For over 40 years the Richmond Potters Club has enjoyed a mutually beneficial arrangement with the City of Richmond.
Many volunteer hours provide technical and administrative direction for the adult pottery classes. The club owns and maintains the majority of the equipment in the studio.
In return, the city has provided the studio space. It does not hire staff or provide any technical assistance.
In June of 2010, rent was increased over 300 per cent for the artist groups at the Richmond Art Centre.
The pottery club negotiated at length with city staff and agreed in good faith to a workable contract that allowed us to continue to offer adult classes and club membership studio time for 2011.
In October, 2011 the club received notice from the city of a further 15 per cent increase and also a rollback of the negotiated contract concessions.
This situation puts the Richmond Potters Club in a grave financial position.
These increases in rent will likely result in the demise of the club and the loss of a valuable volunteer arts contribution to the city.
We have met with city staff to discuss our concerns. At this point we have no resolution to our financial dilemma.
Recently, you have published articles regarding Richmond's support of the arts. It is now time for the city to show financial support for its local resident artist groups at the Richmond Art Centre.