AGENDA REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN GREATER VERNON ADVISORY COMMITTEE SPECIAL MEETING

AGENDA REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN GREATER VERNON ADVISORY COMMITTEE SPECIAL MEETING
REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN
GREATER VERNON ADVISORY COMMITTEE
SPECIAL MEETING
Thursday, October 15, 2015
8:00 am
AGENDA
A.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
1. Greater Vernon Advisory Committee – October 15, 2015
RECOMMENDATION 1
That the Agenda of the October 15, 2015 Greater Vernon Advisory Committee special
meeting be approved as presented.
B.
NEW BUSINESS
1. Greater Vernon Cultural Plan – GVAC Workshop No.7
− Greater Vernon Cultural Facilities Workshop Discussion Paper dated September
10, 2015
Page 1
− Letter dated September 8, 2015 from the Vernon Public Art Gallery regarding the
upcoming referendum
Page 17
− Report dated January 2015 titled Canadian Conservation Institute - Facility
Assessment for the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives
Page 20
− Report dated January 2015 - Canadian Conservation Institute - Facility
Assessment for the Vernon Public Art Gallery
Page 52
C.
ADJOURNMENT
GREATER VERNON ADVISORY COMMITTEE - SPECIAL AGENDA
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GREATER VERNON CULTURAL FACILITIES
WORKSHOP DISCUSSION PAPER
Created for the Regional District of North Okanagan by CitySpaces Consulting Ltd. September 10, 2015
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Overview ......................................................................................................................................................... 1 1. Publicly owned Cultural Facilities ........................................................................................................... 1 Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre................................................................................................................. 1 Greater Vernon Museum & Archives ........................................................................................................................ 2 Vernon Community Arts Centre ................................................................................................................................ 4 Vernon Public Art Gallery .......................................................................................................................................... 4 Caetani Cultural Centre ............................................................................................................................................. 5 Okanagan Science Centre .......................................................................................................................................... 6 2. Public Perceptions of Cultural Facilities Assets and Gaps ....................................................................... 7 Strengths and Assets ................................................................................................................................................. 7 Gaps, Deficiencies and Risks ...................................................................................................................................... 8 3. Future Facilities Planning ........................................................................................................................ 9 TRENDS IN FACILITY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT ............................................................................................... 9 ESTABLISHING AN INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT EVALUATION FRAMEWORK FOR GREATER VERNON ............ 10 Appendix B1 – Facility Cost summary with annual visitorship ................................................................................ 11 Appendix B2 – SAMPLE GUIDELINES FOR FUNDING ELIGIBILITY AND SERVICE DELIVERY EXPECTATIONS ............. 13 Greater Vernon Cultural Facilities Discussion Paper | May 2015 Page 2 of 87
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GREATER VERNON CULTURAL FACILITIES
WORKSHOP DISCUSSION PAPER
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OVERVIEW The Greater Vernon area has a number of publicly owned facilities providing spaces for cultural production, presentation, preservation and education. The purpose of this paper is to provide the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee with information that will facilitate a discussion on recommended improvements to the existing support that the Regional District provides toward these facilities, and the method of delivery of that support. The paper also provides a high‐level assessment of how well Greater Vernon’s cultural facilities are meeting the needs of the community, and alternatives and approaches for addressing facility needs and gaps in the future. The findings presented in this discussion paper are based on three sources of research. The first is an assessment of the cultural facilities in which those cultural organizations, who are supported by the Regional District of North Okanagan (Regional District), operate. This research was conducted through a combination of site visits, interviews, and desktop research. The second is a review of best practices from other communities, and the third is a summary and commentary of public input on Greater Vernon’s cultural facilities received through public engagement as part of the Greater Vernon Cultural Plan. 1. PUBLICLY OWNED CULTURAL FACILITIES The following is an assessment of the publicly owned facilities that are currently being used for the purposes of providing cultural programming, and are supported financially by the Regional District. The assessment includes a summary of the purpose of the facility, relevant building details and key notes with respect to operations and funding. VERNON & DISTRICT PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre (Centre) is Greater Vernon’s premier performing arts venue. The facility was built in 2001 and financed through borrowing supported by a successful referendum in 1999, and is owned by the Regional District. The total cost for construction of the facility was $9.754 M. The land on which the facility is located is owned by the City of Vernon, which has caused some complications in the past, such as challenges with liquor licensing. The 36,500 sf facility’s key spaces are a 750‐seat auditorium and a 1,240 sf flexible black box space with a capacity of 100. The Centre is rented between 185‐205 days a year, offering a mix of music, theatre, dance and spoken word performances. The Centre welcomes an estimated 50,000 ticketed attendees per year. While there are a number of minor inadequacies with the Centre (e.g., no elevator to the upper balcony; small box office and concession areas), the facility is seen to be functioning well. The building is in good condition with good upkeep and maintenance. The Centre recently completed $300,000 worth of upgrades to improve the audio/visual quality, taking the Greater Vernon Cultural Facilities Discussion Paper | May 2015 Page 3 of 87
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system from analogue from digital. In 2015 the Regional District committed funding to expand the concession area by adding an extension to the bar, which will increase food and beverage service capacity and alleviate one of the identified inadequacies. The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society (Society) operates the Centre under the terms of a five‐year "Management and Operating Agreement" with the Regional District. This contract has been re‐negotiated for four terms, with the most recent agreement negotiated in early 2015. The Centre operates with 18 staff in total, with 7 full‐time and 11 part‐time, and receives support from about 300 volunteers providing a total of 6,000 hours a year. As part of the negotiated agreement, the Regional District pays for all utilities, permits, the mechanical systems within the facility, and the exterior of the building. The Society employs a part‐time maintenance staff, who is able to oversee the maintenance of the building, reducing the need for Regional District coordination. The Society is responsible for replacement of small equipment due to wear and tear, while the Regional District is responsible for most replacement items, including mechanical, electrical, theatre seating and key facility components (flooring, etc). The agreement is detailed in assigning replacement responsibility in an inventory, which makes up part of the operating agreement. The Regional District also provides a grant to the Society toward operating costs, which includes $15,000 for direct programming costs (i.e. bringing in performances). In 2014, the operating funding grant provided by the Regional District covered approximately one quarter of the Society’s annual operating expenses, based on 2012 figures. Almost 60% of its operating budget comes from earned revenues. Figure 1. Breakdown of operating funding sources for
the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society
GREATER VERNON MUSEUM & ARCHIVES The Greater Vernon Museum and Archives building was constructed in 1967 to coincide with centenary of Canadian Confederation. While a Vernon Museum had been in existence since 1949, this building provided the Museum and Archives with the opportunity for a permanent home. The City of Vernon owns the Museum and Archives building, while the Regional District maintains the building in exchange for use of the space at no rental cost. There is no formal lease or license in place for the Museum’s occupancy of the building, which is something that should be corrected. Ownership transfer is not recommended due to the geographic proximity and shared infrastructure of the museum and Vernon City Hall. The Greater Vernon Museum and Archives Board of Directors was established by a Regional District bylaw in 1982. The Greater Vernon Museum and Archives is a registered charity, but not a registered society. The Museum’s lack of Society status, in conjunction with the Regional District Bylaw that establishes the Museum Board, creates ambiguity around roles and responsibilities of the Regional District in relation to liability and management issues of the museum. It also prevents the Museum Board from gaining the benefits of operating as a Society, such as access to specific, additional funding sources. Although the Museum is supported by the Friends of the Museum (Friends), which is a registered society, the Friends are best used as a source of volunteers rather than a body to secure large grants, as they are not the direct service Greater Vernon Cultural Facilities Discussion Paper | May 2015 2
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provider making them also ineligible for many funding opportunities. Most Museum’s in BC are operated either, directly by local government (less commonly), or by a registered not‐for‐profit society (most common service delivery option). There is no current agreement in place between the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives and the Regional District for the operation of the service as a result of their operating grant. Such an agreement would help clarify roles, responsibilities and expectations in the operations and maintenance of the facility and of the programming. The Regional District currently maintains the museum building, in its entirety, although the Regional District no longer employs a Facility Manager. The Regional District also provides IT/IS services, which it does not do for any other cultural organization. The staff of the Museum currently report any facility maintenance issues directly to the Regional District, who then notifies the appropriate contractor, creating an unnecessarily cumbersome response system. The mandate of the Museum organization is to collect, preserve, research, exhibit and interpret the collections of artifacts and materials relevant to the region. The Museum currently has two, full‐time staff and five part‐time staff, as well as many volunteers, with whom it delivers upon its mandate. The archival material and collections are owned by the Regional District, which is consistent with most communities and is appropriate for the protection of these public assets. As such, it may be appropriate for the Regional District to continue to directly provide IT/IS services, as this makes up the storage of a significant portion of the archives and collections record‐keeping. Expectations of the stewardship of the collections and archives should be included as one of the responsibilities of the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives, within an operating and management agreement. Along with the main building, the Museum has five off‐site, small exhibition spaces (satellite locations) that it maintains: the Vernon Curling Club; Kal Tire Place (home to the Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame); Paddlewheel Park Hall, the Vernon Cadet Camp and, most recently, Silver Star Ski Hill and Resort. Each of these satellite locations takes staff time to establish, maintain and update. It is important to recognize that, although the satellite locations may be an effective way to bring a piece of the museum’s collection to more people, any new satellite location is, in essence, a small expansion of the museum. As such, each new location will require additional resources in order for it not to adversely affect the resources of the main location. In 2014, the facility was assessed by the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI), an agency of the federal government whose mandate is to “promote the proper care and preservation of Canada's cultural heritage and to advance the practice, science, and technology of conservation.” The resulting report provides a number of options for improving collections preservation, which include maintaining the existing building, preparing a collections development and use plan, providing more space (facility expansion, off‐site storage, non‐collections storage space), and new construction. Currently the funding provided by the Regional District toward operating expenses is determined on an annual basis (through an annual grant application), and defined for this purpose as a percentage of the Museum and Archive’s overall budget. The Regional District provides almost 70% of the Museum and Archive’s budget, based on 2012 figures. The remainder is raised through grants (8%) and own sources (23%). The Greater Vernon Museum and Archives has received consistent increases in their operating grant funding, with recommended funding levels from a 2006 consultant’s report being achieved by 2009 (levels were based on operating costs necessary for the existing facility). Since that time, there have continued to be increases equal to or greater than the annual CPI levels. Figure 2. Breakdown of operating funding sources for
Greater Vernon Museum and Archives
Greater Vernon Cultural Facilities Discussion Paper | May 2015 3
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VERNON COMMUNITY ARTS CENTRE The Vernon Community Arts Centre (Arts Centre) is operated by the not‐for‐profit society, the Arts Council of North Okanagan (ACNO), who in 2001 entered into a 20‐year agreement with the City of Vernon and the Regional District to renovate and operate its current facility for the provision of community arts programming. The City owns the facility and a License of Occupation is held by the Regional District. As prescribed in the agreement, the ACNO is responsible for the maintenance of the building interior, as well as for paying utility costs. The Regional District provides a grant to help with the costs related to their occupancy of the building (utility expenses, janitorial and building maintenance expenses), which has remained static for the last five years at $39,360. The Arts Centre is housed in a former high‐school industrial arts building. The Centre includes eight multi‐use studio spaces for painting, ceramics, glass, lapidary classes and other uses. The building is of sound construction and appears to be in good condition on the exterior. On the interior, upgrades are being completed systematically to ensure that the facility can continue to meet the needs of the users and is functionally operational. As money becomes available, projects are tackled. The Regional District has contributed to facility improvements on an adhoc basis in the past, upon request and in consideration of the financial ability of the Greater Vernon Parks, Recreation and Culture department in the year requested. The Regional District is responsible for maintaining the exterior of the building, including the exterior walls and roof. The Centre offers a variety of art classes and programs for a range of ages and user groups. Feedback from consultation identified a need for more and enhanced programs for people with disabilities and for youth. The Arts Centre’s current Joining Hands program is well attended, and has been very successful in engaging adults living with a disability in the arts. The operating agreement includes a condition that the Arts Centre is not to duplicate programming with the Vernon Public Art Gallery. This condition is based upon sound principles, as public monies should not be investing in competing services; however, with no such agreement in place with the Vernon Public Art Gallery, the conditions are unilateral and therefore hard to enforce. The Centre is run by two full time staff, who are supported by 25‐30 sessional and part‐time staff, and about 85 volunteers who provide about 4,000 hours of volunteer service a year. Attendance is estimated to be between 20,000 and 21,000 a year. The Centre receives more than a third (37%) of its funding the Regional District based on 2012 figures, while its earned revenues account for more than half (54%) its annual budget. from Figure 3. Breakdown of operating funding of
Arts Council of North Okanagan
