Faced with a list of capital work projects, the Jasper Cultural & Historical Centre is looking to raise about $200,000.
The board hopes that grants and public donations will help it reach its target.
It is also launching a Legacy Programme aimed at former Maple Creek and area residents, who may be interested in supporting arts and heritage.
Donny White, board chair, outlines the financial challenges in a letter to friends of the Jasper Centre. In it, he said the board was confident about raising the required funds.
“Be assured, donations of any size are important and we hope that between the local, Legacy and grant efforts, we will be able to tackle all the necessary work, while at the same time keep the Centre running throughout the coming summer/fall.”
White said numbers had come in for capital work, including $60,000 for the roof.
In March, a big chunk of the roof fell to the ground after being dislodged by fierce winds. About two-thirds of the costs were covered by insurance. However, during damage assessment, it was discovered that the roof membrane required fixing.
Other cost estimates are: $85,000-$100,000 for front entrance masonry and $25,000-$30,000 for the two entrances, not counting a ramp.
“This does not include the monies necessary to operate the Centre itself which has been a real challenge due to COVID and the drastic loss in admissions, programmes and special event revenues,” said White.
He added, however, that the board remained undaunted by the challenge, despite Maple Creek Town Council’s decision to turn down the Centre’s request for a $20,000 grant each year for 2022 and 2023.
At its May 25 meeting, Mayor and Council opposed the request without discussion. Declaring an interest, Councillor Betty Abbott had left the chamber before the vote was taken.
White said the Jasper board was investigating a number of grants, even though they “are all very competitive and with deadlines already passed”.
He believed that the general public would support the Jasper Centre – the largest year-round tourist attraction in the town of Maple Creek and the largest arts/heritage facility in the immediate Southwest – and the board’s efforts to maintain the historic structure and provide quality programming/exhibitions.
“Due to the uncertain nature of grants, we are looking to the community and beyond to help raise the necessary funds – many generous donors have already stepped forward with amounts ranging from $100 to $5,000 with several in the $1,000 range.”
White said all donations can be made to “The Jasper Centre” Box 1504, Maple Creek, SK S0N 1N0. Anyone with questions should call 306-662-2434. Owing to the number of issues, e-transfers, or debit/credit cards cannot be accepted.