The Winkler Arts and Culture Centre continues to grow as a community gathering place for artistic expression.
"In lots of ways we've outgrown the space," Board Chair Karina Cardona says.
The Centre opened in 2016 after years of fundraising and collaboration with the city to convert the former water treatment plant on Park St into a hub for the arts. Since then the location has held numerous showings and events including coffee houses, pop-up restaurants, wedding receptions and partnerships with organizations like the Winkler Farmer's Market, fulfilling the vision of the local arts community.
"There's still empty space that can be filled up... but we're not at that point yet," she says, adding they're looking for ways to maximize the functionality of their current space including turning the smaller upstairs gallery into a classroom and creating more seating.
"We're... putting together grant applications wherever we can to keep up with that growth," Cardona says.
The Centre still has bridge funding from the City of Winkler for the building in the amount of approximately $85,000. "We'd still like them to raise the money to pay it back, but we fully understand that as a city we're needing to extend some financing," Winkler Mayor Martin Harder explains, adding they hope the outstanding balance can be raised through fundraising efforts.
Cardona notes one option for the unused space could be leasing the section to an outside group. "It's more about the fit, so we're talking with the city about what would be an optimal fit... and what mutual benefit it could bring to both organizations."