There’s 22 stairs from the first floor of the Waterfront Gallery to the second. Kathy Holmes, President of the gallery knows. She’s counted them many times lugging boxes up to the office, which is also home to the Ladysmith Arts Council.
So she, fellow LAC members and visitors to the Waterfront are looking forward to the day – hopefully in November or sooner – when an elevator, now under construction in the gallery entrance, is operational, and getting to the top will be as easy as pushing a button.
“We’re really excited because it’s going to be a benefit to the community,” she said.
And community partners have given the project a big lift: the federal government kicked in $40,000, The BC Rehab Foundation another $18,000. The Town of Ladysmith, which owns the historic building where the Waterfront is located, and the Cowichan Valley Regional District also helped, as has the Ladysmith District Credit Union.
As much as Holmes and other frequent users of the 22 steps are celebrating, the group that will benefit most are those who, until the elevator doors open, can’t get upstairs at all. “It makes us compliant, so people of all abilities can get upstairs,” Holmes said.
That doesn’t make the elevator a work of art, but it is an addition to the gallery that will be much appreciated by many.