VERNON PUBLIC ART GALLERY The Vernon Public Art Gallery is a not‐for‐profit society that focuses on contemporary art. Its roots can be traced back to 1945 and over the years the Gallery has been housed in various locations, but has been at it current location since 1995. The gallery is located at street level in a storefront at the base of the City of Vernon‐owned parkade. The Regional District holds a lease on the facility in which the art gallery is located, for which the Regional District pays approximately $6 K per year. As this agreement is a landlord/tenant arrangement, the facility maintenance remains the responsibility of the City of Vernon, with the exception of specialized equipment associated with the art gallery. The facility has been expanded over the years, growing into adjacent space, and is now approximately 6,200 sf and includes four exhibition spaces. As with the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives, the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) conducted a facility assessment of the Vernon Public Art Gallery in 2014. The CCI examined the Art Gallery primarily through the lens of art Greater Vernon Cultural Facilities Discussion Paper | May 2015 4
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preservation. The resulting report provides some strategies to reduce current risks to the art, which include improvements to the current facility and strategic collections care. It goes on to say that, while some mitigation of risk to the art collection is possible through facility improvements, a “substantial renovation of the existing facility is not recommended due to lack of adequate space and limited potential for risk reduction, particularly with regards to security and environmental control.” One full‐time staff and seven part‐time / contract staff operate the Gallery; it is supported by 40 to 50 volunteers, representing 1,400 volunteer hours a year. Attendance levels in 2014 were approximately 6050, which is down from 7,185 in 2013 and 7,500 in 2012. There is currently no agreement between the Regional District and the Gallery for their occupation and management of the facility, or the deliver of the service as a result of their operating grant. Such an agreement would help clarify roles, responsibilities and expectations in the operations and maintenance of the facility and of the programming. Based on 2012 actuals, Regional District grants accounted for 59% of the Gallery’s annual revenues. The remainder of the Gallery’s budget consisted of grants (23%) and own sources (18%). Figure 4. Breakdown of sources of operating funding
for Vernon Public Art Gallery
CAETANI CULTURAL CENTRE The Caetani Cultural Centre is based in a circa 1895 heritage house previously owned by artist Sveva Caetani. The house and grounds were bequeathed by Caetani to the Art Gallery and the City of Vernon, as Trustee Owner, to be used for the arts. The Regional District holds the Caetani House and property through a License of Occupation. For a time, the Vernon Public Art Gallery utilized the grounds for events and rented out the units in the house. In 2008, the Caetani Cultural Centre Society was founded to oversee the intent of the original dedication, which was to maintain a centre for the arts including a gallery, art workshops and classes, and an artist‐in‐residence program. The house is approximately 6,000 square feet on three and a half levels, and over the years has undergone extensive renovations. As a result of these, the house includes four self‐contained apartments that are rented to artists. The grounds include additional five artists’ studios as part of the Centre’s artist in residence program. The grounds are used for an annual summer music series, with about one event a month between May and September. The building, while in relatively good condition, requires ongoing and costly maintenance and repairs. A small endowment was provided for upkeep, but is inadequate to provide enough funding to meet the current maintenance needs. The Society and its Board are currently working to improve the building condition, with a goal of being able to open up the main floor of the house to the public. There is currently no agreement in place between the Caetani Cultural Centre Society and the City of Vernon or the Regional District to operate and maintain the facility. Such an agreement would help clarify roles, responsibilities and expectations in running and overseeing the maintenance of the facility. Figure 5. Breakdown of sources of operating
funding for the Caetani Cultural Centre
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The Caetani Centre is operated by one manager and one events coordinator, and receives more than 1000 volunteer hours per year. Funding from the Regional District is limited, and is primarily for grounds maintenance. There have been capital funding grants provided to the Society for the last two years, for upgrades to the Centre, totaling $37,500. The City of Vernon provided funding to replace the roof approximately five years ago. The Society raises 80% of its operating budget through own‐source funding, including rentals, memberships, and fundraising. OKANAGAN SCIENCE CENTRE The Okanagan Science Centre (Science Centre) is a science and technology exhibition and education facility. It is located in central Vernon on a property connected to Polson Park and adjacent to the Vernon Community Arts Centre. The building is a City of Vernon‐owned Municipal Heritage Site, which is leased by the Vernon Science and Discovery Centre Society at no cost (nominal $10), who is responsible for managing and maintaining the building. The Science Centre has modified the interior space to provide as much programming space as they can, but have indicated that additional space may be required in the future to allow them to continue to grow their exhibition space and programming. They recently leased and renovated the adjacent Anna Cail building to provide additional programming space. Building occupancy costs are approximately $32,000 (based on 2014 figures), with approximately $15,000 in utilities and $17,000 in maintenance expenses. The Science Centre plays an important role in the enrichment of science education, as it sees approximately 30,000 visitors annually. This does not include the people reached through the Random Acts of Science Bike or outreach at the schools, which adds an additional 10,000 people. Public funding to support science centre’s is not unprecedented; in fact, the Regional District of Fraser Fort George, serving the Prince George region, provides funding to their Science Centre, the Exploration Place Museum and Science Centre, as does the City of Calgary and the City of Vancouver. Public consultation through the planning process has indicated that there is community support for providing public funding to support the Okanagan Science Centre. Feedback from the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee seemed to indicate interest in providing exploring the option of providing facilities for cultural programming. Almost two thirds of the Science Centre’s revenues are own source. The Regional District supports the Centre by providing 8.5% of the Centre’s annual revenues. It receives about 6000 volunteer hours per year. Figure 6. Breakdown of the operating funding sources
of the Okanagan Science Centre
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2. PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS OF CULTURAL FACILITIES ASSETS AND GAPS The Cultural Plan process included extensive public consultation between June and September 2014. Much of the input that was received related to cultural facilities, and this section of the facilities assessment report will discuss the results of the public consultation through the lens of this cultural facilities review. STRENGTHS AND ASSETS Generally, the findings of the public consultation suggest that residents recognize that Greater Vernon has a number of important and appreciated arts and cultural facilities. Note that the following is not intended to provide a comprehensive list of all the facilities that are considered strengths and assets in the community, but rather it is a summary of those facilities that, through the Cultural Plan public engagement process, were identified as used most often or felt to be especially noteworthy. Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre. The results of public consultation found that the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre is the local cultural facility used most by residents. Also, more than any other cultural facility, it is considered by residents as “the best thing about Greater Vernon’s cultural scene.” Vernon Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library. The results of the public consultation found that the Library was a viewed as a key cultural facility. Providing reasonably priced meeting space, and a wealth of resources and programming, the library is highly valued by the community. Local theatres. The results of public consultation found that the Towne Theatre and Powerhouse Theatre, two small venues providing venues for film and live theatre respectively, are two of Greater Vernon’s most frequented cultural facilities. The Towne Theatre is a one‐screen movie theatre located in downtown Vernon. The theatre screens several different films during the week, offering a range of Hollywood and independent films. The Powerhouse Theatre is a 250‐capacity theatre which has been in operation since 1963. The venue provides an important venue for locally produced theatre. Greater Vernon Museum and Archives. Results of public consultation indicated that the Museum is also one of Greater Vernon’s most frequented cultural facilities. It was the fifth most common response to the question “The cultural facility I frequent the most is ...” asked as part of the Cultural Plan’s public engagement. Gallery Vertigo. Gallery Vertigo was identified through public consultation as a key local cultural asset. It is an artist‐run centre operated by the non‐profit North Okanagan Artists Alternative. Since 2002, Gallery Vertigo has been located in a rented space in downtown Vernon. The facility includes several arts presentation spaces, which are used for various types of shows and exhibitions, as well as for workshops, music performances, discussions and other events. The space also provides studio space for 11 artists, while serving as a social hub for the local arts community. Greater Vernon Cultural Facilities Discussion Paper | May 2015 7
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GAPS, DEFICIENCIES AND RISKS While there are a number of important and well‐used cultural facilities in Greater Vernon, it is clear that there are certain gaps and deficiencies. Some of the notable facilities gaps suggested through the findings of the public consultation included the following: Small venues for performing arts. While public consultation showed that residents value its existing venues for the performing arts, such as the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre and the Powerhouse Theatre, there is a feeling in the community that there needs to be a greater number of smaller performance venues. When asked “When it comes to culture, Greater Vernon needs...”, the most frequent response was the desire for more venues for performing arts, especially music. A connected finding of the public consultation is that Greater Vernon residents feel proud of its local music scene, with almost 20% of respondents to the question “I wish everyone in Greater Vernon knew about...” singling out the local music scene – the top response. These two findings – the perceived lack of venues for performing arts, especially music, and the pride in the local music scene, in addition to new organizations focused on bringing music to the community, suggests that the availability of venues is lacking in relation to the level of interest in local music. In addition to providing a location for live music, there was interest in a more general, adaptable (black‐box) small performance space (to seat 75‐
100). The Hub Arts Collective operated a grassroots, 90‐seat black‐box style performance venue that was available for mixed use. The Hub provided space that hosted monthly improv comedy shows, locally theatre productions, live music and theatre camps. Currently the Regional District does not provide facilities to support non‐profit societies operating a small performance venue, such as those that provide space for live music or theatre and geared towards emerging artists. In the case of the Hub, a lack of funding to support some necessary building maintenance ultimately resulted in its closure. In the future, the Regional District could look at providing a one‐time grant through the Greater Vernon Arts, Culture and Youth Project Grant, using the Cultural infrastructure investment Evaluation Criteria. This could provide the necessary support to enable these types of independent, grassroots initiatives to overcome short‐term challenges and become self‐sustaining. More cultural facilities and activities for youth. Public consultation found that there is a perceived gap in facilities and activities for children and youth in Greater Vernon. While many of the cultural facilities mentioned in this report offer activities and programs aimed at children and youth, a significant percentage of residents feel that this is one of Greater Vernon’s most pressing needs in terms of culture. It is not clear from the public feedback whether there is a strong feeling that a new cultural facility geared primarily towards children and youth is needed, or if additional programs offered through existing facilities would be adequate. Gaining a better understanding of the specific cultural needs for children and youth is a recommended area for follow up research. The future of Gallery Vertigo. As of the time of writing this paper, the building in which the Gallery is located was recently sold. Whether this will result in higher rents or the need for the Gallery to move is not known at this time. A new art gallery. Public consultation indicated that many residents feel that the Vernon Public Art Gallery needs a new facility. In response to the question “When it comes to culture, Greater Vernon needs...”, the fourth most frequent response was a new art gallery. This perception is likely a reflection of concern for the current facility to adequately preserve its collection (as noted in the section above) as well as the gallery’s somewhat awkward location and its uninspiring exterior appearance (a parking garage). A new/expanded museum. According to the findings of the project’s public consultation, residents feel that the museum should be expanded or moved to a new location. It has also been noted earlier that the facility being used for the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives is not adequate to its role as preserving cultural artifacts for future generations. Unlike the Art Gallery, however, the Museum’s current building is in a central location and is of architectural interest. This suggests that the desire for a new or expanded museum is most likely a comment on the overall sense that the museum is too small for its purpose. Greater Vernon Cultural Facilities Discussion Paper | May 2015 8
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Cultural Complex. Public consultation indicated that many residents feel that a cultural complex would be the best approach to address the future cultural space needs, including those of the art gallery and museum. In 2006, a strategic plan was developed for a cultural complex, which at that time, included the Vernon Public Library. This was a lengthy planning process, and there remains to be interest in this approach with many community members. 3. FUTURE FACILITIES PLANNING TRENDS IN FACILITY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT A Partnership Approach A leader in cultural development, the City of Vancouver is shifting its role from ‘planner‐provider‐deliverer’ to ‘enabler‐
convener‐catalyst‐ broker’. This shift looks to encourage collaboration within and between the public sector, cultural organizations and the broader community. This method strives to “…widen the responsibility and pool of problem solving experience and talent available for cultural spacemaking in Vancouver.” Of course Vancouver is not a reasonable comparator to Greater Vernon, in size or capacity; however, a notable and transferable trend is the movement toward partnerships and collaboration in the provision of cultural facilities and services. The City of Calgary has also made partnership a required component of any new facility, in that the City will not fund more than twenty‐five percent of a project, and has a cap on the total available public contribution per project. Multi‐purpose Places and Spaces Building on the trend toward a partnership approach to new facilities, there is also a growing trend toward multi‐purpose facilities, as the costs of new building tend to involve large amounts of capital outlay. The multi‐purpose facilities can be developed by the local government alone (e.g., Richmond Arts Centre or the Chilliwack Cultural Centre), or through a partnership model (e.g., Seattle’s 12th Avenue Arts, which is a partnership between several levels of government, a non‐
profit housing agency, and police department). This multi‐purpose trend also applies to the use of spaces within new facilities. Adaptable, multi‐purpose spaces that can meet many needs within the community are more efficient and provide the greatest benefit from community investment. This is particularly the case in small to mid‐size communities that cannot sustain specialized spaces that function strictly for one or two users. The use of short‐term multi‐purpose, pop‐up spaces are also being used to address space needs, through the use of vacant storefronts or properties. Use of Evaluation Frameworks Another trend that is being demonstrated through current best practice is local government’s use of assessment criteria, or an evaluation matrix, to support decision making around investments in public cultural capital. These evaluation criteria can be applied to any cultural capital investment that is made, from smaller scale improvements to new or significantly expanded facilities, with the level of detail being appropriate for the size of the project. The City of Calgary has chosen to use an arms‐length body as an initial review committee for their applications. The committee’s role is to review the applications and provide recommendations to the City, based on their application of their established evaluation criteria. Those recommendations are then brought forward to the City for consideration during the adjudication of the cultural infrastructure project funding applications. Other communities, such as the City of Vancouver and the City of Richmond, choose to internally audit the applications using their established evaluation criteria. Either way, the use of a pre‐
