After having ignored a community treasure for years, District of West Vancouver is finally making some progress on a place cherished by artists and citizens alike.
The Klee Wyck subcommittee of the Arts Facilities Advisory Committee met recently to review the property that was bequeathed to the District of West Vancouver by Dr. Ethlyn Trapp. A relative of Dr. Trapp, Mr. Smith, has been also been appointed to the subcommittee.
The rustic property on the banks of Capilano River was frequently visited by world-renowned artist Emily Carr.
Dr. Trapp lived here from 1942 until her death in 1972. A physician and a humanitarian, Dr. Trapp deeded the property to West Vancouver in 1960 and named it ‘Klee Wyck’ in honour of her good friend and world-renowned artist Emily Carr who wrote her autobiography with that title.
From 1980 to 2012, the home was being used to host arts program but the artist studio occupancy agreement was terminated in 2012. After that, it was used for storage. The green house later served as a nursery until 2012, which is no longer in use.
District of West Vancouver had let the property rot for years, much to the chagrin of local artists, who saw the neglect as an insult to the memory of both Trapp and Emily Carr and a waste of a precious resource.
This isn’t the first time West Vancouver has planned a revamp of Klee Wyck property. The district has created plans before only to ignore and forget them. The property eventually fell into disrepair to the point where it could not be used for any community purpose.
In June this year, however, District of West Vancouver said it had engaged the community and found out the site was not suitable for activities that attract large number of people due to its location in a residential neighbourhood and issues with accessibility.
The site, district said, was more suited for public art space, artist’s studio space, and recreational support, something that won’t come as a surprise to any local artist.
The subcommittee will now brainstorm on the possible uses for the Klee Wyck property. This study will run parallel to the district’s art facilities plan.
Finally, after years of neglect, there is some hope for Klee Wyck.