Melissa Martin

Melissa Martin

Rollin Art Centre seeks funding help

A GoFundMe campaign has been started by the Community Arts Council that will help with maintenance related tasks around the centre.

The Community Arts Council of the Alberni Valley is asking the community for help with their 2016 budget.

A GoFundMe campaign was started on July 11 on behalf of the council with a goal of reaching $36,600.

“We just had sort of a devastating year in terms of denials from grants and things of that matter so financially it’s been a difficult year for us,” said Melissa Martin, arts administrator at the Rollin Art Centre.

The money raised would help mainly with maintenance related tasks around the Rollin Art Centre that are much-needed, Martin said.

The GoFundMe page states a breakdown of where funds would be allocated if raised.

A new cement walkway in the native garden is estimated to cost $1500; an irrigation system $2000; replacement of rotten fence panels, $5000;  new hand railings, $1000; tree trimming, $1500; new flowers, $750; monthly grounds maintenance, $3600 ($300×12 months); new roof, $7500; building painting, $5000-$7000; new landscaping tools, $2000; new chairs, $1,000 and umbrellas for $750.

“We’re a little unique in the sense that the Community Arts Council (CAC) is a non-profit organization but we are also responsible for the care and the upkeep of our heritage building, as well as the gardens and grounds that we sit on,” Martin said.

The Rollin Art Centre, that has been a staple venue for community arts for 51 years, sits on four city lots, which the city leases to the CAC.

“When you start adding things up it’s astronomical the constant upkeep of a building like this as well as a ground,” Martin said.

It is the effort from volunteers maintaining the property’s landscaping needs who Martin said have become few and far between.

“We’re not getting the volunteers like we used to and that’s not lack of trying…the word is out there,” Martin said.

The centre relies on two main grants each year to keep them sustainable: a BC Arts Council grant that helps with basic assistance that typically goes towards events and is usually around $17,000 to $18,000.

Secondly the centre applies for a BC Gaming Grant that is eligible to non-profit organizations providing programs or services of direct benefit to the community.

Last year the centre was denied the gaming grant because they had a surplus in their accounts. Martin said having a surplus deems an organization ineligible for this grant.

“Last year we were denied but we had that surplus but now going forward that surplus is depleting,” Martin said. “We only work on about a $100,000 budget so loosing $35,000 last year and into this year, I mean that’s a third of our budget.”

Martin is hopeful she will find out this month if the Rollin Art Centre has been accepted to receive the gaming grant.

If they are denied again, Martin said events and even staff may have to be scaled back at the Rollin Art Centre.

“We don’t know where the next money is going to come. Everything that we do is to help us be sustainable,” Martin said. “We need help. And I don’t know how else to ask for it.”