2012- The City of Dawson Creek has a historic downtown with many businesses and public facilities. The city has seen a lot of recent development occur outside the downtown core, drawing away traffic and business. Among the historic buildings in the core sits the city's decommissioned post office, which has been recognized by the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office as having historical significance to Dawson Creek.
In order to revitalize the downtown, a feasibility study was conducted to determine the viability of converting the heritage building into a new community cultural centre, named the Calvin Kruk Centre For The Arts. The new facility is named after former Dawson Creek Mayor Calvin Kruk and will be a legacy that is more than just his namesake. It is also a tribute to his commitment to the arts and the environment. Calvin Kruk was also a director on the board of Northern Development Initiative Trust.
Dawson Creek and communities in the South Peace region benefit from a large variety of cultural and broader community organizations, most of which operate out of the Kiwanis Performing Arts Centre, located in a residential neighborhood north of the downtown. The new community cultural centre would accommodate arts and community organizations that do not presently use the existing performing arts centre and provide patrons with a location that is more easily accessible.
The market analysis stage of the feasibility study indicated that the new facility was ideal because of its superior location downtown, the historical office is a local landmark and it is well constructed for a long and useful service life. The final report recommended a process for implementation, including development and financing strategies. The project has recently begun the construction phase with the selection of a firm in March 2011. The grand opening is being planned for the spring of 2012.
For more information on this project, please visit the Calvin Kruk Centre For The Arts webpage that is maintained by the City of Dawson Creek.
The feasibility study can be obtained from the City of Dawson Creek and is publicly available for download from the city's website.
"The Post Office site has been on our radar for some time. In terms of the history of the site, the integration of green technology and the opportunity to bring vitality and life to the downtown core is very exciting. The project offers us a tremendous opportunity to be part of something special."
Bruce Haden, Hotson Baker Boniface Haden Architects
"The vision of former Mayor Calvin Kruk, the new arts centre is a legacy that is more than just his namesake. It is also a tribute to his commitment to the arts and the environment. The new facility will provide a much needed home for the performing and visual arts, bringing higher profile to each. As well, reusing the former Federal building and retrofitting it with state-of-the-art technology will minimize the centre's environmental footprint."
Mike Bernier, Mayor, City of Dawson Creek
The analysis undertaken with this project has demonstrated that the development of the Calvin Kruk Centre For The Arts is economically viable. The study showed that there are many residents living in households with annual incomes over $70,000, that many of the citizens are library card holders, and that these demographics typically indicate that the population would be supportive of enhanced cultural activities within the community.
The feasibility study has directly lead to the renovation of the facility into the community's envisioned Calvin Kruk Centre For The Arts, which has resulted in major capital investment in Dawson Creek that is anticipated to spur further redevelopment in the community's downtown core while also directly increasing tourism and retail activity for local businesses. In addition, the reuse and adaptation of an existing building is in keeping with former Mayor Calvin Kruk's strong vision of sustainable development within Dawson Creek.