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Nov. 27, 2020 | Friday
Local News
Pumphouse hosting reno tours to mark reopening
Gail Kerr, Niagara Pumphouse office manager, sits outside of the newly renovated arts centre (Jessica Maxwell)

Doors at the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre have been closed to visitors since the beginning of 2019, but they are almost ready to be reopened. 

The Pumphouse is ready to welcome visitors back for a renovation reopening tour and first art exhibitions of the year on Aug. 2, as a fundraising effort for the arts centre.  

Tours can be reserved by calling the centre or booking on the website.  

“We’re feeling excited, we’re ready,” said office manager Gail Kerr.

“We’re doing many things different now.” 

“It is our major fundraiser this year and so we’re hoping people are going to be generous. If they have a minimum donation of $25, they will get a charitable tax receipt and their name will be entered into a door prize,” she said. 

The prize is 12 bottles of wine "generously supplied by our board members.” 

To ensure safety for guests and volunteers, time slots for tours are spaced 30 minutes apart. Separating tours and controlling the number of people in the building allows for proper physical distancing of guests. 

The Pumphouse's waterfront space will also be available for guests to bring their own picnics to enjoy before or after their tour, with physically distanced tables provided. 

“There will be a group of volunteers at the entry door and at the exit door controlling the number of people in the building. That’s why the assigned time slots are important,” Kerr said.  

“We’ll be taking everybody’s name at the door even if there are some drop-ins,” she said. 

“We want people to register. If you’re a drop-in you might have to wait to get in because we are going to control the number of people in the building.” 

The renovation tour will include an exhibit that features Beverly Barber, a mixed media artist who won first place in the 2019 Walker Industries Art Competition. She will be in the gallery from 2  to 4 p.m. on Aug. 2.  

As well, there will be an exhibit by Niki Kingsmill, an artist who led online painting classes for the Pumphouse during the COVID-19 shutdown. 

After being closed for six months, Kerr said the arts centre is looking forward to being open and providing resources for the community again. 

“It provides art classes and information and opportunity to create art, but it also provides a lot of opportunity for socialization.” 

“There’s a lot of our members and patrons that really rely on that component as part of their socialization, so that component has been really missing for them. Now we’re anxious to give it back to them.” 

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