In October, the arts council submitted an application for capital funding to the Vancouver Foundation. The grant request was for 50% of the cost of new steel rollup doors for the two bays of the Studio Building (pictured) at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre on 95th (Airport) Street. The doors would be similar in style to those of Oliver’s Firehall Bistro, complete with R-16 insulation and a horizontal panel of double paned windows. Last week, the charity approved the arts council’s application, agreeing to pay out just over $4700 when the work is completed. Wasting no time, the arts council Board selected the bid from OK Door Penticton (the same company that installed the Firehall Bistro overhead doors) at their Board meeting this week.
The Vancouver Foundation surprised the local organization in late summer with a personal invitation to submit an application. “It’s rare for a sponsor, foundation, or other revenue source to approach us with an offer of financial aid. Usually we’re the ones having to chase the cash,” says OCAC president Penelope Johnson. “It was a good morale boost to the arts council to realize charitable foundations of this size are aware of us and want to support the work we do.”
Even rarer is finding a source of revenue for capital projects. Most funders in the arts sector want to finance artistic events or operational costs, not physical plant improvements.
The application outline four benefits to replacing the existing doors with new ones.
1. Immediate Curbside Appeal: The rollup doors are part of a larger Capital Improvements Plan to increase the Quail’s Nest property’s curbside appeal. Not only will the new doors be a visual improvement, the windows will illuminate the property and make it appear more inviting when in use at night. All exterior doors on the property will be painted in one colour scheme once the new rollup doors are installed and when weather allows.
2. Increased Heating Efficiency: The Studio building currently heats with natural gas and blower. The system is very noisy, and is especially disruptive for classes and meetings. Better overhead door insulation will decrease the need for the blower and help keep operational costs down.
3. Natural Lighting: Artistic groups have been requesting improved natural lighting for years. The window panels will make such studio work easier. The Board agreed to an upgrade to install one horizontal panel of aluminum glass per door (the basic quote was for four small windows per door). The upgrade will substantially improve the natural lighting.
4. Increased Usage: Other artists and arts groups have been inquiring about usage for classes and exhibits. The council is excited about the possibility of increasing revenue through member use, while at the same time decreasing operational costs.
The Board has already issued a letter of thanks to the Vancouver Foundation for their financial aid. The council hopes that this will be the beginning of a beneficial relationship with this charity.