Arts and Culture Centre

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Consultation has been placed on hold.

Various images of people performing music, on stage, sculpture, painting to identify the diversity of the creative arts.



Arts & Culture Centre Project Life Cycle Phases

There are five project phases identified for the Arts & Culture Centre Project, starting with Concept Vision, Phase 0, and ending with Phase 4, Project Construction. We have identified for each phase, key activity(s) and considerations that will be reviewed to exit that phase and move to the next phase.

Each phase of the project will have opportunity for community and stakeholder(s) consultation.

Please check the News Feed tab for more information on the project.




Arts & Culture Centre Project Life Cycle Phases

There are five project phases identified for the Arts & Culture Centre Project, starting with Concept Vision, Phase 0, and ending with Phase 4, Project Construction. We have identified for each phase, key activity(s) and considerations that will be reviewed to exit that phase and move to the next phase.

Each phase of the project will have opportunity for community and stakeholder(s) consultation.

Please check the News Feed tab for more information on the project.


CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
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    Mentioned in one of the questions, the new facility will be run by a board. Will the board be chosen by the owners of the building or by the town? Or voted in? If voted, will there be members of the new arts center to vote in a board?

    Sarahturpin Asked almost 3 years ago

    Work on a governance model for the new Arts and Culture Centre will be completed this winter. Town council made the decision to issue a Request for Proposals(RFP) to develop the governance model at its meeting on Thursday, Nov. 23.  It will be developed in consultation with the public/stakeholders. The work will be led by independent experts in organizational management and governance. There will be opportunities to get involved for those who are interested in how the new arts centre will be run. Council expects details on governance to be settled by next spring.


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    The town of Yarmouth and Government of NS spent $81,000 on the Maud Lewis Trail, would Parade st not be a perfect place for an Arts Center to be a hub between downtown and Starrs Rd (Mariners center)?

    Sarahturpin Asked almost 3 years ago

    Please see answer to earlier question on location of the Arts & Culture centre.

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    Was there a tender or RFP issued for the cost of the arcitect? For both the $25,000 for him to look at the three proposed properties, Or for the $40,000 for the firm to produce conceptual designs?

    Sarahturpin Asked almost 3 years ago

    No, the architect was invited to help get things started. Brian MacKay-Lyons grew up in Yarmouth. Council believed that familiarity was a unique asset for the specific projects he was contracted to complete.(See answers to earlier questions for more on the RFP process).


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    Looking at the designs by Mr.Lyons at the public meeting, the current house located on the Collins St. Parking lot is not shown in his designs. What are the plans for this house?

    Sarahturpin Asked almost 3 years ago

    If it is required in the final design, the Town will acquire this property.


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    Why was Parade St not included in the lots looked at by the Arcitect? Other than a study from 2002 (15 year old study) and 2010 (a 7 year old study) when th'YARC has proven Parade st to be a sustainable and profittable location?

    Sarahturpin Asked almost 3 years ago

    Parade Street was not looked at by the consultants because it is not in the downtown business district. A majority of funding for a new arts centre will be public money. This project is a priority of the Town of Yarmouth because a downtown arts and culture centre will contribute to the revitalization of the town’s central business district, and it will also meet an identified need to improve the arts and culture opportunities for people in our region. The Town’s Downtown Blueprint (the 2010 study) laid out a 20-year plan for revitalization of downtown.  Carrying out that plan has led to the changes in downtown that people have noticed in the last seven years.


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    I heard the Collins street property is contaminated and is unsuitable for an Arts and Culture centre development.

    over 2 years ago

    The site is suitable for development. A phase 1 & 2 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) was carried out on the property and localized contamination was found, as expected. When the site is developed, some remediation might be required.  A copy of our Phase 1 & 2 study is available on the GetInvolvedYarmouth.ca website, document library.

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    Isn't work to be carried out in the RFP treading much of the same ground as the work that the town engaged the MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architect firm to do?

    over 2 years ago

    No it will not tread over the same ground. The Request For Proposal (RFP) is the next step and has a different purpose.

    MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architect’s work included two phases.

    The first phase was to look at three downtown sites for possible development of a regional arts centre. Council asked the MacKay-Lyons group to consider everything identified in Th’YARC’s plan. In addition, they were asked to add a healthy allowance for emerging needs that may not have been thought of when Th’YARC’s plans were developed. The team from MacKay-Lyons said all three sites could be used. The Collins Street site scored highest. Two previous consultants also identified Collins Street as the preferred site. The MacKay-Lyons group developed mock-ups contrasting and comparing the strengths and opportunities of the three sites.  The team met with members of Yarmouth Town Council and representatives of the Yarmouth Arts Regional Council to present their work, and answer questions.

    The second phase of the work focused solely on the Collins Street site.  The MacKay-Lyons group held two workshops with representatives from a broad cross section of the local arts and cultural community. The goal was to gather ideas from the community. How did THEY see this site being used to best serve all the identified needs and dreams. The MacKay-Lyons group took all the information from these two visioning exercises and produced an interpretation of what the project could look like. It was based on that community input. It was presented at a public event at the Rodd Grand Hotel on October 10, 2017. This was an opportunity to inform the public of some of the early steps, and invite questions. The community will continue to be a part of this process as the project develops.


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    Obviously the town has to issue an RFP in accordance with its public procurement policy and the province’s public procurement act, but when it comes to the concept design is there a possibility the work may end up being different, if another firm is chosen, from the work MacKay-Lyons has presented to the public based on stakeholder sessions that have been held? If so, people may question why that work took place. And if not, they may still wonder why that work took place.

    over 2 years ago

    No time, money, or work has been wasted. Regardless of which firm is selected, when we move forward with this project, the possibilities for the site are now better understood.

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    Could someone explain how this Request for Proposal (RFP) is different from that work?

    over 2 years ago

    The firm selected to complete the next phase will be selected through a Request For Proposals (RFP).  This phase will be going back to users and identifying specific uses and needs. A feasibility analysis and capital budget will be developed based on those needs/wants. The project and design will change, whether MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects eventually secures the contract or another firm is successful. Brian MacKay-Lyons said in his presentation that many firms create images at this stage in a project that they have no expectation of building. (They are just renderings, not detailed designs.)

    At the end of this coming phase in the project, the Town will have projections of operating and capital budgets. The scope of the project, and the possibilities for phasing the construction and development will also be determined.


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    Is the town willing to state how much money has been spent in the engagement work carried out by MacKay-Lyons? What part of the town’s budget would the funding come from?

    over 2 years ago

    The first phase of the work was $25,000.  The second phase was $40,000.  The first $25,000 was an expense that will be covered in the Town’s operating budget. It will be under studies.  All of the subsequent work will be charged against the capital project.