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

Camosun College team working to turn Indigenous art into virtual reality

Expert team will scan Victoria Indigenous artist Carey Newman’s work The Witness Blanket

Cherry Bomb Toys, which houses the National Toy Museum of Canada, has had a rough year

The property that’s home to Cherry Bomb Toys is listed at $2.6 million

Victoria hotel proposal threatens Old Town conservation, advocates say

Height requests defy historic district’s guidelines

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5 million for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

Resident mistakes screaming teens’ late-night plunge for an emergency

Big week for Oak Bay Police who respond to rampant theft in Oak Bay, host Polar Plunge

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Maggie and Tim: A residential school survivor and her son who died on B.C. streets

Part one of a two-part series on a young man’s tragic death and his mother’s survival through hardship

Most Read