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Thursday, February 01, 2007

HEART PROBLEMS AT PLANNED VENUE

From this week's Georgia Straight...
Hope seems to be fading for a proposed multidisciplinary arts centre at 639 Commercial Drive, a building that was most recently the home of the Raja Theatre. For months, local arts organizer Jhayne Holmes has been using her formidable on-line networking skills in an attempt to rustle up the roughly $500,000 needed to buy the historic theatre in order to turn it into Heart of the World, a venue for everything from dance performances and live music to film screenings and visual-art exhibitions.

Holmes told the Straight she has managed to raise that daunting figure through pledges from donors and investors, but not in time to meet the January 15 deadline stipulated in the contract she signed with the building’s owners. As a result, the Heart of the World proposal has dipped into a legal morass in which Holmes faces the possibility of forfeiting the $48,000 deposit she put down on the Raja in mid December.

“We tried to get an extension,” she said, noting that the price demanded for that extra time was well beyond her means. “So the first contract is over with, and I’m hoping to find a proxy—someone else to try and deal with it, because they [the owners] won’t deal with me again.…We’re hoping to still get it, but we have to find someone who’s willing to step in for us and do it.”

> Brian Lynch

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