Public fundraising campaign launched for Ancaster Arts Centre

Community Oct 26, 2016 Ancaster News

The proposed $12-million Ancaster Arts Centre will provide a venue for aspiring artists, a destination for tourists and will be a legacy for the community.

But representatives for the Ancaster Society for Performing Arts, which is coordinating the building of the facility, say its most important purpose will be preserving inspirational stories of the people who have built Ancaster.

“This is so needed,” said Bob Wilkins, chair of the fundraising campaign. “Because it will be the heart and soul of who the village is.”

Proponents of the facility launched their public fundraising campaign Oct. 24 and are hoping to raise $3 million. So far, $1.3 million has been raised, with donations coming from Ancaster Mill, Patrick Bermingham and John and Ellie Voortman.

Wilkins said the local donations are essential to building a facility for the Ancaster community, but it’s also critical that their stories are told.

For instance, Mary Campanella, who loved children but didn’t have any, died recently of cancer at age 56. She raised a glass of wine in celebration of outliving by five years her diagnosis, said Wilkins. She donated $50,000 – the first person to do so for the project – and her name will be identified with children and fine arts in the new centre, said Wilkins.

“She loved children, she loved Ancaster,” said Wilkins. “Her story of never giving up will be enshrined at the centre.”

Then there is John and Ellie Voortman, who “worked so hard” from humble beginning to build the large-scale business that bears their name. They donated $250,000, said Wilkins.

Colin Lapsley, who is also part of the fundraising team, said his mother, when she viewed the website, thought it was just fine. But as she looked at it, the Ancaster resident for 50 years said, “I’d like to have my name on something.”

Wilkins said all these stories will be embedded on a wall in the centre’s atrium.

“We will have their stories. Their struggles, their dedication, their hard work, never giving in to be successful. That atrium is close to being sold out,” said Wilkins.

The website www.ancasterartscentre.com provides information and the opportunity to donate online.

Wilkins said there are still the two large naming rights that have yet to be sold — the 450-seat theatre and the Ancaster Arts Centre.

He said Ancaster has never had a facility like the proposed arts centre. A lawyer who handled wills, Wilkins said people would donate to McMaster University and then to the Hamilton Health Sciences, but rarely to an Ancaster facility.

“We never had anything real,” he said. “We really wanted to have some meaning for Ancaster residents, because at the end of the day, it’s an inspiration. This will tie the community together.”

Preliminary cost to transform the former Memorial school building on Wilson Street is $6.93 million, while removing the remaining school facility after demolishing half the structure is estimated to be about $5.2 million. Other expenses include $300,000 for asbestos abatement.

While the public fundraising campaign is ongoing, organizers are looking to the federal, provincial and municipal governments for the rest of the money.

Hamilton has already dedicated about $250,000 in funding for some architectural designs for the project.

“This is not a boondoggle,” said Wilkins. “This is an economic investment and a cultural investment.”

The art centre, designed by the Hamilton architectural firm Invizij, would use a portion of the 70-year-old building’s façade. It would include a lobby, various studios, workshops, storage areas and an elevator. The facility would also have a European piazza, with a one-way entrance from Wilson Street that would allow vehicles to drop off people.

Already, said Lapsley, some arts groups are using the building as it is, but with restrictions.

“There is a buzz in the community about it,” he said.

Wilkins said once the facility is completed, hopefully within a couple of years, it will immediately benefit six local groups, provide services to area youths and seniors while also hosting professional shows.

“We are feeling pretty good about this,” he said.

Public fundraising campaign launched for Ancaster Arts Centre

Ancaster Mill, Voortmans and Patrick Bermingham make initial donations

Community Oct 26, 2016 Ancaster News

The proposed $12-million Ancaster Arts Centre will provide a venue for aspiring artists, a destination for tourists and will be a legacy for the community.

But representatives for the Ancaster Society for Performing Arts, which is coordinating the building of the facility, say its most important purpose will be preserving inspirational stories of the people who have built Ancaster.

“This is so needed,” said Bob Wilkins, chair of the fundraising campaign. “Because it will be the heart and soul of who the village is.”

Proponents of the facility launched their public fundraising campaign Oct. 24 and are hoping to raise $3 million. So far, $1.3 million has been raised, with donations coming from Ancaster Mill, Patrick Bermingham and John and Ellie Voortman.

“This is not a boondoggle. This is an economic investment and a cultural investment.”

Wilkins said the local donations are essential to building a facility for the Ancaster community, but it’s also critical that their stories are told.

For instance, Mary Campanella, who loved children but didn’t have any, died recently of cancer at age 56. She raised a glass of wine in celebration of outliving by five years her diagnosis, said Wilkins. She donated $50,000 – the first person to do so for the project – and her name will be identified with children and fine arts in the new centre, said Wilkins.

“She loved children, she loved Ancaster,” said Wilkins. “Her story of never giving up will be enshrined at the centre.”

Then there is John and Ellie Voortman, who “worked so hard” from humble beginning to build the large-scale business that bears their name. They donated $250,000, said Wilkins.

Colin Lapsley, who is also part of the fundraising team, said his mother, when she viewed the website, thought it was just fine. But as she looked at it, the Ancaster resident for 50 years said, “I’d like to have my name on something.”

Wilkins said all these stories will be embedded on a wall in the centre’s atrium.

