the study came from the City of Fort St. John, District of Taylor, PRRD and Canadian Heritage.

Stakeholder information sessions will be held on August 26th and September 2nd. More information will be released later.

The deadline to submit a survey online is September 7th.