Looking to continue their incredible growth as an organization over the past number of years, the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council (NVCAC) is developing a strategic plan to support arts in the Merritt area. 

The arts council has grown substantially since the beginning of the pandemic, moving into a new location, expanding their reach and programming, and a new docket of community events and offerings. Recently, NVCAC’s board held a Strategic Planning Workshop in nearby Spences Bridge, using the information and ideas gathered to build a 3-5 year roadmap for the organization. 

“Over the last four years, the NVCAC’s reach and programming have grown in leaps and bounds, starting with their move to the current location beside Kekuli Cafe and followed by the expansion of the artisan gift shop program, increased volunteer involvement, and exciting new course and class offerings,” reads a press release by the NVCAC. 

“Based on this substantial growth, the NVCAC Board of Directors made the decision to formalize the organization’s vision and mission in a strategic plan that will serve as inspiration, motivation, and accountability to keep the Arts Council moving forward.”

The arts council attributes this growth to its dedicated and passionate team of volunteers, with the organization’s Board looking to sustain this growth and connect the community with its artistic side. The NVCAC is actively connecting with community members and organizations to collaborate and develop new initiatives that engage locals’ creative side and promote the value and benefits of the arts in Merritt.

“During the retreat, the Board of Directors discussed the Art Council’s values, vision, and mission, as well as goals and plans to expand their outreach with programs like the Art in Motion mobile unit to connect with communities around the Nicola Valley,” adds the release. 

The NVCAC offers a number of classes, courses, a community art gallery and gift shop in its downtown location, among a number of other opportunities for creative expression and community engagement. The arts council’s new strategic plan will include details on how the organization plans to sustain and support these programs and initiatives, with the draft document being provided to NVCAC members in the coming weeks. 

March is Membership Month at the NVCAC, with individual memberships available for $20, and group/commercial memberships at $35. All donations are tax deductible, and memberships support the arts council’s initiatives in the community. While the NVCAC is appreciative of the funding it has received from the City of Merritt, TNRD, BC Arts Council, and the BC Gaming Commission, increasing membership is one of the organization’s goals. The organization relies on public funding to support their programs, and membership drives affect applications to receive those grants. 

Memberships can be purchased online at www.nicolavalleyarts.com, via the ‘Donate + Join’ tab. Anyone who purchases a membership in the month of March. will be entered into a draw for a gift basket filled with contributions from the artisans of the Art Gallery Artisan Gift Shop. More information the NVCAC’s programming and initiatives can also be found on the site.