Excitement is building—literally and figuratively—at the Brackendale Art Gallery (The BAG), as reopening draws ever closer.
Reopening is planned for late January, "which is super exciting," said co-owner Jessica Rigg, who took over the iconic building from Dorte Froslev in April with Adrian Blachut.
For the last few months while the community hub was closed, work has been underway to bring the facility up to code.
"We've done a bunch of structural work and upgraded the plumbing and electrical on the building. And so now we're winding down the more infrastructure-based renovations," Rigg said. "And then the next couple of months, we'll be focused on getting all the awesome finishing work done."
This month marks The Bag's 51st anniversary.
For those who cherished the historical pieces of The BAG, most built by hand by the late Thor Froslev and friends, there's nothing to fear.
"A lot of what we're doing will be putting back what was originally there and keeping a lot of the historic features," she said.
The changes that are coming will likely be welcome, including a new commercial-grade kitchen.
"We'll be able to really extend the food service offerings and have like a daily café open seven days a week, which I think will be really great for the community in that area—to have a bit more options," she said.
The facility will be reworked to be able to maximize the space where people and groups can reserve room to host workshops or events, as well as be able to cater events in the evening like dinner theatre.
The second floor, which used to be private living quarters, and the art gallery will be opened up. The gallery will be extended to showcase more local art.
The former chapel will be revamped as a multi-use community gathering space that will be available to the public.
Have your say
The BAG is also launching a community survey to gather feedback about what kind of events and activities locals would like to see in the reopened hub and how they would like to engage with the space.
"We are really excited to gather community feedback and understand how we can grow The BAG into a thriving arts and culture center for the community," said Rigg.
Survey questions are around what people are most looking for at the facility, but also where they live, how you travel to get to the property, and how you previously interacted with The BAG.
There is a short portion of the survey that takes just a couple of minutes, or if you want to offer more of your opinions, you can keep going and do a longer survey that asks more specific questions, such as if you would like to see more music events at The BAG, what genre, and how often would you go to such an event.
If you take the longer survey, it can be completed in about five minutes.
The survey will stay open until Dec. 15th, after which the owners will review the results and start implementing their program planning for February.