In the blog earlier today, I wrote about the thoughtful & inclusive process Mississauga has undergone to research the betterment of arts and culture in the city. The creation of venues for culture, heritage and education in Mississauga, has pretty well taken a back seat to 30 years of building houses, and attracting business. Pretty well complete, the city has outgrown its "bedroom community" moniker. More people are coming into Mississauga to work than leave, and guess what? A lot of artists want to work, learn, perform, teach, exhibit, sell, share, mentor, here too. But where?
Well, AIM, (Artists in Mississauga) and the Lakeview Ratepayers Association, may have the solution! Sitting on Lakeshore Blvd East, with Lake Ontario to its back is the 33,000 square foot Small Arms Inspection Office Building. This building has everything one could envision for a world level arts (all arts) centre.
· It is ENORMOUS- solving city's desperately needed room for studios (visual art , dance, sound, & more), workshops, installations, cafe, galleries, heritage museum
· fabulous lighting everywhere - huge windows, skylights
· high ceilings (which do play a part in creativity - high ceilings, big ideas)
· Location, location, location. By the lake, Lakeshore Rd & Mississauga Transit, by Longbranch Go, by TTC streetcar, by Marie Curtis Park, by future parks and Lakeview's Heritage Plan
· Plenty of free parking space
· handy to plenty of walk by traffic - especially when those parks go in
· Large welding area- large garage doors - set to go as metal sculpture centre. Who else has one of those?
· Important potential for tourism, arts, culture, and citizen destination
· Important potential for artist to sell, work, interact, teach, exhibit, Stay in their city to create!
· Heritage: This building with its historical connections to World War 2, feminism, 40's architecture, & Mississauga development deserves to be saved, and used well. It embodies one of Mississauga's most exciting historical stories.
The Negatives? We're not in there..yet.