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Renos to Squamish's Brackendale Art Gallery will maintain and build on its beloved quirkiness

Come out and support the final events at the BAG this month before the temporary closure, says co-owner.
On March 18th Womxn's Night is at the BAG. It is a fundraiser for the Howe Sound Women's Centre.

The renovations to the Brackendale Art Gallery will be more like Botox changes and a haircut, not a complete face-lift. 

The characteristics that make the place unique such as the wall of faces and the tall white unicorn, aren't going anywhere, said Jessica Rigg, operations manager for the BAG. 

"The amount of aesthetic changes that we have planned are really, really minimal. Most of the work is actually going into fire safety stuff, like sprinklers and new fire exits. If anything, we'll just try to continue to grow off of what's there, as opposed to change anything."

The new owners — Rigg and Adrian Blachut — are working with local companies Blue Water Concepts and Stark Architecture. 

The renos will start at the beginning of April and end before the end of the summer, if all goes according to plan.

Rigg said upgrading the kitchen to commercial grade will take a bit longer.

The work will also include bringing up the building to 2023 standards and opening up the second floor, which was previously a private residence, so it can be a community and office space. 

"It would be a meeting, workshop and additional gallery space. So it will actually really open up what's available to the public, which I think people will be really excited to see," she said. 

"And we're going to make it more accessible, putting in a wheelchair-accessible washroom and entrance so that everybody in the community can come and enjoy the events that are happening there."

The plan is also to bring in more artwork from local artists, she said. 

There are many bibs and bobs left over at the BAG that were accumulated over the years, so in consultation with previous owner Dorte Froslev, the aim is to have a community fundraiser garage sale of sorts when the weather is better.

"Where people can come and donate and pick some of the things that they want to keep with them — pieces of art that they'd like to bring to their homes. Then that money would go towards, the arts community here in Squamish."  

Rigg said the community has been supportive and helpful in offering possibilities for the space and more. 

"The community's really come out in full force with ideas and we're really open to it," she said, adding she is super excited for all that is to come for the community hub.  

The last public event before the temporary closure is at the end of the month. 

But in the meantime, Rigg said she hopes the community will come out for the events hitting the stage this month:  

•On March 16th: Deep House Yoga will host the final night of the Deep House Yoga series at the BAG. 

"This flow-through dynamic yoga class is led by Doug Craig, with deep blissful underground sounds provided by DJ Mike Kelso," Rigg said.

•On March 17th: The Crescent Sky performs. 

"A super talented Indie folk band from B.C. who will be a more chilled-out option for live music and a night out on St. Patty's Day," said Rigg. 

•On March 18th:  Womxn's Night takes over the gallery.

"An inclusive celebration of the talented womxn of Squamish and a fundraiser for the Howe Sound Women's Centre. We are partnering with Queen Bee Boudoir and Pearl's Value and Vintage," Rigg told The Squamish Chief. 

"We will be holding a raffle with all proceeds going to HSWC and are currently accepting donations from local companies/organizations who wish to support."

•March 24th: AHRF  will perform for the last show before renovations begin. 

"Pulling inspiration from 2000s alternative rock and a variety of Canadian punk bands, these local boys are sure to put on a fun, high-energy show," said Rigg. 

Find all the events on Eventbrite.

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