Metchosin Arts and Cultural Centre Association (MACCA)
Metchosin Muse, January 27, 2017
There is a large, vibrant and diverse arts and culture community in Metchosin. Ten years or so ago, the old (1914) Metchosin School sat forlorn, boarded up and a potential blight in the middle of Metchosin village. At the same time several arts groups had expressed frustration over the lack of local, aff ordable and accessible studio/ meeting space.
We can credit Jo Mitchell, Colleen Brownlee, and Mary Gidney for connecting these two situations, and for having the vision and commitment to convert the school into what it eventually became … an artistic and cultural focus for Metchosin. In due course, the Metchosin Arts and Cultural Centre Association (MACCA) was established to help showcase artistic and cultural endeavour and to promote Metchosin as a destination community for the arts.
MACCA is a registered non-profi t organization and is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors who oversees operations.
When we’re talking about volunteer groups in Metchosin, MACCA is a little diff erent from some other volunteer organizations. Yes, it is volunteer, in that the seven board members are all volunteers, but MACCA is also a physical Arts and Cultural Centre and it is really there to help Metchosin’s cultural community.
These volunteers arrange for rentals of space at the centre, raise funds for operations, review and select applicants for grants, and otherwise make certain that the centre provides the facilities, services, and programs for the arts and cultural community in Metchosin. Some volunteers help with social media communications, some volunteers visit schools to support the arts in schools.
MACCA receives no fi nancial support from any level of government. MACCA has developed a modest, self-sustaining budget that includes returning money to the community through grants as well as providing aff ordable studio space. Volunteers deserve a great deal of credit for generating consistent levels of funding that have supported MACCA.
The variety of renters at the centre is really quite remarkable. Artists in leatherwork, soap making, sculpture, painting, music, and woodworking operate at the centre and there is a waiting list of about ten artists who would like to rent space. All the artists at the centre have workspace and interaction with other artists that provides collaboration, inspiration, mentoring, and support from like-minded individuals. Artists arrange for their own events, displays, and exhibitions. MACCA is looking into the possibility of arranging for group events.
But all of these artists are volunteers as well. Whether assisting in clean-up, mentoring a young student, or contributing muscle to a fellow artist’s exhibition, MACCA succeeds because it is responsive to the Metchosin arts and culture community.