determined evaluation criteria provides transparency around the types of projects that will be considered, and the project objectives that will receive priority. Greater Vernon Cultural Facilities Discussion Paper | May 2015 9
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Evaluation frameworks can also be used to help establish new partnerships for service delivery. Over the past year, the City of Kelowna has been piloting the use of a Civic Partnerships Framework. The City recognized that their partnerships with external agencies varied widely (particularly in recreation and culture), involving the provision of City owned land, direct capital or operating funding, below‐market leases, permissive tax exemptions, operating agreements, service agreements, or a combination of same. Similar to the Regional District, most of their partnerships had been developed on a case‐by‐case basis, with some being in place for many years. As a result, the reporting and strategic measurement of each partnership had been inconsistent. In response to this issue, the City developed a framework to guide and ensure consistent outcomes in all partnerships implemented by the City, which included:  Articulation of how a particular partnership is/will be beneficial and accountable 
An understanding of what a healthy and effective partnership looks like and how it functions for both staff and partners 
Consistency, confidence and clarity in setting and meeting partnership objectives, expectations and standards 
A pro‐active, supportive and solutions‐oriented approach when problems arise 
Access to reliable data and information about the programs and services being delivered by partners. The City is currently testing this Framework within a few select existing partnerships, and using it to guide new partnership considerations. At the conclusion of the trial period, City staff will review the model against 2015 activities, make adjustments as needed and consider further implementation based on available resources. ESTABLISHING AN INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT EVALUATION FRAMEWORK FOR GREATER VERNON The decision to make an investment in cultural infrastructure, be it an improvement or a new space, must be based on consistent guiding principles. Below is a draft list to inspire discussion, based on examples of best practices: Outcome Driven – the decision to expand or construct new cultural spaces will be outcome driven, with clear and well‐established objectives. Community Impact – cultural spaces will be developed to yield maximum benefit and positive impacts for the citizens of Greater Vernon, and public investment will reflect the anticipated community impact; these spaces will enrich and contribute to the quality of life in Greater Vernon. Affordability – cultural spaces will work to achieve equity in the creation of affordable facilities and services, with co‐location of facilities examined, and consideration of the use of existing, suitable spaces. Cultural not‐for‐profit organizations engaged in providing programming in Greater Vernon also require affordable use of facilities in order to sustain their activities for the benefit of Greater Vernon residents. Adaptability – cultural spaces will offer Greater Vernon residents with a wide variety of opportunities related to creative expression and cultural programming. To enable growth, there is a need to plan for facility capacity that is flexible, adaptable and expandable. Accessibility – geographic location of cultural spaces should consider factors of accessibility, such as the availability of parking and transit, in addition to being designed to be accessible to all residents and visitors. Aesthetics – cultural spaces should be spaces that insight innovation and inspiration. Aesthetic considerations should be considered in the design of new or expansion of buildings. The preservation of historical aspects of buildings will also be respected in order to enhance understanding of our past and build a sense of identity and pride within the city. Greater Vernon Cultural Facilities Discussion Paper | May 2015 10
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APPENDIX B1 – FACILITY/SERVICE COST SUMMARY WITH ANNUAL VISITORS Greater Vernon Museum and Archives 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Vernon Public Art Gallery 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Arts Council of the North Okanagan 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Caetani Cultural Centre 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Facility Costs Operating Grant TOTAL Annual Visitors $48,946 $88,045 $101,813 $89,980 $77,932 $153,301 $161,804 $189,214 $184,235 $186,077 $202,247 $249,849 $291,027 $274,215 $264,009 13,085 12,637 11,285 no data 11,636 Facility Costs $80,936 $80,860 $67,876 $70,900 $81,462 Operating Grant $121,500 $123,930 $158,375 $177,625 $177,625 TOTAL $202,436 $204,790 $226,251 $248,525 $259,087 Annual Visitors 5,660 6,534 7,447 7,185 6,050 Facility Costs $40,571 $40,154 $34,894 $39,923 $35,043 Operating Grant $83,675 $83,675 $95,000 $95,000 $95,950 TOTAL $124,246 $123,829 $129,894 $134,923 $130,993 Annual Visitors 24,425 21,363 21,671 21,746 23,163 Facility Costs $7,500 $7,000 $7,000 $7,000 $3,167 Facility Occupancy $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 Operating Grant $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 TOTAL No data Annual Visitors No data No data Operating Grant $0 $0 $35,500 $35,500 $35,500 TOTAL $35,500 $35,500 $35,500 Annual Visitors No data No data 26,000 28,843 Okanagan Science Centre 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Greater Vernon Cultural Facilities Discussion Paper | May 2015 Page 13 of 87
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2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Facility Occupancy $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 Operating Grant $15,000 $15,000 $15,000 $15,000 $15,000 TOTAL $15,000 $15,000 $15,000 $15,000 $15,000 Annual Visitors no data no data no data 3,174 1,571 Boys and Girls Club* 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Facility Occupancy $60,344 $61,881 $88,432 $66,767 $56,247 Operating Grant $77,997 $79,556 $81,147 $82,364 $99,960 TOTAL $138,341 $141,437 $169,579 $149,131 $156,207 Annual Visitors 51,050 56,458 58,152 51,445 no data Gallery Vertigo *The Okanagan Boys and Girls Club (Club) agreement allows for the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club to occupy the current facility for the delivery of recreation programming for youth and children. The agreement requires that the Club develop programs to compliment rather than duplicate those offered by the Regional District. With the Regional District no longer responsible for the delivery of the recreation services, this coordination must now be done with the City of Vernon and cannot be managed as part of the existing agreement. This is ineffective, and there is risk that efficiencies are lost and duplication of programming may occur. As part of their agreement, the Regional District is responsible for maintenance, repair and/or replacement of: the exterior building, the grounds; mechanical systems; alarm system, and upgrades and maintenance for specific areas within the facility (excludes the CCR area and the preschool). The Regional District also pays utility costs, with some reimbursed from the Club for the excluded areas of the facility. In order to encourage efficiencies, it would be best for the Club to complete all interior building maintenance. As the Regional District no longer provides recreation services, consideration should be given to having the support for the Boys and Girls Club be incorporated, in its entirety, into the Recreation and Programming Grant Service. This would allow for oversight of the agreement, to prevent program duplication and encourage efficiencies, as well as align the service type with the appropriate provider. This would require minimal work related to facility ownership, as the facility is owned by the City of Vernon, and the property could just be removed from the current License of Occupation. Page 14 of 87
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APPENDIX B2 – SAMPLE GUIDELINES FOR FUNDING ELIGIBILITY AND SERVICE DELIVERY EXPECTATIONS Funding Eligibility Criteria: The following is a list of criteria that organizations must meet and maintain the following criteria in order to be eligible for Regional District Funding. The organization must:  Provide programs and services are within the Greater Vernon Arts, Culture and Youth Services mandate (scope of service);  Provide programs and services that fill a recognized gap in the community;  Must demonstrate: o A recognizable need for funding assistance for program and service delivery. o A proven record of public support.  Not deliver services and/or programs, which are already being provided by the public or private market.  Have a clear art, culture or youth focus in their vision and mandate, which is reflected in the bylaws or other governance documents;  Be a registered not‐for‐profit society, in good standing, that operates in Greater Vernon;  Provide art, culture and/or youth services to Greater Vernon residents without exclusion to anyone by reason of religion, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, language, disability or income;  Demonstrate good governance, through the establishment of long terms plans and policy manuals, healthy operations, and clear and written objectives.  Demonstrate financial stability, sound administration and organizational capacity;  Demonstrate a proven track record of public service and excellence in programming;  Demonstrate strong community ties and relationships;  Adhere to the accountability requirements set out with the approval of any discretionary grant;  Not be any one of the following: o Individual(s); o Political parties and advocacy groups; o Religious groups; o Educational Institutions; o Third parties raising funds solely for charity or their own purposes.  Demonstrate volunteer contribution: o Volunteers would not have any impact on funding for adult services o Volunteer contribution should be documented, acknowledged and reported. o The organization must show they are fiscally responsible and accountable. o The programs and services must have a well defined cycle of activities.  Maintain and report on user/Attendance Statistics: o Adults o Children o Breakdown by program types wherever possible 


Demonstrate sustainability and growth in program participation and/or visitor numbers. Deliver programming that adheres to Greater Vernon policy regarding recovery of costs, which is adult programming is to be run at cost‐recovery, and youth programming can be subsidized to a maximum of 50%, with policies in place. Must provide annual activity and financial reports. Greater Vernon Cultural Facilities Discussion Paper | May 2015 Page 15 of 87
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Considerations for reviewing/determining funding levels: The following is a preliminary list of considerations when considering new funding levels, or periodically reviewing funding levels:  The cost of providing the services if the staff were paid local government wages.  Comparison of subsidy to other Greater Vernon Parks and Recreation services.  Funding provided to organizations in communities of comparable size.  Funding per capita.  Accessibility to the public o Physical o Hours of operation  Economic spin off.  Demonstrated own‐source revenue streams, which demonstrate sustainability and/or growth. The following performance indicators will be used and incorporated into any funding agreement: o
Demonstrated good governance, through the establishment of long terms plans and policy manuals, and healthy operations. o
Optimized the service delivery to the community. o
Demonstrated own‐source revenue streams, including fees, funding from other levels of government and private sources, which demonstrate sustainability and/or growth. o
Demonstrated sustainability and growth in program participation and/or visitor numbers. o
Good record keeping, such as visitorship numbers and demographics, volunteer hours, etc. o
Demonstrated collaborative spirit, demonstrating cooperation in joint projects of mutual benefit with other community partners. Page 16 of 87
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Facility Assessment
for
Greater Vernon Museum and Archives
Regional District of North Okanagan
Vernon, BC
RevisedReport
January 2015
Irene F. Karsten
Preservation Development Advisor
Preservation Services
Report No. 126672b
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Table of Contents
1.
Executive Summary ......................................................................................................... 1
2.
Introduction...................................................................................................................... 2
2.1
Methodology ............................................................................................................................... 2
2.2
Scope ........................................................................................................................................... 2
2.3
Report .......................................................................................................................................... 2
3.
Risks to GVMA Collections in a Crowded Facility ......................................................... 3
3.1
Greater likelihood of accidental damage ..................................................................................... 4
3.2
Unacceptable fire risk.................................................................................................................. 5
3.3
More damage in the event of water leaks or flooding ................................................................. 7
3.4
Increased risk of damage due to pest infestation ......................................................................... 8
3.5
Higher risk of loss due to misplacement or theft ....................................................................... 10
3.6
More or faster colour fading...................................................................................................... 11
Greater damage from the deterioration of unstable materials due to inappropriate
3.7
environmental control ............................................................................................................... 14
4.
Strategies for improving collections preservation ...................................................... 16
4.1
Maintain existing building ........................................................................................................ 16
4.2
Prepare a collections development and use plan ....................................................................... 16
4.3
Provide more space ................................................................................................................... 18
4.4
Provide space that enhances collections preservation capacity ................................................. 20
5.
References ..................................................................................................................... 28
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CCI Mission Statement
Through conservation science, treatment, and preventive conservation,
the Canadian Conservation Institute supports heritage institutions and
professionals in conserving Canada's heritage collections so they can
be accessed by current and future generations.
This mission is accomplished through conservation research and
development, expert services, and knowledge dissemination – through
CCI’s publications, library, and professional development.
© Government of Canada, Canadian Conservation Institute
This report belongs to the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) as per the terms and conditions of your
Agreement(s) with CCI. No reproduction in any format or distribution in print or online of this report, in whole or
in part, is authorized without prior written approval from CCI. Requests can be submitted by e-mail to
[email protected]
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1.
Executive Summary
The Greater Vernon Museum and Archives has outgrown its building, resulting in an overcrowded
facility that puts collections at risk of damage in addition to compromising the visitor experience.
Insufficient space for all museum and archives functions results in:
 greater likelihood of accidental damage to collection objects or records,
 unacceptable fire risk,
 more potential damage in the event of water leaks or flooding,
 increased risk of damage due to pest infestation,
 higher risk of loss due to misplacement or theft,
 more or faster colour fading, and
 greater damage from the deterioration of unstable materials due to inappropriate environments.
Strategies recommended for improving collections preservation include:
Maintain existing building: Continued good maintenance will preserve the building fabric and keep
building systems functioning properly and, in doing so, protect collections held within. Substantial
renovation would better reduce risks if integrated into projects that address the need for more space.
