The Vancouver Island School of Art is to receive a new home at the Ross Terrace development at 2566, 2570 and 2560 Fifth St. (File contributed/Aryze Developments)

Vancouver Island School of Art gets new home approved

A new rental complex by ARYZE and The Purdey Group will also house the new art campus

The Vancouver Island School of Art (VISA) officially has a new home after the City of Victoria approved a new development in Quadra Village.

Ross Terrace, a development by ARYZE Developments and The Purdey Group at 2566, 2570, 2580 Fifth St., will house two four-storey buildings containing 64 rental units and a new 6,000 sq. ft. campus for VISA.

VISA was evicted out of its long-term home at 2549 Quadra St. in 2018, and has temporarily been renting space at the former Blanshard Elementary School building at 950 Kings Rd.

READ MORE: Vancouver Island School of Art looking for new home

ARYZE had already purchased the land for Ross Terrace, and had initial designs in hand when it heard that VISA was in search of a new space and put its plans on hold.

“We had three side-by-side plots of land,” said Luke Mari, partner at ARYZE. “We figured if we couldn’t find a home for them, it was unlikely anyone would.”

When Wendy Welch, founder and executive director of VISA got a phone call from Mari asking if she’d be interested in a purpose-built space at a subsidized rental rate she was shocked.

“I said ‘are you serious?’” Welch recalled. “I was curious, why would they want an art school? But one thing with the Purdey Group and ARYZE is they’re interested in building something that has a link to the community.”

ALSO READ: Vancouver Island School of Art sets course for new Victoria campus

Since discussions began, Welch has been working with architects to create a campus space that suits artists’ needs. The new VISA campus will include two classrooms, a gallery and 15 studio spaces. In addition to this, one of the rental spaces upstairs will be offered to an artist at a subsidized cost as a form of “artist in residence” at the school.

Twenty per cent of the units will also be offered at an affordable rate, while another 24 per cent will be family friendly – meaning two- or three-bedroom units. The units will range in size from 380 to 990 sq. ft.

Shovels will hit the ground in January 2020 and it will take approximately 13 months to complete.

“We’re really happy to be able to stay in Quadra Village,” Welch said. “All of the positive feedback this has received … It’s given such a sense of optimism to people in the arts community.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Artsdevelopment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Food safety a good practice amid COVID-19 concerns

BC Centre for Disease Control offers useful food safe information for households

Sidney’s top emergency official says he is not aware of any COVID-19 cases in the community

The public Sunday also heard of future plans to help local businesses through tax deferments

COVID-19: Victoria plumbing company dedicates van for grocery delivery

The Super Plumber uses van to pick up groceries for those in need during COVID-19 pandemic

Digitization of Peninsula News Review by Sidney Museum and Archives preserves historical legacy

Searchable database will ease research and preserve integrity of records

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

Most Read