Gallery celebrates fifth anniversary

A centre of Humboldt culture celebrated its fifth anniversary.

The Humboldt and District Gallery celebrated the milestone with a reception opening up its 66th exhibit on Jan. 10, exactly five years to the date of its grand opening.

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“What a response there's been,” said Susan Bellamy, the chair for the galley’s board of directors. Our community has really embraced the gallery and made it a part of everyday life here.”

Not only does the gallery display artwork, it hosts concerts, author readings, workshops, fashion shows, award presentation, receptions and bridal showers

“In general, the gallery has become a cultural hub for our community,” Bellamy said. “It really does make me wonder what we ever did without this place.”

The building was constructed in 1920 as the Merchants Bank. It was briefly a Bank of Montreal before housing Humboldt’s CIBC branch. In 1989, it became the Willkommen Centre, which stayed there until 2010.

In 2011, the building was designated a municipal heritage building and the museum assumed stewardship of the building. The museum was interested in expanding its art offering and after a major renovation, the gallery opened Jan. 10, 2014.

“There was a lot of foresight involved in that and look what we have today,” said Rob Muench, Humboldt’s mayor. “This has become the center of our downtown area.”

The mayor said Humboldt’s been privileged to see so many displays and events at the gallery over the last five years.

“I feel that’s an important part of any community, is to not only have recreation and sports, or to fix potholes, but to [encourage] a good arts community.”

Bellamy said there’s been 588 artists that have been engaged and supported by the gallery.

“These have included professional artists from across our province, our own local professionals, emerging artists, high school students, cultural artists, authors and musicians.”

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