Prepare a collections development and use plan: A clear vision of how the collection is expected to
grow and be used in the next 10 to 20 years will make strategies for providing additional space for
collections more effective. Steps towards such a plan include:
 Define ideal museum and archival collections for the Greater Vernon community.
 Prepare collection profiles.
 Identify collection needs.
Provide more space: The GVMA needs additional space to better manage the risks to collections.
This cannot be achieved within the existing building without a loss of programming and thus of service
to the community. Possible strategies to add space for collections comparable to that currently
provided are listed below, with the most effective listed first:
 Expand the existing facility.
 Create off-site collections storage.
 Develop satellite facilities for components of the collection.
 Add non-collection storage space.
These options would not necessarily enable the GVMA to meet the requirements for MCP Category A
designation but could serve as interim measures during planning and construction of larger projects.
Provide space that enhances collections preservation capacity: New construction – an addition or a
completely new facility – could provide enhanced preservation protection for collections and meet the
requirements for MCP Category A designation. Such a facility would be designed and maintained to:
 provide adequate space for use of collections,
 protect against fire in a fire-resistive structure,
 minimize water risks,
 resist pest infestation,
 provide excellent security though security systems and appropriate building structure,
 permit flexible, controlled light exposure with protection from UV,
 slow deterioration of objects and records in appropriate, controlled environments, and
 protect collections from dust and pollutants.
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2.
Introduction
At the request of the Tannis Nelson, Community Development Coordinator, Parks, Recreation and
Culture for the Regional District of North Okanagan, Irene Karsten, Preservation Development
Advisor with the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI), conducted a facility assessment of the Greater
Vernon Museum and Archives (GVMA) on 27 August 2014. The purpose of the assessment was:
 to assess the capacity of the current GVMA facility to meet the preventive conservation needs of
collections,
 to recommend short-term improvements for collections care in the existing facilities, and
 to provide specifications for facility designed for collections preservation that would meet the
requirements for Category A designation with the Movable Cultural Property (MCP) program in
the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canadian Heritage 2013).
The assessment was done in conjunction with the development of an arts and culture master plan for
the Regional District of North Okanagan which is intended to include a 10 to 20 year cultural facilities
strategic plan.
2.1 Methodology
This facility assessment is based on tours of the current collection facilities and discussions with
museum and archives staff. Tours were arranged by Tannis Nelson and led by Ron Candy, Museum
Curator, and Barbara Bell, Archivist. Following the site visit, staff at the CCI were also consulted.
The risks to the GVMA collection were assessed using the CCI Framework for Preservation and its ten
agents that cause deterioration to collections (CCI 2013).
2.2 Scope
This assessment focuses on risks to artifacts and records stored and displayed in the GVMA facility
and the ways in which facility improvement could reduce those risks. Facility modifications can also
enhance other institutional functions such as its capacity to provide programming and attract tourists to
the region. This report does not address such potential benefits unless there is a link to preventive
conservation of the collection.
2.3 Report
The report that follows summarizes preservation issues identified during the site visit, reviews their
impact on collection objects and records, and discusses options for managing risks. The report is
organized around two sections. Section 3 describes the key risks to the GVMA collections in the
existing facility. Strategies to improve collections preservation are presented in Section 4. Many of
these recommendations were discussed with staff while on site.
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3.
Risks to GVMA Collections in a Crowded Facility
The historical and archival
collections of the GVMA are
housed in a brick block and
concrete building located within
the downtown Vernon civic
complex (Figure 1). Solidly built
and well-maintained, the building
provides good basic protection
against damage to the collection
caused by what we in the field of
cultural property conservation call
the agents of deterioration: direct
physical forces, theft and
vandalism, fire, water, pests,
pollutants, light and UV, incorrect
temperature and incorrect relative
humidity (CCI 2013).
Figure 1. The GVMA building in downtown Vernon .
The Greater Vernon Museum and Archives has outgrown its building.
When constructed as a centennial legacy project in 1966, the building housed a library and art gallery
in addition to the museum and archives. An elegant, spacious structure at that time, the building now
barely contains the museum and archives that remain. Its 1100 square metres of space – half devoted
to exhibitions – house approximately 30,000 artifacts, 150 metres of archival records, 28,000
photographs and 4,000 books in addition to staff offices, work areas and non-collection storage.
Despite creative use of high density display and storage techniques, the result is insufficient space for
all museum and archives functions:
cluttered exhibits (Figure 2 left) with high artifact density and use of pull out drawers;
overfull artifact and record storage areas (Figure 2 centre);
insufficient room for non-artifact storage, which is spread throughout facility;
workshop space unusable for exhibit preparation due to lack of non-artifact storage space
(Figure 2 right);
 no dedicated space for temporary exhibits or programming; and
 inadequate space to receive larger groups of visitors.




Not only does this crowding compromise the visitor experience, the lack of adequate space is the
source of the greatest risks to collection objects and records even where building systems are adequate.
Selective collection growth is hampered and can only exacerbate space issues. The risks to the
collections related to overcrowding in this facility are described below, in order of potential (greatest
first) for damage or loss.
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Figure 2. Overcrowded exhibits (left), artifact storage (centre) and workshop (right).
3.1 Greater likelihood of accidental damage
Objects and records in museum and archives require careful handling to prevent physical damage,
especially since aged materials are often not as robust as new ones. Overcrowded conditions, like
those observed at GVMA, make proper handling of collection items difficult, even for trained staff.
Crowding also tends to increase the amount of handling required for collection use and the frequency
of surface contact from activity around collections, all of which increases risk of damage or wear.
Safe handling of collections and work around them is more difficult in crowded spaces.
In the overcrowded collection storage:
 stacked objects may crush others;
 stacked objects (Figure 3 left) may be unstable and more likely to topple if brushed accidentally;
 surfaces in contact may be scratched or abraded during movement, such as that of mobile
shelves;
 retrieval of tightly packed objects (Figure 3 right) or records is more likely to result in surface
abrasion or even tearing if excess force is used;
 handling is increased since many objects or records may be moved during retrieval from the
back of shelves or the bottom of stacks or boxes;
 objects are left in aisles and become tripping hazards: a danger to the objects in the aisles and
other objects nearby, as well as to staff;
 objects are less likely to be given appropriate support since good storage support often takes
more space.
When collection objects are difficult to retrieve due to crowding, objects or records may be used less
frequently, lowering their value to the community.
When non-artifact materials are stored around collections:
 movement of materials through collections storage is higher than in dedicated storage;
 navigation is more difficult due to objects in aisles and on stairs (see Figure 4 right);
 the risk of accidental damage is thus higher.
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Figure 3. Stacked ceramics in storage (left); tightly packed uniforms hung on hangers (right).
Crowding in the exhibits at GVMA makes it more difficult for visitors to follow and appreciate the
interpretive messages that staff have worked hard to prepare. But it also increases the physical risk to
objects:
 aisles become narrow or complex, impeding visitor movement;
 people – particularly in larger groups – are more likely to bump into large objects or cases;
 contact with objects may result in abrasion, scratching, even toppling.
Cases or storefront display prevent direct contact with most objects on display at GVMA, thus
mitigating this risk somewhat in exhibition galleries.
3.2 Unacceptable fire risk
The GVMA building has the basic fire protection systems needed for life safety and property
protection, including:
 smoke detectors in rooms and ducts,
 alarms and fire extinguishers, and
 a dry pipe fire suppression system throughout (except for archives vault).
The use of cement block and concrete makes the building structure fire resistive and should help slow
fire spread.
Congestion reduces the efficacy of fire protection systems.
Overcrowding reduces the degree of protection these systems provide should a fire occur. First,
evacuation routes are compromised:
 objects are stacked in front of what should be an emergency exit off the north west corner of
exhibits (Figure 4 left);
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Figure 4. Blocked exit door at northwest corner of exhibit galleries (left); cluttered staircase leading to upper
level storage (right).
 because of proximity to exhibits, this door is kept bolted for security purposes, lengthening the
evacuation route for people in the west side of the building;
 object congestion and winding paths complicate visitor evacuation through exhibits;
 storage along staircase to second floor storage narrows this exit route (Figure 4 right); and
 materials and objects partially block aisles of artifact storage rooms.
The lack of ample evacuation routes is not only a life safety concern but increases the likelihood of
accidental physical damage during evacuation when speed or panic may lower the level of care around
collections.
Strategies to maximize collection
storage density may also limit the
degree to which fire suppression
can control fire growth and spread,
should it start in artifact storage:
 densely stored collections
creates high fire load; and
 deep shelving units block
sprinklers from wetting
materials and thus from
reducing flammability
(Figure 5).
Such deep shelves are not required
for the moderate size of most of the
objects stored in these units.
Figure 5. Deep shelving units in artifact storage limit sprinkler
efficacy .
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3.3 More damage in the event of water leaks or flooding
No building is completely safe from occasional water leaks or floods even when adequately
maintained. Currently, the risk of water leaks in the building, and thus of water damage to the
collections, is exacerbated by:
 a roof that needs to be replaced soon and that is difficult to monitor due to its design;
 rerouting of steam pipes over exhibits (Figure 6, left); and
 sloping of walkways towards exterior doors at back of the archives vault (Figure 6, right).
Exhibit cases and shelving provide some protection from water leaks but only to part of the collection.
The GVMA is fortunately not located in a designated flood plain (BC Ministry of the Environment
2007) and is therefore not at high risk from natural overland flooding. Moreover, the entire facility is
above grade. The Okanagan climate is moderate; therefore, the likelihood of extreme daily rainfall is
lower than in places like Vancouver or Toronto. Catastrophic flood damage is therefore not expected.
Figure 6. Steam pipes passing over exhibit gallery (left); walkway sloping down towards archives vault
emergency exit door (right).
Water leaks in overcrowded collection spaces are likely to damage more objects.
Lack of appropriate storage and high collection density may result in greater collection damage even in
localized water leaks:
 more objects are likely to be affected;
 objects are stored on the floor where water tends to pool:
 wooden furniture or framed pictures will swell, stain, possibly crack or delaminate if
wetted (Figure 7),
 metal objects can corrode; and
 transfer of unstable dyes or other water-soluble materials to adjacent objects is more likely when
materials are in close contact.
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Figure 7. Collection objects stored on the floor are at risk of water damage in the event of water leaks.
An overcrowded building also complicates emergency response:
 staff have little space within the building to move things to, especially if the temporary
exhibition space is in use;
 moving things during collection salvage is more likely to cause accidental damage;
 salvage may be slower due to the amount of material which increases the likelihood of mould;
 storage of collection and non-collection materials in the same space may complicate salvage
prioritization; and thus
 time may be wasted on moving or salvaging replaceable exhibit or programming materials.
3.4 Increased risk of damage due to pest infestation
The collections at the GVMA contain many materials that may attract pests and are thus at higher risk
of pest infestation and damage:





insect specimens (see larval casing on white butterfly in Figure 8, right),
skins, fur and leather (figure 8, left),
grasses and plant materials in dioramas,
wool (see Figure 3) and silk garments and textiles, and
wooden objects.
Certain factors mitigate the risk of pest infestation:
 a well-maintained building that will block many pests;
 basic HVAC system that filters outdoor air and prevents high temperature and relative humidity;
 the somewhat dry, moderate Okanagan climate which will inhibit to some extent infestation by
insects that prefer warm, damp environments, and makes mould outbreaks unlikely except in
relation to water leaks; and
 regular inspection of objects at highest risk.
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Figure 8. Examples of materials in the collection that are attractants for insect pests: fur and feathers (left);
entomological specimens (right; note larva casings on lower left wing of white and beige moth, middle row
centre, and lower right wing of white moth, bottom row centre).
Other factors increase the risk, particularly of infestation by insects like carpet beetles and clothes
moths:




tiny gaps in building envelop (e.g. under exterior doors) and cases,
small plant feature in building foyer,
foliage and flower gardens along building perimeter, and
water fountain in front of building.
Staff reported no infestation in the collection to date which suggests that the risk is not overly high and
that the lack of an elaborate integrated pest management program with building-wide insect trapping
may not be necessary.
Integrated pest management is more
difficult in overcrowded facilities.
Lack of adequate space in the building
may, nevertheless, increase the chance of
an infestation occurring:
 spaces are more difficult to keep
clean and dust-free, thus providing
an environment amenable to pests;
 no space is available to quarantine
or even systematically inspect all
new objects or records prior to
integration with the collection;
 non-collection materials may
introduce pests if infested when
stored in or near collection spaces.
Figure 9. Leather objects exhibited in visible storage
drawers where inspection for pests is difficult.
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Congested collection storage and displays may delay identification of an infestation and thus increase
the amount of damage from an infestation:
 collections are more difficult to inspect thoroughly;
 clutter, dense storage and materials on floors make it difficult to see signs of pests during quick
walk through; and
 use of visible storage drawers in exhibitions (Figure 9) puts some sensitive objects in the dark,
out of sight and difficult to inspect closely, particularly on the underside where larvae are more
likely to feed.
