The Winkler Arts and Culture Centre continues to bring the arts into the limelight.

However, WAC Chair Tomm Penner says the challenge remains in raising operating costs and growing their volunteer base. Both are difficult to secure for an organization in the start-up phase. "It's easy to donate money and give your time when you see a lot happening. It's harder when the programs haven't yet come to fruition," he says.

Currently, the WAC Centre offers a growing number of opportunities like children and adult art classes, music and poetry nights in partnership with the Back Forty Festival, a gift show for local artisans and a gallery featuring new exhibitions each month. Yet, Penner says the board's vision is clear, one that expands their current scope and would include more non-traditional arts such as wine-making seminars, wood carving and fine cuisine.

"What isn't clear to us is how we can consistently raise capital for day-to-day expenses," Penner says.

While they receive some grants for specific projects, he notes the Province's granting system for the arts branch is "poorly managed" and doesn't readily take on new art centre applicants.

Penner notes the system has been described as one with "no on ramp and no off ramp," meaning long-time beneficiaries seem to never lose funding, while newer entities have trouble gaining access to money.

He notes local donations have also waned in recent months. While the public is attracted to large infrastructure projects, he says paying the bills isn't as appealing.

To learn more about WAC, visit their website.

WAC is looking for ways to bring more non-traditional artwork to the centre