Vancouver Island School of Art, pictured in the top left, will make its new home at Ross Terrace, a new development slated for the 2500-block of Fifth Street, pictured here on the right. Photo courtesy Aryze Developments

Vancouver Island School of Art sets course for new Victoria campus

Partnership with private developers ARYZE, Purdey Group, the first of its kind in the city

The Vancouver Island School of Art has found a new home – pending approval from the City of Victoria.

In a release, VISA said plans are in process with ARYZE Developments and Purdey Group, to move into a 6,000 sq. ft. space currently under consideration as part of the proposed mixed-use residential project Ross Terrace, in the 2500-block of Fifth Street in Quadra Village.

School District 61, VISA’s current landlord, gave notice a year ago they would be evicting the art school from its Quadra Street location (effective Aug. 31), citing a need for the building as a result of increasing enrollment.

In April, executive director Wendy Welch told the News, “We want to stay here, the neighbourhood wants us to stay here.” The new location is just a stone’s throw – the properties border each other – from VISA’s current location, its home of 13 years.

“The school has been part of the Quadra Village for 13 years and this will ensure that its integral role continues on,” said Colette Baty, president of VISA. “We believe this groundbreaking project fits perfectly with the City’s desire to incentivize developers to contribute toward cultural spaces.”

RELATED: Vancouver Island School of Art looking for new home

ARYZE and Purdey withdrew their initial application for the development when they heard about VISA’s dilemma.

A revised application for three side-by-side properties at the Fifth Street location will soon be submitted; it’s the first of its kind in Victoria, where a not-for-profit cultural institution will partner with a private developer.

The initiative falls in line with the City’s Arts and Cultural Strategic Plan, encouraging investment entities and cultural spaces to work together.

“We see this as a rare opportunity to support the school and cultural arts generally,” said Luke Mari, head of development with Purdey Group. “Yes, we’re developers, but we’re also urbanists and keeping one of the last art schools in the city is quite important.”

There is strong community support for the school and a desire to keep it in the community, he added.

The new space will decrease the size VISA is used to operating in, but will include two large multi-purpose classrooms, a gallery, several studio spaces, a communal kitchen, lounge/library space and outdoor terrace.

The project is contingent on an approved rezoning from the City, but Mari said the hope is to start construction in spring 2019 with a completion date of Sept. 2020.

In the meantime, VISA is still working with SD61 to extend the lease at 2549 Quadra St.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Victoria man wins job he was denied after saying he had depression

Transport Canada has been order to give Chris Hughes a high-level job and nearly $500,000

Saanich mayor pitches former Emily Carr library as housing site

Residents share concerns, support over Regina Park tent city

Gun, drugs and cash seized in arrest of alleged Victoria fentanyl dealer

Brent Connors is facing nine charges in relation to the investigation

B.C. man (pick up truck, Lucky Beer poster, and all) revels in return to Esquimalt

Rear-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie assumed command of the Maritime Forces Pacific

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

5 fun things to do this weekend in Greater Victoria

Victoria Ska and Reggae Fest, Ride Don’t Hide, Cordova Bay Day and more

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

Mounties seize 1,500 pot plants in ‘extensive Shawnigan raid

Mounties searched a property in the 4800-block of Goldstream Heights Drive on May 30

B.C. soldier shot down a century ago to be honoured

Norman Stuart Harper, of Kamloops, was killed on a bombing mission over Lahr, Germany, in 1918

Most Read