3.5 Higher risk of loss due to misplacement or theft
Collection items that cannot be located – whether because they have been mislaid or unlawfully taken
from the building – have no value to the museum and archives unless they are later found. The risk of
such loss at GVMA is not high as it is managed through collections management processes, building
features, and security protocol. Objects and records are tracked through a Microsoft Access database.
Theft risk is mitigated through security systems appropriate for a museum and archives of this size:
 intrusion alarm system (motion detectors and contact alarms on doors, code to arm/disarm) for
after hours;
 keypads to control access to storage vaults at all times;
 camera surveillance in exhibition areas monitored at reception desk during open hours and
recorded 24 hours a day with records kept for 30 days;
 uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for security system;
 security tags on higher value art combined with antenna at gallery entrance;
 deadbolts to secure exterior entry doors; and
 use of exhibit cases for most items on display.
Access to the building and to collections is controlled:
 only GVMA staff and one volunteer have keys and access code to the building;
 two volunteers have keys but no code;
 select regional staff have keys and code, primarily for emergency purposes: the Regional District
facilities manager and one maintenance worker;
 first responders (RCMP and fire department) have access to a lock box keys but no code;
 only staff have the code for storage areas;
 maintenance workers are escorted by staff if they need to service utilities located in collection
areas, like the fire suppression valves and the second floor air conditioner;
 locks for staff entrance are changed occasionally and new keys issued; and
 firearms in the collection are stored in separately keyed storage units.
The facility exhibits some security weak points but other measures combined with the location of
RCMP station only a block away probably compensate for these weaknesses:
 no glass break detectors on glass doors or windows in the temporary exhibition room;
 bushes and trees around back entrances could provide cover for illicit activity, particularly at
night; and
 exterior lights are not necessarily vandal proof.
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Crowded collection spaces make loss due to misplacement or theft harder to prevent and identify.
Given the security measures, loss of collection items is more likely to occur during open hours.
Overcrowding may contribute to such loss:
 artifacts are less likely to be missed from crowded shelves or displays;
 artifacts are more easily
returned to the wrong place
if storage spots are not
dedicated to single items;
 loose storage in one place
of many small, portable,
valuable objects like
timepieces (Figure 10)
creates opportunity for
successful pilfering;
 performing a thorough,
regular artifact inventory
on a crowded collection of
this size is difficult and
therefore less likely to be
completed; and
 even location spot checks
Figure 10. Storage of many small timepieces loosely in drawer
makes it difficult to quickly assess if any are missing.
are harder to do in crowded
storage.
3.6 More or faster colour fading
We need light to see and appreciate collection items but too much can lead to colour fading of objects
or records with sensitive colourants.
Collection lighting is appropriate if not
always aesthetically optimal.
Lighting of collection spaces at the GVMA
is adequately managed for museum and
archival collections:
 permanent galleries and storage areas
have no windows other than the glass
doors at the northwest corner;
 exhibits are lit with a mixture of
external fluorescent and track
halogen light fixtures (Figure 11) and
internal lighting in many exhibit
cases;
Figure 11. Fluorescent and track lighting in exhibits.
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 exhibit light levels are generally not high - in the 20-300 lux range – and usually appropriate
for the apparent light sensitivity of the objects;
 UV levels are generally low, although in a few places they slightly exceed the recommended
upper limit of 75 microwatts per lumen;
 art is rotated every few months and “static” exhibits are often changed every 3-4 years;
 fluorescent fixtures in storage provide higher light levels (300-800 lux) but are not on all the
time and do not illuminated items shaded by shelving units or stored in boxes;
Given the lack of directional control over fluorescent and case fixtures, exhibition lighting does not
always enhance collection objects on display as much as it could.
The high number of items in permanent exhibits may increase the number that fade.
The exhibition galleries at GVMA are filled with objects, perhaps in part because there is little space to
put them elsewhere. Most of these objects are in “static” or “permanent” exhibits. Many of these
exhibits remain up for 3 to 4 years; some for as many as 10 years.
Long-term or frequent display can fade some colours even when light levels are low. What determines
the amount of fading is the light dose (level x time) and the sensitivity of the colourant to light. At risk
are many textile dyes, some pigments and printing inks, and some colour photographs (Michalski,
“Light, Ultraviolet and Infrared” 2013). The most sensitive (ISO 1), if pristine when put on display,
could fade noticeably within the span of a static exhibit even at the low lights levels measured (Table
1, Figure 12). Fading occurs more quickly where the lux level is higher (Table 1).
Table 1. Estimated years to just noticeable fading of objects on permanent display (35 hours per
week) in current GVMA lighting and at commonly suggested levels for types of objects if some of the
colourants are highly sensitive to light. (Based on Michalski, “Light, Ultraviolet and Infrared” 2013)
Years to Just Noticeable Fade
ISO 1
Objects
packaging display (Figure 12 left)
Lux
Level
21
ISO 2
ISO 3
(e.g. most plant extracts (dyes), lake pigments,
carmine, cheap synthetic colourants, felt tip pens, red
and blue ball point ink, many colour photographs)
7
23
69
Vernon Post Office watercolour
29
5
17
50
military medal ribbons (Figure 12 right)
40
4
12
36
art on paper, textiles
50
3
10
29
paintings
150
1
3
10
less sensitive objects
300
0.5
2
5
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Figure 12. Objects on long-term display with colours that may fade relatively quickly on exposure to light:
packaging (left) and silk military medal ribbons (right).
Objects may fade faster due to unnecessary light exposure.
Lack of space also means that some staff offices are located within exhibit and storage areas (Figure
13). Light from these offices illuminates objects and contributes to fading of sensitive colourants even
when the museum is closed and no one is looking. Light from the office of the public education
coordinator spills over onto adjacent displays, which include potentially sensitive embroidered leather
objects. The lights for a few exhibits
need to be turned on so that staff can
safely get to their offices. Light fixtures
for the registrar’s office in the artifact
storage vault operate off the same switch
that lights the entire vault. Coloured
objects on open shelves are exposed to
light for the three days per week the
registrar works.
Fading from such light exposure, even if
small compared to that from exhibition,
could be called “wasted” since no value
is generated from the exposure for
visitors, researchers or staff. In a more
ample facility, staff offices and access to
them could be kept separate from storage
vaults and exhibitions to prevent this
unnecessary exposure.
Figure 13. Light from the office of the public education
coordinator can extend into displays even when the museum
is closed.
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3.7 Greater damage from the deterioration of unstable materials due to
inappropriate environmental control
The GVMA building provides some environmental control for collections although not tight relative
humidity control, nor a high degree of pollutant filtration:
 relatively good temperature control through steam heating (piped from civic centre boilers)
augmented by a small boiler on site for variable weather in late spring and early fall;
 zoned temperature control with individual damper actuators;
 summer air conditioning with a separate air conditioner for the second floor;
 some winter humidification but only to maintain relative humidity above 20%; and
 a system equipped with medium efficiency filters that have a Minimum Efficiency Reporting
Value (MERV) of 8.
The irregular design of the spaces, however, interferes with air circulation, creating hot and cold spots
even within single zones.
Storage at room temperature accelerates deterioration of unstable materials.
Many objects and records in the GVMA collections are at low risk of environmental damage in this
facility. Extremes of damp and dryness are avoided and most organic materials will be able to respond
to the degree of relative humidity fluctuations without damage due to past exposure (Michalski,
“Incorrect Relative Humidity” 2013). Storage in boxes and display in cases provides a certain amount
of buffering, so for a good part of the collection the near environment is more stable than that provided
by building systems. Such packaging also provides additional protection from dust and pollutants.
The items that remain at risk are those made of materials that degrade relatively rapidly at room
temperature (Michalski 2000; Michalski, “Incorrect Temperature” 2013):








acidic paper (e.g. newsprint),
cellulose nitrate and cellulose acetate plastics,
ebonite,
vinyl (poly(vinyl) chloride or PVC),
polyurethane foam,
rubber,
audio and video tapes, and
colour photographs or slides.
Most of these materials will exhibit clear signs of deterioration after 60-100 years at 20°C (Michalski
2000); some, like magnetic tape, may be unusable in 40 years.
Since these materials were common, especially since the late 19th and early 20th century, they will be
present in the GVMA collections, although the total number of objects may be small relative to the size
of the collection as a whole. In many cases – particularly with plastics – unstable materials may not
have been identified. Archival records in unstable media are at lower risk due to digital copies or
transcripts which can preserve the information found in the original.
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Storage of unstable materials within crowded storage could damage adjacent objects.
When collection storage is crowded, the risk is not just to the unstable object itself but possibly to
surrounding objects:
 deteriorating cellulose nitrate and acetate and release acidic vapours that can corrode adjacent
metals and damage organic materials like paper and textiles;
 superficial deterioration of ebonite creates sulphuric acid which will corrode and damage
materials in direct contact;
 flexible PVC exudes plasticizer as it deteriorates which can soil other materials in contact; and
 degrading polyurethane foam crumbles into powder.
The extent of damage may also be exacerbated by crowded storage:




contact between objects is more likely;
acidic off-gassing may accumulate in smaller air pockets between objects;
monitoring for objects deterioration is more difficult when shelves are congested; and
if unidentified and unsegregated, highly deteriorated cellulose nitrate can cause fire at relatively
low temperatures (Williams 1994).
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4.
Strategies for improving collections preservation
Housed in a well-maintained building of fairly good design for museum and archives purposes, the
GVMA collection is at greatest risk due to the lack of adequate space for its collection and current
functions as described in detail in Section 3. Collections preservation will be improved by providing
more space in a manner that reflects the needs of the collection today and in the future while
maintaining the existing building.
4.1 Maintain existing building
The GVMA facility was good museum design for its time and with continued good maintenance can
still function in some form as a heritage institution. Preservation of a centennial legacy building on a
prime downtown location for historical collections as the 150th anniversary of the nation approaches is
a worthy goal.
Almost 50 years old, the building will require ongoing maintenance – as it has received in the past – to
preserve the building fabric and, in doing so, protect collections held within. Timely investment in
maintenance can extend the life of building another 50 years and more.
Based on observations made during the site visit, certain upgrades will be essential in the next few
decades in order simply to maintain the status quo; others changes could enhance functionality while
reducing collection risks somewhat:
repair the roof before water leaks become a serious threat to collections;
maintain HVAC and fire protection systems;
consider increasing the MERV value of second stage particulate filters;
complete planned installation of shelving in the archives research room to free up space for
archival records in the vault; and
□ provide lighting for registrar’s office separate from the remainder of the artifact storage vault.
□
□
□
□
Substantial renovations or restoration would provide better outcomes if considered in relation to
broader planning that addresses the need for more space for the GVMA.
4.2 Prepare a collections development and use plan
A clear vision of how the collection is expected to grow and be used in the next 10 to 20 years will
make strategies for providing additional space for collections more effective. Steps towards such a
plan are outlined below.
Information and forms provided through RE-ORG, a museum storage reorganization on-line tool
developed by ICCROM (RE-ORG 2013), can guide this process. Specific tasks from this methodology
are referenced below where relevant.
Define ideal museum and archival collections for the Greater Vernon community.
The GVMA mandate outlines the scope of its collecting: material evidence of the cultural and natural
history of the North Okanagan. A more precise picture of the aspects of that history that ideal
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community collections should reflect could provide the basis for assessing the strengths and
weaknesses of the existing collections. This picture could be developed in collaboration with the
community by:
□ listing events, stories and personalities of importance to the community; and
□ describing natural ecosystems and places that define the North Okanagan.
Prepare collection profiles.
Analysis of the composition of the collections can indicate which aspects of regional cultural and
natural history are already represented. A summary description of subject areas can be derived from
sources like:
□ staff knowledge of the collections,
□ list of the topics of current and past exhibits, and
□ keywords that characterize artifacts and records.
Planning for new storage requires an accurate snapshot of the nature and size of the collections. The
GVMA has a summary list describing the collections, but few numbers were provided for artifacts. A
short report documenting numbers for the following categories can be useful (RE-ORG 2.12):
□ object type (furniture, textiles, photographs, documents, etc.),
□ chemical nature (organic, inorganic, mixed),
□ location (in storage / on display).
New space needs to accommodate future as well as existing collections. Estimates for space needed
for collection growth are often based on statistics of past collecting trends (RE-ORG 2.3):
□ total number of objects and records accessioned per year for the past 5 to 10 years, and
□ number of objects and records accessioned per year by object type.
The GVMA’s collection database should be able to provide the suggested collection statistics through
search or filter functions.
Identify collection needs.
Comparison of ideal collections with current collection profiles would show whether there are
significant gaps in the types of artifacts or records needed to tell key stories about North Okanagan
history and natural environment. Topics that are well represented in existing collections would also
become apparent. This information can be used to:
□ guide priorities for future collecting;
□ inform the community about what objects and records the GVMA would like to and does not
need to acquire;
□ suggest areas where collection rationalization and deaccessioning might be appropriate;
□ determine the amount of space for collection growth for different types of objects;
□ determine topics for future exhibition programming;
□ identify potential preservation issues for materials not yet well represented in the collections;
□ identify facility specifications needed to support preservation and use of such future collections
in addition to current ones; and thus
□ better characterize space needs for storage, exhibition and use of collections.
