Artistic Directors Report
Khyber Arts Society AGM 2013
2013 marks the Khyber building’s 125th anniversary. As many of you may already know, the building was originally erected in 1888 as the Church of England Institute Building and back then its purpose was not unlike what it is today, to provide space for social activity and interaction. To me, it is truly amazing how this building and its purpose have carried on and morphed into the Artist-Run Centre that it is today.
Over the last year the Khyber has continued to stabilize and strengthen as an organization and has continued to invest in our infrastructure. For the office we purchased a new top of the line iMac computer, adobe software, multi-function printer. My partner Miriam and I built a new front desk. We now have print drawers and new shelving to house our archives.
We hired a bookkeeper. We have started a volunteer gallery sitter program. Most importantly, we have been spending more on our artistic program and offering more artist fees. Offering more artist talks, critical writing, and publications to the public. We are actively partnering with other like-minded organizations to cost-share on programs.
We initiated a Volunteer appreciation night. We received funding to send a Society member to act on behalf of the Khyber to the Institutions by Artists conference in Vancouver. We received two separate grants to oversee the creation of a membership database and initiate a donor campaign. We have hired two consecutive fulltime staff members through the EI Job Creation Partnership program.
Carbon Arc Cinema group moved out into a better-suited space for their program and is continuing to run independent films regularly. We have been using the Turret room once again as a flex space to accommodate community functions and more regular music. The Khyber has taken steps to initiate an official music program currently being overseen by Hannah Guinan, Ryan Allen and Kat Shubaly.
In conclusion, the building’s accessibility for public use has been fought for on a fairly regular basis throughout the building’s existence, even back in the Church of England days. Previous Khyber Director Emily Vey Duke once told me that the Khyber wouldn’t be the Khyber unless it was constantly being “saved” or fought for. I am not sure if that is entirely true, but I do know that with the building still in flux, and under the responsibility of HRM’s bureaucrats, fighting for this building is something we still must be prepared to do. We must be prepared to fight for it’s continued use as a cultural centre for public presentation. We must be vigilant to ensure the spirit of the Artist Run Centre is maintained. And we must also retain control and autonomy over the groups and programming that goes on in the building.
A big thanks to Hannah Guinan, Ryan Allen, Miriam Moren, our hard working Board of Directors and Society volunteers. And an especially big thanks to Garry Neill Kennedy, who has sat on our Board since 2007 and is without a doubt that the Khyber might not still be here if it wasn’t for his hard work and consultation over those years.
Daniel Joyce, Artistic Director
Khyber Arts Society