Letter to Halifax Mayor and City Council

June 1, 2014

Dear Mayor Savage and Halifax City Councillors,

On behalf of the Khyber Art Society we would like to express our thanks and appreciation for the support extended by Halifax Council to our organization during our recent moving and relocation. As an artist run centre with a significant history in the cultural life of Halifax’s downtown, the Khyber has met many challenges to its very existence head-on for the better part of two decades, and with the generous financial aid promised to KAS over the next three years, we have solid assurance that such challenges can continue to be met.

Although the $45,000 support moved by Council in early April has yet to be disbursed, we have indeed moved into our new premises on Cornwallis St and have already recommenced with our programming and events. We look forward to consolidating our relations with Halifax Cultural Events and Programming with new projects and initiatives over the duration of our new tenancy.

We are pleased to have secured a freshly refurbished space, presently the largest not-for-profit, independently-run exhibition space in HRM, in a central location in the vibrant Gottingen St neighbourhood. However, it must be noted that commercial rent and associated charges are significantly higher than those KAS has managed over the previous nineteen years. That, and the interruption in our regular programming and revenue generation at 1588 Barrington St, present us with immediate challenges to our sustainability. Despite this our support from Canada Council and Arts Nova Scotia is confirmed, and our defining mandate as an exhibition space is viable. Given the reduced space and tenancy conditions however, our ability to host musical performance and events is significantly impacted. In short we are faced with adapting to a very different presence in the cultural community.

Such challenges must be met. KAS has a strong history of collaboration with other Arts Organizations and Institutions, and more immediately with emerging local groups. “Outreach” is an overused word but we will apply ourselves to the many ways in which our activities can enable culture in the community.

Please consider this letter of thanks as an open invitation to yourselves to visit us at our temporary location anytime. We hope to meet more formally in coming months to further discuss Halifax’s downtown cultural strategy, as our organization is considered a key partner in cultural incubation. We especially hope that such discussions include the Khyber Art Society in our best-known location at 1588 Barrington St as a cultural hub in the near future.

Again, many thanks for your ongoing support. A precedent has been set with this recent Council decision, which will be noted Nationwide, as a signal that Halifax is committed to serving its cultural communities. We are honoured to have been granted this distinction, and eagerly anticipate demonstrating that this is money well spent.


Andrew McLaren                                           Daniel Joyce,
Board of Directors, Chair                              Artistic Director,
Khyber Centre for the Arts                            Khyber Centre for the Arts

CIRCA 1995