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An expansion project provides the opportunity for review of institutional activities to ensure that the
new facilities are designed to support all core needs.
4.3 Provide more space
Collections at the GVMA need additional space if the risks to collections described in Section 3 are to
be better managed. This cannot be achieved within the existing building without a loss of programming
(e.g. fewer exhibits, repurposing of travelling exhibition space) and thus of service to the community.
Strategies to increase space for collections comparable to that currently provided are outlined below.
The most effective measures are described first. Possible interim measures are also provided. These
less costly measures could be used to reduce risks to collections somewhat during planning and
construction of larger projects.
Expand the existing facility.
Constructing an addition to the building is the most effective strategy for reducing risks to collection
and resolving all space issues at GVMA. A well-designed addition combined with renovation (perhaps
restoration) of the original building could provide:
enlarged, consolidated artifact storage,
expanded archives storage,
more exhibition space, including a dedicated space for temporary exhibitions,
programming space,
reception area for large groups,
exhibition preparation space,
consolidated non-collection storage,
loading dock/receiving room,
distinct public (exhibitions, library/reading room, programming space) and non-public (offices,
storage) zones, and
□ beautiful, comfortable, clean and safe spaces that encourage repeat visits and attract rental
income, if desirable.
□
□
□
□
□
□
□
□
□
New construction and renovation provides the opportunity to reduce square footage operating costs and
better collections preservation through:
□ HVAC upgrade to provide better control in collection spaces; and
□ new low-energy, flexible lighting systems for collection spaces (e.g. solid state LED track
lighting for exhibition galleries).
Adding new space to the existing facility can best improve the functions of the museum and archives:
□ collections remain housed in the same building,
□ collections are more easily monitored and cared for by a small number of staff, and
□ objects and records are easily accessible for all kinds of programming.
Although additional space equivalent to current construction would ease the pressure on collections
and staff, new construction, whether an addition or a completely new facility, can also increase the
preservation and functional capacity of the GVMA if designed to meet the requirements for Category
A designation by the Movable Cultural Property Program (MCP) in the Department of Canadian
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Heritage (Canadian Heritage 2013). Specifications for a facility that would do so are discussed in
greater detail in Section 4.4.
Create off-site collections storage.
Transfer of collections that do not require frequent access to off-site storage can free up room in the
building to:
□ spread out remaining collections, easing congestion;
□ repurpose some or all storage vaults for other purposes (exhibition, programming, non-collection
storage, workshops); and
□ provide an opportunity to fully renovate the existing facility to better serve other purposes.
Off-site storage can be a short-term or long-term strategy for collections preservation:
□ immediate short-term to provide needed storage space during planning for a long-term solution:
o a facility that provides HVAC, fire protection, security, and lighting that is at least
equivalent to the current facility;
o collections need to be accessible for programming needs;
o staff need to monitor the facility on a daily basis; and
o safe transport for collection items needs to be provided between facilities.
□ short-term during construction if needed to protect collections:
o a facility that provides HVAC, fire protection, security, and lighting that is at least
equivalent to the current facility;
o staff need to monitor the facility on a daily basis;
o collections may not need to be highly accessible if the storage period is short enough;
o collections would need to be moved twice, once off-site and then back to the facility once
construction is complete; and therefore
o constructing an addition that includes new collection storage while collections remain onsite, moving collections into the addition, and then renovating the current building would
reduce the risks and costs of collection moves and thus may be the preferred option.
□ permanent off-site storage as an alternative to on-site expansion:
o new construction or renovations may be less costly off-site;
o all non-public collection functions (e.g. storage, collections management, exhibition
preparation) could be housed in the facility;
o a facility that provides HVAC, fire protection, security, and lighting that is at least
equivalent to the current facility or designed to meet the requirements for MCP Category
A designation;
o staff need to monitor or work in the facility on a daily basis; and
o safe transport for collection items needs to be provided between facilities.
Develop satellite facilities for components of the collection.
The GVMA already works with community groups to provide off-site exhibits for specific types of
objects: the Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame, Okanagan Landing, and Vernon Army Cadet Camp. A
similar approach might be used to create more substantial off-site satellite museums for distinct parts
of the collection such as art, natural history, first nations or military history.
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Such satellite museums would need to be more substantial than the current ones if they are to free up
enough space in the existing building for other collections and functions:
□ include both exhibit and storage space for the subcollection;
□ provide HVAC, fire protection, security, and lighting that is at least equivalent to the current
facility or designed to meet the requirements for MCP Category A designation; and
□ could include programming or temporary exhibition space instead of or in addition to new space
in the renovated existing building.
This strategy would permit the GVMA to integrate its work throughout the community but may be less
feasible financially due to:
□ the need for more staff to monitor and program the spaces; and
□ multiple facility utility and maintenance costs.
Add non-collection storage space.
Storage space for non-collection materials (exhibit materials, programming supplies, tools and
equipment, furniture) is a key problem at the GVMA. Lacking adequate space, such materials are
spread throughout the building, often within collection storage and exhibit spaces. Staff expressed the
need to consolidate such material since finding specific things can be a challenge. Because these
materials do not require preservation environments, off-site storage for at least those materials that are
infrequently used could free up some space for collections or exhibits preparation.
Options to consider, which are best seen as interim measures, include:
□ space in other buildings managed by the Regional District,
□ rental storage unit, or
□ outdoor storage shed(s) at rear of building.
All options will decrease program delivery efficiency since use of materials stored elsewhere is more
complicated. They might serve as an interim measure during planning for a long-term solution.
4.4 Provide space that enhances collections preservation capacity
Facility construction provides the opportunity not just to add more space but to create space that is
even better suited for collections preservation. Careful design of a new facility or of an addition or offsite facilities combined with appropriate renovation of the existing building could enable the GVMA to
meet the facility requirements for MCP Category A designation (Canadian Heritage 2013). Such a
facility would support the mandate of the GVMA through:
 improved long-term preservation for all objects and records in the collections;
 donation of more valuable artifacts and records from donors who know that the GVMA can
better provide for long-term preservation;
 access to MCP Program donation incentives and funds (Canadian Heritage 2014); and
 loan of objects, records and exhibitions from institutions and collectors who require that lenders
maintain a high level of care.
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Criteria for a facility that would provide this enhanced level of collections preservation are listed
below. Many of these criteria are already met in the current building. Measures that would provide
improved protection are highlighted in italics.
4.4.1 Provide adequate space for use of collections
Provide adequate space for the collection of tomorrow.
□ provide sufficient vault space and appropriate storage furnishings to accommodate existing
collections without crowding
□ accommodate collections growth in terms of number and object types over the next 20-30 years
□ provide adequate floor loading capacity for compact storage methods to maximize use of space
It should be noted that collecting often increases when new facilities are built. More donors hear about
the institution and staff tend to be less selective once storage space is available.
Design for safe movement of collection objects around building.
□ size doors, corridors, ceiling height to accommodate the size of objects and furniture
□ provide corridors with few if any turns between galleries, storage vaults and loading dock
□ locate entrance to storage vaults and exhibition galleries directly off corridors that are kept
clear of clutter
□ provide separate, dedicated storage vaults to minimize activity where collections are stored
□ provide adequate separate space for storage of non-collection items (display cases, light
fixtures, tables, programming materials, publications, business records, etc.)
Design storage for safe collections management.
□ all objects are clearly visible or boxes/drawers labelled with accession numbers of contents
□ objects can be retrieved with limited handling of others (rule of thumb: no more than three are
moved to retrieve one)
□ stacking is minimized or items are interleaved to prevent abrasion
□ small items in drawers are separated by slotted interlocking dividers or equivalent
□ fragile items are stored in boxes or on mounts
□ robust garments are hung on hangers that provide good shoulder support
Separate collections from activities that could cause damage.
Activities or programmes that involve materials or processes that could accidentally damage collection
objects or records need dedicated space:
□ separate workshop space for exhibit preparation and construction of display cases, etc.
□ clean research and workshop space for object and record use and preparation
□ separate areas for food preparation / consumption by staff or for receptions, if desired
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4.4.2 Protect against fire in a fire-resistive structure (Stewart, 2013;Tétreault 2008)
Design to limit fire risk and spread.
□ locate the building in an area at low risk from wildfire or industrial accidents
□ use non-combustible or fire-resistant building construction
□ install fire-rated walls and doors (60 minutes or more) in collection spaces, mechanical rooms
and workshops
□ separate collection spaces from functions with higher fire risk (workshops, kitchens, etc.)
Provide systems that detect and suppress fires.
□
□
□
□
fire alarms and automatic fire detection systems (smoke detection in collection spaces)
separate zone for collection storage
fire extinguishers
fire suppression throughout including collection storage and galleries
CCI recommends wet-pipe sprinklers despite the slight risk of locating water-holding pipes in
collection spaces. These systems are more reliable and less costly to install and maintain. Water
damage, although undesirable, is more likely to respond to conservation treatment than fire or soot
damage. Systems that limit the water risk – pre-action, water mist, clean agent – are also acceptable.
Support systems with fire prevention procedures.
□
□
□
□
□
□
regular fire system inspections by certified personnel
regular fire safety inspections
regular fire drills
staff training on use of fire extinguishers
open flame and hot work not permitted or controlled
fire response procedures in the emergency response plan
4.4.3 Minimize water risks (Tremain 2013)
Design to route water away from collections.
□ drain water away from building in all areas through sloped ground surface, pitched roof and
appropriate roof gutters or drainage pipes
□ locate plumbing, steam and roof drainage pipes – pressurized pipes in particular – outside of
storage vaults and exhibition galleries
□ design HVAC system to place condensate drip pans outside of collection spaces
□ insulate cold water pipes to prevent condensation
Locate collections away from the impact of eventual building leaks.
□ locate storage vaults and galleries above grade
□ provide adequate storage furniture to ensure that the entire collection is off the floor at all times
□ avoid placing collection rooms under roof penetrations or joints
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□ avoid placement of mechanical rooms, washrooms or kitchens above or next to collection spaces
□ avoid skylights or windows in collection spaces
□ provide floor drains in rooms with sinks
Design to facilitate maintenance.
□ keep plumbing accessible; avoid suspended ceilings
□ provide easy internal access to roof to facilitate inspections
□ install water sensors where water leaks are likely
Prepare for emergencies.
□ develop an emergency response plan specific to the expanded facility that includes appropriate
collections salvage procedures (see, for example, Ball & Yardley Jones 2001; Söderlund 2000)
□ train an emergency response team that includes facility managers as well as collection staff
4.4.4 Design to resist pest infestation (Strang & Kigawa, 2009)
Design building and site to inhibit pest entry.
□
□
□
□
□
□
□
□
stone or brick exterior
double sets of doors to exterior; tight door seals
exterior light fixtures mounted away from building, particularly entrances and air intake grills
high-pressure sodium vapour exterior lighting rather mercury vapour
no ledges and nooks that could serve as roosting sites for birds
vegetation-free border around building (e.g. about 1 metre of pea gravel over landscape fabric)
only non-flowering vegetation and no water features
rodent-proof garbage receptacles on concrete pads for away from doors and windows
Design for gradual integration of new acquisitions.
□ space for quarantine or inspection of new acquisitions separate from storage vaults
□ chest freezer for freezing of infested materials
□ separate space for receiving and storing non-collection materials
Design to reduce the need for and facilitate good housekeeping around collections.
□ provide staff workspaces outside collection areas so that staff can eat at or close to their desks
without increasing pest risks
□ provide suitable space for catered events, if desired, outside of collection spaces
□ choose easy to clean tile, sheet vinyl, sealed concrete or hardwood flooring, not carpeting
□ choose light-coloured finishes to aid pest detection
□ ensure that all floors and corners are accessible for cleaning
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4.4.5 Provide excellent security though security systems and appropriate building structure
(ASIS/AAM 2008, 2011; Kelly 1998)
Provide a secure perimeter to prevent unauthorized entry.
□ site designed for good visibility with security lighting and landscaping that provides no cover
for intruders
□ ground level access points limited to as few necessary for access and emergency evacuation
□ solid steel doors with non-removable hinge pins and mortised 6-pin deadbolt locks
□ high security keyways and key control
□ no external door hardware on doors that are emergency exits only
□ ground level glazing restricted to lower security zones
Equip building with adequate security systems.
□ an intrusion alarm system that is continuously monitored and fully tested using qualified
personnel regularly:
o contact alarms on all exterior, collection storage and loading dock doors
o motion detection in all collection spaces (exhibition, storage) and any perimeter spaces
that might be access from outside (e.g. lobby, loading dock)
o glass break detectors on ground floor windows
o alarms on any accessible air ducts and vents larger than 25 x 25 cm
o dedicated emergency exits alarmed at all times
o collection storage alarmed separately if possible so that it can remain alarmed during
open hours when staff are not present
□ recorded camera surveillance for high security areas (exhibit galleries, collection storage,
loading dock)
□ uninterrupted power supply (UPS) for the alarm system
Secure collections on display.
