Letter to the Editor about the BMO Art Centre
City administration is recommending that the BMO building be Cornwall’s new arts centre. It was purchased in May for $450,000. Renovations to old BMO could cost $4 to 6 million!
It is so sad to read all the negative attitudes and comments on a story in the Cornwall Seaway News about finally having an Art and Culture Centre in Cornwall.
If places like Merrickville, Brockville, Kingston, Gananoque, Stratford, Vankleek Hill , even a tiny village of less than a hundred like Wilno up north and Morrisburg, just to name a few, have been put on the map because they had the foresight to provide a place for either… Theater, Music, Dance, Visual Arts or like Athens and Pembroke for their wall murals?!? Why can’t Cornwall cash in on these tourism possibilities.
How many will go to Montreal, Ottawa even Toronto and further to see a great theatre production or favourite performer and pay mega $$$, but won’t go if it’s in Cornwall at better prices and without the added costs of food and gas?
Build it and they will come if merchandised and advertised in the right way and especially to the bigger cities, this could bring the much needed funds for other projects. Studies show that they would come… no traffic or parking hassles, they could enjoy a delightful evening in Cornwall by the St Lawrence River. Add a restaurant by the Marina or lead tourists to the ever growing Cotton Mills area via Lamoureux Park and NavCan/Sodeko Hotel with a view of sunsets on the water.
No parking?!? Really… there’s a humongous parking lot at the back of that building between Pitt, Sydney and First behind the Kastner store at no cost for parking in the evening when shows would take place.
All they would have to do is build a grand entrance at the back of the old BMO, where they could take away the few parking spaces and fill in that space with an atrium, a summer patio or a glass covered one where theater goers could enjoy a cocktail, then it would have an entrance front and back…It is also surrounded by so many great restaurants within walking distance and Boutiques would come back to the downtown.
An Arts and Culture Centre in Cornwall, will provide studio and class space for Dance, Music, Theatre, a gallery space for Visual Art, an opportunity for youth to become the Art and Culture of the future and remember if Cornwall is on the map and the tourism increases so will the economy. If the economy increases then the city could look into Youth centres, etc?!?!
Is $450,000 too much to pay for a building in the downtown center… Heck the cost of a house is that much and more these days!
Is 4 to 6million too much to renovate… not if we consider the cost of the Benson Center (that BTW already provides all kinds of activities for all ages) or that it would have cost twice as much with a proposal of $12 million, if it had gone to the Civic Complex.
Do we need an Arts and Culture Centre in Cornwall? Yes… yes… yes…
We have fought long and hard to have a place that would bring all the Arts together, we have started the fundraising, have money in the bank, we have determination and a love for beauty and our city that can only be enhanced by more culture for the Young as well as Seniors.
So much more could be said but please take a deep breath and admit we have waited much too long to cash in on all the talent that is so bountiful in our beautiful city of Cornwall by the mighty St Lawrence River!