Supporters of the new arts centre in Kenora are sharpening their pencils, as they work with city council on a budget.

"This is the first year of a new operation," said Lori Nelson, as part of her deputation for councillors last week. "So, all of the museum board and staff have been very thoughtful about the operations. We've considered the best practices of the museum and have tried to have realistic but stretched goals."

In her presentation last week, Nelson reduced her December request of $187,297 by $54,023 to about $133,274. This is mainly due to the fact the centre isn't expected to open until mid-August.

Nelson noted the 2019 request is based on a nine-month operating year, rather than 12, because the city budget isn't expected to be approved until March at the earliest. Also, the summer student position isn't included in the spending estimates, due to an anticipated mid-August opening.

As a result of the revised budget estimates, the city's share of operating costs is reduced from around 60 per cent to about 51 per cent.

Future projections would see the request from the city rise to about $158,000 in 2020 and $176,000 in 2022. This represents and increase of just under $43,000.

Financing for the project came together quickly, with $2 million from the $4.5 million coming from provincial and federal governments.

The donation of 65 pieces of art by W.J. Phillips from the collection of Nicki and Bryce Douglas forms the core of the gallery. It will be located between the Lake of the Woods Museum and the Service Ontario offices.

Along with seven exhibits a year, two full-time staff and a summer student are also expected to host four programs a week.

For more information:

Gallery fundraising complete

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