Arts and cultural hub proposed for the historic Melfort Post Office building

Photo courtesy of Devan Tasa/ East Central Recorder The Historic Post office building is set to become an arts and cultural hub.

Nicole Goldsworthy
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

MELFORT – The newly formed committee has put forth a terms of reference for proposing an arts and cultural hub in Melfort.

On April 23, the Governance and Priorities Committee reviewed the terms of reference to establish an Arts and Culture Hub Working Group. The Committee recommended that the terms of reference be forwarded to City Council for approval. 

Rob Lok, City of Melfort Community Director of Community Services said the purpose of the working group is to determine what is required for the Melfort Arts Council (MAC), as an umbrella organization, to become a civic partner and administer an Arts and Culture Hub at the Historic Post Office (HPO). 

Lok said the historic Post Office is a cultural landmark that holds the potential to become an Arts and Cultural Hub, with the MAC as its lessee. 

In the City of Melfort’s report it said the Working Group will seek community feedback on its potential impact. It will study existing arts and cultural hubs in different communities to gain insights and learn from their experiences. It will work on a framework that prioritizes capital spending for the HPO and assess how grants written by the MAC impact capital projects.

The working group will propose procedures that will clearly define the roles and responsibilities of managing the day-to-day operations, maintenance, and financial aspects of the HPO, including outlining specific roles and responsibilities related to booking events at the HPO. To ensure this partnership’s success, the working group will seek community feedback on its potential impact. Finally, it will formally present our recommendations to the Council for consideration.

Lok said the HPO recently had the lead paint abatement work completed, and the main floor of the Historic Post Office is currently available for rent as a venue.

The Melfort Arts Council Inc., Youth Matter Canada and Melfort Youth Evolution have expressed interest in using the Historic Post Office as an Arts and Cultural Hub.

The working group will provide lease terms that align with the goals and vision for the HPO.

If the GPC wishes to proceed, incorporate any changes or recommendations from the GPC into the Terms of Reference (TOR) 2. Council approves the TOR and appoint members . Schedule first meeting of the Working Group

Draft terms of reference

  1. Objective: Determine what is required for the Melfort Arts Council (MAC), as an umbrella arts organization, to become a civic partner and administer an Arts and Cultural Hub at the Historic Post Office (HPO).
  2. Membership: The committee shall consist of the following members: Two Council Member(s); Melfort Arts Council Representative; Youth Matter Canada Community Representative; Two Members-at-Large; Director of Community Services; Community Development Coordinator.
  3. Responsibilities: Review and evaluate proposals from the Arts Council for leasing the historic post office as an Arts and Cultural Hub. Items the Working Group may investigate but are not limited to:
  • Seek input from the community on the potential impact of leasing the HPO to MAC;
  • Review other communities’ Arts and Cultural Hubs;
  • Develop a framework to prioritize capital expenditure for the HPO;
  • Recommend who is responsible for the Historic Post Office’s operations, maintenance, and capital expenses;
  • Determine how grants written by MAC to fund capital projects supporting the repair of the HPO affect are coordinated;
  • Recommend responsibilities for booking the HPO and how it will be incorporated into the operations of an Arts and Cultural Hub;
  • Recommend lease terms;
  • Present recommendations to the Council.

The Working Group will appoint a chair and secretary at its first meeting.