□ display cases with impact resistant glazing and tamper-proof closures for smaller, more fragile
objects
□ proximity alarms for very high value objects or objects not protected by cases
□ barriers to control visitor distance from exhibits
Control access to non-public functions.
□ distinct public and non-public areas
□ few points of entry from public to non-public zones
□ dedicated collection storage vault that does not serve as office space or access route to other
spaces
□ all utility panels and mechanical rooms in a non-public zone separate from collections zone
□ controlled key or card access to each non-public area for only those who need access
□ monitored after-hours entry
□ temporary exhibition gallery entrance that can be locked or easily blocked for exhibition
installation without impeding access to other galleries
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4.4.6 Permit flexible, controlled light exposure with protection from UV (Michalski, “Light,
Ultraviolet and Infrared” 2013)
Design facility to limit light exposure in storage vaults.
□ use low UV fluorescent room lighting at levels just high enough for safe access to collections
(500 lux or less is usually adequate)
□ use boxes or cabinets that block light, where appropriate
□ provide individual switches for banks of fluorescent lights so that only those needed can be
turned on
□ install motion detectors that control banks of light in larger rooms or that automatically turn
lights on and off in spaces that are accessed intermittently
Provide flexible, economical track lighting throughout exhibition galleries.
□ lamps dimmable to at least 50 lux
□ lamps with good colour rendering index (CRI) of at least 85, but preferably above 90
□ flexible, adjustable lamp placement (i.e. track lighting) so that objects can be illuminated only as
much as needed
□ no UV (preferable) or low UV (less than 75 microwatts per lumen)
□ low operating costs (combination of energy usage, lamp lifetime and relamping cost)
Since incandescent lamps are gradually being phased out due to their energy inefficiency, selection of
museum-quality solid state (LED) systems is recommended. The use of these lamps also eliminates
problems with UV.
4.4.7 Slow deterioration of objects and records in appropriate, controlled environments
(Michalski, “Incorrect Relative Humidity” 2013; Michalski, “Incorrect Temperature” 2013)
Provide ASHRAE Class A environmental control with seasonal set point adjustments for all
collection spaces (ASHRAE 2011; Grattan & Michalski 2014).
Ideally, all spaces where collections are displayed, stored or transported (exhibition galleries, storage
vaults, preparation rooms, quarantine rooms, and connecting corridors) are controlled.
In the Canadian climate, we recommend seasonal set point adjustments combined with tighter control
over short-term fluctuations:
□ temperature set point between 15°C and 25°C
□ ± 2°C short term temperature fluctuations
□ maximum seasonal set point adjustments of 5°C up in summer and 10°C down in winter
(although constant year round temperature is often feasible)
□ relative humidity set point near 50%
□ ± 5% short term relative humidity fluctuations
□ maximum seasonal set point adjustments of 10% up in summer (as high as 60%) and 10% down
in winter (as low as 40%)
□ incremental set point adjustment (e.g. steps of 0.1%) over two months in spring and fall (can be
programmed into HVAC systems with direct digital control)
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Building design features that help ensure reliable, sustainable environmental control include:
□ separate zones for collection and non-collection functions so that only collection spaces need to
be tightly controlled
□ location of collection spaces away from exterior walls
□ double or triple glazed windows; minimal use of windows and skylights in collection spaces
□ well-insulated building envelope
□ vapour barriers in walls and roof
□ multiple units for humidification/dehumidification so that control is not lost when units fail
□ sensors located in rooms where collection is housed, not in ductwork
□ sensors location prevents interference from windows, open doors, ventilation ducts, exterior
walls, etc.
Provide cool or cold or dry storage if collecting priorities require it.
□ cool or cold storage for unstable materials (audio or video tape, colour photographs, cellulose
nitrate and acetate, PVC, polyurethane, etc.)
□ dry storage (relative humidity below 30%) for valuable metal objects, particularly steel or iron
Provide a well-sealed or enclosed loading dock.
□ separate HVAC zone
□ seals, shelters or truck curtains on exterior doors or fully enclosed
Monitor and keep records of the environment where collections are stored and displayed.
One year of environmental data for each collection space and evidence of ongoing monitoring is
required for MCP Category A designation. Access to loans for exhibitions in the new facility may also
be contingent on being able to provide lenders with recent graphs that demonstrate good environmental
control. Hygrothermographs or data logger data are acceptable. If data loggers or the building
management system are used, the resulting data is most useful when graphs:
□ reflect data gathered within the rooms close to where objects are objects are located (not in
ductwork)
□ are based on data points every 15-30 minutes
□ show data by month
□ have consistent temperature axes, 0-30°C
□ have consistent relative humidity axes, 0-100%
□ use colours consistently to represent temperature and relative humidity
□ are archived for future reference if requested
Building sensors and stand-alone data loggers or monitoring equipment need periodic calibration to
ensure that readings are accurate. HVAC problems can be identified and addressed most quickly if
both facility managers and collections staff are involved in monitoring.
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4.4.8 Protect collections from dust and pollutants (Tétreault 2003)
Provide enhanced particulate filtration.
Better than average air filtration is required for MCP Category A designation. Pollutants are well
managed when the HVAC system meets the requirements of at least the Level D specification class
described by Tétreault (2003, p. 44):
□
□
□
□
MERV 8 first-stage particle filter (equivalent to dust spot efficiency of 30-35%)
MERV 12 final-stage particle filter (equivalent to dust spot efficiency of 70-75%)
positive pressure to minimise the infiltration of pollutants and to optimise climate control
filters on return air and gaseous filtration recommended but not required
Design rooms, finishes and furnishings to facilitate good housekeeping.
□ separate collection storage from other activities (research, teaching, collections management,
offices) to minimize dust deposition from human activity in vaults
□ provide separate workshop space for “dirty” activities that use paints, chemicals, adhesives, etc.
or that generate dust
□ choose easy to clean tile, sheet vinyl, sealed concrete or hardwood flooring, not carpeting
□ ensure that all floors and corners are accessible for cleaning
Use display and storage fittings made of stable materials (Tétreault 1994, 2011).
□ choose powder-coated metal furniture if possible, but wood sealed with appropriate coatings is
acceptable
□ use boxes, containers and enclosures made of archival grade cardboard or paper, polyethylene,
polypropylene, polyester, polystyrene, acrylic, or polycarbonate; avoid ordinary cardboard and
polyvinyl chloride whenever possible
□ use enclosures that pass the Photographic Activity Test (PAT) to reduce risks to photographs
□ allow for adequate drying of coatings: 4 days for walls finishes; 4 weeks for airtight case
interiors
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5.
References
ASIS International/ American Association of Museums. Suggested Guidelines for Museum Security.
Alexandria, VA: ASIS International, 2008. Accessed 20 October 2014.
http://www.architectssecuritygroup.com/Consulting/Resources_files/SuggestedPracticesforMuse
umSecurity.pdf
ASIS International/ American Association of Museums. Suggested Practices for Museum Exhibit
Case Construction and Alarming Design. Alexandria, VA: ASIS International, 2011. Accessed
20 October 2014.
http://www.securitycommittee.org/securitycommittee/Guidelines_and_Standards_files/Final%20
Exhibit%20Suggest%20Practices%20ASIS%20Format.pdf
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). “Museums,
libraries, and archives.” pp. 23.1-23.22 in ASHRAE Handbook: Heating, ventilating and airconditioning applications, SI Edition. Atlanta, GA: Author, 2011.
Ball, C. and A. Yardley-Jones (eds.). Help! A survivor's guide to emergency preparedness.
Edmonton: Alberta Museums Association, 2001.
British Columbia Ministry of the Environment. Designated Flood Plain Areas in BC. Victoria, BC:
Author, 2007. Accessed 20 October 2014.
http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wsd/data_searches/fpm/reports/fldpln_areas_20070510.pdf
Canadian Conservation Institute. “Ten Agents of Deterioration.” Ottawa: Author. Last modified 19
July 2013. Accessed 20 October 2014.
http://www.cci-icc.gc.ca/resources-ressources/agentsofdeteriorationagentsdedeterioration/index-eng.aspx
Canadian Heritage. “Movable Cultural Property Program: Designation of Institutions and Public
Authorities.” Ottawa: Author. Last modified 25 June 2013. Accessed 20 October 2014.
http://www.pch.gc.ca/pgm/bcm-mcp/publctn/desgntn/index-eng.cfm
Canadian Heritage. “Movable Cultural Property Program.” Ottawa: Author. Last modified 15 August
2014. Accessed 20 October 2014. http://www.pch.gc.ca/eng/1268673230268/1268675209581
Grattan, D and S. Michalski. “Environmental Guidelines for Museums.” Ottawa: Canadian
Conservation Institute. Last modified 4 June 2014. Accessed 20 October 2014.
http://www.cci-icc.gc.ca/resources-ressources/carepreventivecons-soinsconspreventive/enviroeng.aspx
Kelly, W. Security Hardware and Security System Planning for Museums. CCI Technical Bulletin
No.19. Ottawa: Canadian Conservation Institute, 1998. Accessed 20 October 2014.
http://www.cci-icc.gc.ca/resources-ressources/publications/category-categorieeng.aspx?id=18&thispubid=279
Michalski, S. Guidelines for Humidity and Temperature for Canadian Archives. CCI Technical
Bulletin No. 23. Ottawa: Canadian Conservation Institute, 2000. Accessed 20 October 2014.
http://www.cci-icc.gc.ca/resources-ressources/publications/category-categorieeng.aspx?id=18&thispubid=463
Greater Vernon Museum and Archives Facilities Assessment – Revised Report, January 2015
Page 50 of 87
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GREATER VERNON ADVISORY COMMITTEE - SPECIAL AGENDA
October 15, 2015 - Item B.1
Michalski, S. “Agent of Deterioration: Incorrect Relative Humidity.” Ottawa: Canadian Conservation
Institute. Last modified 6 September 2013. Accessed 20 October 2014.
http://www.cci-icc.gc.ca/resources-ressources/agentsofdeteriorationagentsdedeterioration/chap10-eng.aspx
Michalski, S. “Agent of Deterioration: Incorrect Temperature.” Ottawa: Canadian Conservation
Institute. Last modified 6 September 2013. Accessed 20 October 2014.
http://www.cci-icc.gc.ca/resources-ressources/agentsofdeteriorationagentsdedeterioration/chap09-eng.aspx#cont6
Michalski, S. “Agent of Deterioration: Light, Ultraviolet and Infrared.” Ottawa: Canadian
Conservation Institute. Last modified 6 September 2013. Accessed 20 October 2014.
http://www.cci-icc.gc.ca/resources-ressources/agentsofdeteriorationagentsdedeterioration/chap08-eng.aspx
“RE-ORG.” Rome: ICCROM and UNESCO. Last modified: 2013. Accessed 20 October 2014.
http://www.re-org.info/
Söderlund, K. Be Prepared: Guidelines for Small Museums for Writing a Disaster Plan. Canberra:
Heritage Collections Council, 2000. Accessed 20 October 2014.
http://www.collectionstrust.org.uk/collections-skills/be-prepared-guidelines-for-writing-adisaster-preparedness-plan
Stewart, D. “Agent of Deterioration: Fire.” Ottawa: Canadian Conservation Institute. Last modified
6 September 2013. Accessed 20 October 2014. http://www.cci-icc.gc.ca/resourcesressources/agentsofdeterioration-agentsdedeterioration/chap04-eng.aspx
Strang, T. and Kigawa, R. Combatting Pests of Cultural Property. CCI Technical Bulletin No. 29.
Ottawa: Canadian Conservation Institute, 2009. Accessed 20 October 2014. http://www.cciicc.gc.ca/resources-ressources/publications/category-categorie-eng.aspx?id=18&thispubid=516
Tétreault, J. Airborne pollutants in museums, galleries, and archives: Risk assessment, control
strategies, and preservation management. Ottawa: Canadian Conservation Institute, 2003.
Tétreault, J. “Display Materials: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” pp. 79-87 in Exhibitions and
Conservation. Pre-prints of the Conference held at The Royal College of Physicans, Edinburg
(edited by J. Sage). Edinburg: The Scottish Society for Conservation & Restoration (SSCR),
1994. Accessed 20 October 2014. http://iaq.dk/papers/good-bad-ugly.htm#1
Tétreault, J. “Fire Risk Assessment for Collections in Museums.” Journal of the Canadian
Association for Conservation 33 (2008), pp. 3-21. Accessed 20 October 2014.
https://www.cac-accr.ca/files/pdf/Vol33_doc1.pdf
Tétreault, J. “Sustainable Use of Coatings in Museums and Archives – Some Critical Observations.”
e-Preservation Science 8 (2011), pp. 39-48 Accessed 20 October 2014.
http://www.morana-rtd.com/e-preservationscience/2011/Tetreault-05-01-2011.pdf
Tremain, D. “Agent of Deterioration: Water.” Ottawa: Canadian Conservation Institute. Last
modified 6 September 2013. Accessed 20 October 2014. http://www.cci-icc.gc.ca/resourcesressources/agentsofdeterioration-agentsdedeterioration/chap05-eng.aspx
Williams, R.S. “Display and Storage of Museum Objects Containing Cellulose Nitrate.” CCI Notes,
No.15/3. Ottawa: Canadian Conservation Institute, 1994. Accessed 20 October 2014.
http://www.cci-icc.gc.ca/resources-ressources/ccinotesicc/15-3-eng.aspx
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Facility Assessment
for
Vernon Public Art Gallery
Regional District of North Okanagan
Vernon, BC
Final Report
May 2015
Irene F. Karsten
Preservation Development Advisor
Preservation Services
Report No. 126672a
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Table of Contents
1.
