The umbrella is opening slowly for Arts Humboldt (AH), the fledgling association whose goal is to provide a collective voice for the arts in Humboldt.
The association held its first annual general meeting on October 20, at the Uniplex in Humboldt.
After a little more than a year, AH has been incorporated as a not-for-profit organization.
Just over a year ago, a group of arts-minded people in the community were spurred on to create the association when it became clear that the only theatre in Humboldt, Sutherland Theatre, will be knocked down prior to the renovation and addition of the new Humboldt Public School.
“From the time Sutherland Theatre is torn down, and the city decides to put a new project in motion, this community will be without a fully finished, operating theatre for eight years,” said Brian Grest, secretary-treasurer and member of the board of directors.
Associations that hold annual events, such as the music festival or the dance schools, and that habitually use the theatre for their presentations will have to find other locations.
Twenty people in all attended the meeting, presided over by AH president Glenda Lees; Larry Jorgenson, vice-president; and Grest. Grest wrapped up the official part of the AGM quickly because there was no business or financial reports for the association to date.
There was, however, the business of electing new members. In addition to Lees, Jorgenson, and Grest, who will retain their current positions, three new members were nominated as directors for the association. Trevor Ross, Tanya Schuler, and Sheila Moormann all accepted the nominations and were voted in as directors on the board of Arts Humboldt.
After the AGM was officially closed, the meeting continued with some items of new business the board wanted to discuss. One of the ideas put forth for discussion by Lees was the idea of being able to hold one last event in the theatre before it gets torn down.
However, the subject seemed to spark reactions from some community members who saw it as a potential fundraiser for the association, while others felt that such an event was not the role AH was intended to play.
“We’re not here to put on a show,” said Jorgenson. “We are here to facilitate groups that want to put shows on.”
Jorgenson suggested that such an event, if it were to be put on under the umbrella of AH, should include the participation of all the arts associations that adhere to it.
“When people come to the theatre in Humboldt,” Jorgenson added, “they like to see local productions. They like to see their kids, or neighbours, or friends perform.”
It was agreed that a letter would be drafted and sent to Horizon School District (HZSD) to ask for the opportunity to use the theatre for such an event sometime before the end of February 2012, even though the high school will be vacant by then.
Another subject that was discussed during the business part of the meeting was about the contents of the Sutherland Theatre (lighting, the grand piano, and other stage paraphernalia). It was established that AH needs to step in and clarify whether or not they belong to the Horizon School District or to the community.