Historical and Future Connections
The historic property, Harrison Memorial Community Church in Crawford Bay, was built in 1920 by Commander Harrison in memory of his family, two of whom were killed in WWI. It has been used as a community church since then, and in recent years as a venue for many musical events. During its history it has been lovingly cared for by various small church congregations and community volunteer groups.
In 2019, due to dwindled congregation, the property was at a crossroads of ownership and direction. ArtConnect was formed in 2020, and had a vision for the property as continued community use as a cultural venue. Due to its period architecture, excellent acoustics and stained glass windows, ArtConnect nominated the property to the Regional District Historic Register and it was accepted. It is a true heritage jewel in the community.
an awareness campaign to lease the property in early 2020.
When the property was listed for sale with a Realtor in July, 2021,
time constraints threatened its acquisition as a community asset.
Fortunately an angel sponsor…a long time community family… stepped up and offered a five year bridge loan to the South Kootenay ArtConnect Society, and, with the help of a $5,000 RDCK grant, membership donations used for due diligence and immediate repairs, and $3,272 from Nelson and District Credit Union allocated for insurance, the Society was able to purchase the property for $167,500.
Due diligence was completed prior to the purchase to determine the building and property condition…and it is very good. Regeneration upgrades will also be required for its full utilization as a long term community cultural center. These upgrades will not materially affect the historic character of the property. With the help of a Columbia Basin Trust Non-Profit Advisory grant, a strategic plan is being developed.
The truth is, only with community support will the re-purposing of the building become a reality.
Now fundraising is needed to finalize the purchase for community use.