The Polygon Gallery will be back at the council chamber tonight asking councillors to give them a grant refused by the North Vancouver Recreation and Culture Commission (NVRCC).
Reid Shier, the executive director of the gallery, will be making a presentation to the council asking them to give money to the gallery for its operations. He appeared before the previous council last year in September, just before the elections, with a $225,000 ask but the motion was deferred on a 4-3 vote to be decided by the next council.
At that time, Shier said the operational, day-to-day cost of running the gallery took up nearly 88 per cent of the funding, leaving little for programming. That leaves the gallery with the unenviable task of choosing between maintaining the building and running programs that will bring more people and generate revenue. He also suggested that CNV funds were not equitably distributed, and that the museum and the presentation house theatre was given more compared to the gallery.
Speaking at that meeting Councillor Pam Bookham reminded Shier that the city had gone out of its way to help the gallery in providing such a premiere location and the means to generate revenue through programming. The motion was deferred to the next council. The present Mayor Linda Buchanan, then a councillor, had supported the motion to give an extra $225,000 on top of the $175,000 the gallery already receives from the City of North Vancouver.
In a letter to the present council, Shier said the gallery had worked closely with the staff at the NVRCC, who had recommended an increase to The Polygon Gallery’s annual level of support. However, the commission members rejected the staff’s suggestion. Shier is now hoping the CNV council will support the request for funding.
Shier will presenting to the council on what other comparable institutions are receiving from the local governments, an overview of The Polygon’s annual operating budget and the need for city funding for ongoing operational support. Shier said since the project was envisioned, Polygon had raised $20 million for the construction of the gallery, and seeded an endowment fund to run operations.
“We are grateful for the City of North Vancouver’s strong support and partnership in making The Polygon Gallery a reality, and we are now working hard to ensure it is well positioned for future sustainability. This is a vision that has been decades in the making,” he said.