“We will have their stories. Their struggles, their dedication, their hard work, never giving in to be successful. That atrium is close to being sold out,” said Wilkins.

The website www.ancasterartscentre.com provides information and the opportunity to donate online.

Wilkins said there are still the two large naming rights that have yet to be sold — the 450-seat theatre and the Ancaster Arts Centre.

He said Ancaster has never had a facility like the proposed arts centre. A lawyer who handled wills, Wilkins said people would donate to McMaster University and then to the Hamilton Health Sciences, but rarely to an Ancaster facility.

“We never had anything real,” he said. “We really wanted to have some meaning for Ancaster residents, because at the end of the day, it’s an inspiration. This will tie the community together.”

Preliminary cost to transform the former Memorial school building on Wilson Street is $6.93 million, while removing the remaining school facility after demolishing half the structure is estimated to be about $5.2 million. Other expenses include $300,000 for asbestos abatement.

While the public fundraising campaign is ongoing, organizers are looking to the federal, provincial and municipal governments for the rest of the money.

Hamilton has already dedicated about $250,000 in funding for some architectural designs for the project.

“This is not a boondoggle,” said Wilkins. “This is an economic investment and a cultural investment.”

The art centre, designed by the Hamilton architectural firm Invizij, would use a portion of the 70-year-old building’s façade. It would include a lobby, various studios, workshops, storage areas and an elevator. The facility would also have a European piazza, with a one-way entrance from Wilson Street that would allow vehicles to drop off people.

Already, said Lapsley, some arts groups are using the building as it is, but with restrictions.

“There is a buzz in the community about it,” he said.

Wilkins said once the facility is completed, hopefully within a couple of years, it will immediately benefit six local groups, provide services to area youths and seniors while also hosting professional shows.

“We are feeling pretty good about this,” he said.

Public fundraising campaign launched for Ancaster Arts Centre

Ancaster Mill, Voortmans and Patrick Bermingham make initial donations

Community Oct 26, 2016 Ancaster News

The proposed $12-million Ancaster Arts Centre will provide a venue for aspiring artists, a destination for tourists and will be a legacy for the community.

But representatives for the Ancaster Society for Performing Arts, which is coordinating the building of the facility, say its most important purpose will be preserving inspirational stories of the people who have built Ancaster.

“This is so needed,” said Bob Wilkins, chair of the fundraising campaign. “Because it will be the heart and soul of who the village is.”

Proponents of the facility launched their public fundraising campaign Oct. 24 and are hoping to raise $3 million. So far, $1.3 million has been raised, with donations coming from Ancaster Mill, Patrick Bermingham and John and Ellie Voortman.

“This is not a boondoggle. This is an economic investment and a cultural investment.”

Wilkins said the local donations are essential to building a facility for the Ancaster community, but it’s also critical that their stories are told.

For instance, Mary Campanella, who loved children but didn’t have any, died recently of cancer at age 56. She raised a glass of wine in celebration of outliving by five years her diagnosis, said Wilkins. She donated $50,000 – the first person to do so for the project – and her name will be identified with children and fine arts in the new centre, said Wilkins.

“She loved children, she loved Ancaster,” said Wilkins. “Her story of never giving up will be enshrined at the centre.”

Then there is John and Ellie Voortman, who “worked so hard” from humble beginning to build the large-scale business that bears their name. They donated $250,000, said Wilkins.

Colin Lapsley, who is also part of the fundraising team, said his mother, when she viewed the website, thought it was just fine. But as she looked at it, the Ancaster resident for 50 years said, “I’d like to have my name on something.”

Wilkins said all these stories will be embedded on a wall in the centre’s atrium.

“We will have their stories. Their struggles, their dedication, their hard work, never giving in to be successful. That atrium is close to being sold out,” said Wilkins.

The website www.ancasterartscentre.com provides information and the opportunity to donate online.

Wilkins said there are still the two large naming rights that have yet to be sold — the 450-seat theatre and the Ancaster Arts Centre.

He said Ancaster has never had a facility like the proposed arts centre. A lawyer who handled wills, Wilkins said people would donate to McMaster University and then to the Hamilton Health Sciences, but rarely to an Ancaster facility.

“We never had anything real,” he said. “We really wanted to have some meaning for Ancaster residents, because at the end of the day, it’s an inspiration. This will tie the community together.”

Preliminary cost to transform the former Memorial school building on Wilson Street is $6.93 million, while removing the remaining school facility after demolishing half the structure is estimated to be about $5.2 million. Other expenses include $300,000 for asbestos abatement.

While the public fundraising campaign is ongoing, organizers are looking to the federal, provincial and municipal governments for the rest of the money.

Hamilton has already dedicated about $250,000 in funding for some architectural designs for the project.

“This is not a boondoggle,” said Wilkins. “This is an economic investment and a cultural investment.”

The art centre, designed by the Hamilton architectural firm Invizij, would use a portion of the 70-year-old building’s façade. It would include a lobby, various studios, workshops, storage areas and an elevator. The facility would also have a European piazza, with a one-way entrance from Wilson Street that would allow vehicles to drop off people.

Already, said Lapsley, some arts groups are using the building as it is, but with restrictions.

“There is a buzz in the community about it,” he said.

Wilkins said once the facility is completed, hopefully within a couple of years, it will immediately benefit six local groups, provide services to area youths and seniors while also hosting professional shows.

“We are feeling pretty good about this,” he said.