The Centre Of The Arts Community In Dawson Creek
In 2014, the Dawson Creek Art Gallery was recognized as the northern winner of the Architecture Foundation of BC’s best building contest.
This building is utterly unique in concept, design and its cultural value in presenting visual arts in BC. In 1982 the community recognized the value of preserving one of the iconic symbols of Dawson Creek’s agricultural heritage: the prairie grain elevator.
Local architect Jim Rose designed the ramp system that shapes the exhibition space and interior court.
The South Peace Art Society operates the Dawson Creek Art Gallery as an inclusive, creative, cultural centre for all members of the community and the BC Peace Region on behalf of the City of Dawson Creek.
The Gallery is a public gallery dedicated to the presentation, interpretation and advancement of the Visual Arts and Crafts. The Gallery features local, regional and touring exhibitions year round.
The Dawson Creek Art Gallery is a public gallery dedicated to the presentation, interpretation and advancement of the Visual Arts.
Managed by the South Peace Art Society, a dedicated group of volunteers, the Dawson Creek Art Gallery was the first gallery in northern BC and has many accomplishments to its credit.
The Art Gallery features both local artists and touring shows on a year round basis.
About the Building
The Dawson Creek Art Gallery is housed in a renovated annex of a prairie elevator, situated in a municipal park (NAR Park) in the centre of Dawson Creek. The Art Gallery was moved into the elevator in 1983 and in 1984 won the Heritage of Canada Foundation Award of Merit. The gallery is owned by the City of Dawson Creek and is operated by the South Peace Art Society. The Art Society has a membership of over 100 practicing artists in Dawson Creek and surrounding area.
The Gallery uses a ramp system along the walls of the annex which accommodates 200 linear feet of hanging space. The main elevator facility attached to the annex is accessed through outside doors and is open for self-guided tours during the summer and upon request. This part of the complex has information panels and didactic material relating to the operation of a prairie grain elevator.
Art Gallery History
Northeastern B.C. was opened up by agriculture in the 1920s and ’30s. The area grew to such proportions in the mid 1940s to become the most productive grain producing and shipping area, for its size, in the British Empire. By the late 1940s, there were 13 wooden grain elevators constructed in and around Dawson Creek.
As a result of improved technology, the 1960s became the beginning of the end of the once common structure. They are now replaced by two larger, modern elevators.
In early 1982, the city of Dawson Creek realized an important symbol of Canadian agriculture would become history. At this time there were only two elevators remaining. The city looked into the possibility of acquiring one. They then had to decide how it could be moved, where they would get funding, and how the structure could be put to use.
In July 1982, the Alberta Wheat Pool agreed to sell to the city a 65,000-bushel elevator complete with a 45,000-bushel annex, a scale house and the office, all for $1.00; if it could be moved by November 30th, 1982.
A new location was found in the Heritage Park. The total cost of the move was estimated at $110,000. Mix Brothers Services Ltd. Of Edmonton were hired and began by poring a cement slab foundation. On November 19th the annex, weighing 290,000 lbs. was moved. On November 23rd, the 460,000 lbs. Elevator, the scale house, and the office began their move. By November 26th, all the buildings were in place at the new location.
Currently the grain elevator houses the Dawson Creek Art Gallery, its administration offices and community programs.
Pictured to the right is the original building that housed both the Art Gallery and the Tourism office. This building is now the Tele-communications building that is beside city hall.