Executive Summary ........................................................................................................ 1
2.
Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 2
2.1
Methodology ............................................................................................................................... 2
2.2
Scope ........................................................................................................................................... 2
2.3
Report .......................................................................................................................................... 2
3.
Risks to Art at the Vernon Public Art Gallery ................................................................ 3
3.1
Theft or vandalism....................................................................................................................... 4
3.2
Water damage .............................................................................................................................. 6
3.3
Fire .............................................................................................................................................. 7
3.4
Accidental damage ...................................................................................................................... 8
3.5
Uncontrolled relative humidity and temperature ....................................................................... 10
3.6
Dust and pollutants .................................................................................................................... 12
Light and UV ............................................................................................................................. 13
3.7
3.8
Pests ........................................................................................................................................... 15
4.
Managing Risk in the Existing Facility ......................................................................... 17
4.1
Reduce risks through facility improvements ............................................................................. 17
4.2
Reduce risks through strategic collection use and management ............................................... 19
5.
Recommended Art Gallery Design Specifications ...................................................... 22
5.1
Secure collections ...................................................................................................................... 22
5.2
Prevent water damage ............................................................................................................... 23
5.3
Protect against fire ..................................................................................................................... 24
5.4
Reduce the risk of accidental damage ....................................................................................... 25
5.5
Provide a controlled environment ............................................................................................. 26
5.6
Control dust and pollutants........................................................................................................ 28
5.7
Manage light exposure .............................................................................................................. 29
5.8
Integrate pest management into facility design ......................................................................... 30
6.
References ..................................................................................................................... 32
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CCI Mission Statement
Through conservation science, treatment, and preventive conservation,
the Canadian Conservation Institute supports heritage institutions and
professionals in conserving Canada's heritage collections so they can
be accessed by current and future generations.
This mission is accomplished through conservation research and development,
expert services, and knowledge dissemination – through CCI’s publications,
library, and professional development.
© Government of Canada, Canadian Conservation Institute
This report belongs to the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) as per the terms and conditions of your
Agreement(s) with CCI. No reproduction in any format or distribution in print or online of this report, in whole or
in part, is authorized without prior written approval from CCI. Requests can be submitted by e-mail to
[email protected]
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1.
Executive Summary
The Vernon Public Art Gallery cannot adequately ensure the preservation of art for North Okanagan’s
future generations in its current facility. The renovated retail space on the ground floor of a parking
garage in downtown Vernon provides some protection for art. To the extent that the space cannot be
fully adapted to museum purposes, however, an unacceptable degree of risk remains of damage or loss
from theft or vandalism, water, fire, accidents, uncontrolled relative humidity and temperature, dust
and pollutants, light and UV, and pests (listed in order of greatest to least risk).
Risks to art at VPAG could be better managed to some degree in the short term through improvements
to the current facility and through strategic collections care. Substantial renovation of the existing
facility is not recommended due to lack of adequate space and limited potential for risk reduction,
particularly with regards to security and environmental control. Suggestions are given for improving
security for art in storage and on display, for improving storage for non-collection materials, for
preventing and preparing for emergencies, and for managing risks due to lack of environmental control
and light fading risks.
In order to provide adequate protection for art and to fully meet its preservation mandate as a public art
museum for the long term, however, VPAG would require a purpose-built facility. Steps that would
guide the design of such a facility and thus reduce risks to art at VPAG are described in detail.
Secure collections: Provide a secure perimeter to prevent unauthorized entry. Equip building with
adequate security systems. Secure collections on display. Control access to non-public functions.
Prevent water damage: Design to route water away from art. Locate art away from the impact of
eventual building leaks. Design to facilitate maintenance. Prepare for emergencies.
Protect against fire: Design to limit fire risk and spread. Provide systems that detect and suppress
fires. Support systems with fire prevention procedures.
Reduce the risk of accidental damage: Provide adequate space for the collection of tomorrow. Design
for safe movement of art around building. Design to minimize art handling. Separate art from
activities that could cause damage.
Provide a controlled environment: Provide ASHRAE Class A control with seasonal set point
adjustments for all collection spaces. Provide cool or cold or dry storage if collecting priorities require
it. Provide an enclosed or sealed loading dock. Monitor and keep records of the environment where
collections are stored and displayed.
Control dust and pollution: Provide enhanced particulate filtration. Design rooms, finishes and
furnishings to facilitate good housekeeping. Use display and storage fittings made of stable materials.
Manage light exposure: Design facility to limit light exposure in storage vaults. Provide flexible,
economical track lighting for exhibition galleries. Provide just enough light for collections
management, research and educational activities.
Integrate pest management into facility design: Design building and site to inhibit pest entry. Design
for gradual integration of new acquisitions. Design to reduce the need for and facilitate good
housekeeping around collections.
A building that meets these specifications would also meet the facility requirements for MCP Category
A designation. In addition to providing good protection for art, such a facility could enhance VPAG’s
ability to attract donations, solicit funding, and bring in travelling exhibitions and loans for the North
Okanagan community.
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2.
Introduction
At the request of the Tannis Nelson, Community Development Coordinator, Parks, Recreation and
Culture for the Regional District of North Okanagan, Irene Karsten, Preservation Development
Advisor with the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI), conducted a facility assessment of the Vernon
Public Art Gallery (VPAG) on 28 August 2014. The purpose of the assessment was:
 to assess the capacity of the current VPAG facility to meet the preventive conservation needs of
its collection,
 to recommend short-term improvements for collections care in the existing facilities, and
 to provide specifications for a facility designed for the preservation of an art collection that
would meet the requirements for Category A designation with the Movable Cultural Property
(MCP) program in the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canadian Heritage 2013).
The assessment was done in conjunction with the development of an arts and culture master plan for
the Regional District of North Okanagan which is intended to include a 10 to 20 year cultural facilities
strategic plan.
2.1 Methodology
This facility assessment is based on a tour of the current gallery facility and discussions with Gallery
staff. A tour of the facility was arranged by Tannis Nelson and led by Lubos Culen, Curator.
Executive Director Dauna Kennedy-Grant was consulted as were other staff at the CCI, following the
site visit.
The risks to the VPAG collection were assessed using the CCI Framework for Preservation and its ten
agents that cause deterioration to collections (CCI 2013).
2.2 Scope
This assessment focuses on risks to the art stored and displayed in the VPAG facility and the ways in
which facility improvements or new facility design could reduce those risks. A new facility can also
be expected to enhance other gallery functions such as its capacity to provide programming and to
attract tourists to the region. This report does not address such potential benefits unless there is a link
to preventive conservation of art.
2.3 Report
The report that follows summarizes preservation issues identified during the site visit, reviews their
impact on art in the collection. The report is organized around three sections. Section 3 describes the
risks to art in the current facility. Section 4 provides suggestions for managing risks in the existing
facility for the short term. Section 5 lists general recommendations for the design of a new facility that
would better protect art. Many of these recommendations were discussed with staff while on site.
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3.
Risks to Art at the Vernon Public Art Gallery
A well-designed art gallery building is the most important and most-cost-effective means to preserving
an art collection and making it accessible to the public. An inviting, cared-for building serves as the
first line of defense against damage to the collection caused by what we in the field of cultural property
conservation call the agents of deterioration: direct physical forces, theft and vandalism, fire, water,
pests, pollutants, light and UV, incorrect temperature and incorrect relative humidity (CCI 2013).
Even slight damage can substantially lower the value of a work of art since it rarely respects the artist’s
original intent. Prevention of damage is thus a key responsibility for the art gallery.
VPAG cannot adequately ensure the preservation of art for North Okanagan’s future generations in
its current facility.
The Vernon Public Art Gallery – the
oldest art gallery in the interior of
British Columbia – is located in retail
space on the ground floor of a parking
garage (Figure 1) in downtown Vernon.
The Gallery has been in this location
since 1995, upgrading and expanding as
adjacent retail space became available
to create what is today a facility of just
over 6,000 square feet with 4 exhibition
galleries (Figure 2), a small retail shop
and art rental area, several offices, a
kitchen, washrooms, and two behind the
scenes storage rooms.
Figure 1. VPAG’s current location at 3228 31st Avenue.
Unlike private galleries or artist-run
centres, VPAG has the responsibilities of a public museum. Part of its mandate is to “exhibit, collect
and preserve [emphasis added] local, regional, national and international art of the highest possible
standards.” It holds in public trust a permanent collection of close to 600 artworks for future
generations in the North Okanagan and the
rest of Canada. It mounts temporary and
travelling exhibitions, showcasing the
collections of other public art galleries as well
as contemporary art.
Figure 2. Topham Brown Memorial Art Gallery.
The degree to which VPAG can meet its
preservation mandate is limited by its current
facility. Renovations to this commercial space
protect art on the premises somewhat. To the
extent that the space cannot be fully adapted
to museum purposes, however, an unacceptable degree of risk remains. These risks are
reviewed in detail below in order of the
potential for loss or damage (greatest first).
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3.1 Theft or vandalism
A valuable art collection can be the target of thieves and vandals as the recent experience of several
Canadian art museums proves (see, for example, Knelman 2012). Failure to provide adequate security
may lead to total loss of or damage to works of art.
A basic security system manages the risk.
Like any retail space, VPAG is equipped with an intrusion alarm system which functions when the
Gallery is unoccupied:
 contact alarms on exterior doors, and
 motion detectors in all galleries, reception area and shop.
In addition, exterior doors are secured with high security locksets. Door chimes alert staff when
someone enters the main doors to the Gallery during open hours.
The exhibition galleries are also covered by video surveillance:




4 cameras in total, one in each of the larger galleries and one near reception,
cameras are monitored at reception during open hours,
cameras record 24 hour per day, and
recordings are kept for 21 days.
The security system is weakened by the lack of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) which leaves the
Gallery vulnerable in the event of extended power outage.
Surveillance of exhibit galleries offers limited protection.
Like many smaller public art
galleries, VPAG depends on video
surveillance and its receptionist for
security in the exhibition spaces.
Although this can be adequate
when visitor numbers are low, it
offers too little security for art of
high cultural or monetary value:
 video surveillance coverage
is incomplete (Figure 3)
leaving several blind spots
including the back exit in
the Topham Brown gallery;
 the monitor at front desk is
not viewable by a seated
receptionist due to the angle
of installation;
 the receptionist also deals
with arriving visitors and
sales from the shops;
Figure 3. Approximate video surveillance coverage in galleries
and possible exit routes.
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 security hardware is usually not used to hang art;
 visitors are allowed to take bags into the galleries, and
 camera resolution is low, so identifying perpetrators after the fact may not be possible.
The location of offices close to galleries may help deter some perpetrators when staff are present but
cannot replace reliable surveillance.
Multiple exits provide options for quick getaway.
Several exits link VPAG to the street in front and alley behind (Figure 3):
 emergency exit next to back exit of the Topham Brown Gallery and close to washrooms, in sight
of reception but not covered by
video surveillance;
 storefront exit directly off the
Community Gallery, unlocked for
exit only during open hours but
alarmed (Figure 4);
 open exit at back of Caroline
Galbraith Gallery that is easily
confused as access to additional
gallery space and is close to the
back kitchen exit and to the loading
bay; gallery exit is covered by video
surveillance but poorly lit;
 open exit at back of Community
Gallery leading directly to kitchen
Figure 4. Large windows and front exit directly off gallery
(door often open) and its back door;
spaces.
 no secure door between Community
Gallery and back of house;
 no secure door between public spaces or non-collection storage and collection storage at rear of
back of house;
 loading bay exit door directly off back storage, close to collection storage;
 back of house only partly monitored by part-time preparator whose desk is near entry off the
galleries; and
 motion detection was not observed in the back storage area or in the kitchen.
Although these exits are needed in case of emergency, they provide opportunity rather than deterrence
to the potential criminal. A recent theft incident during open hours from the Community Gallery
illustrates clearly the risk in this facility. Despite identification of the perpetrator from video
surveillance recordings, only 2 of 4 items taken were recovered. Art theft data collected by the RCMP
for Interpol between 1989 and 1994 (the most recent systematic Canadian data available) suggest that
on average only 12% of stolen artworks are ever recovered (Cultural Property Desk, 1995).
Large storefront windows in galleries are security weak points.
The front wall of VPAG is glass (Figure 4). Although this provides a visual link between passersby
and the Gallery, it also weakens protection for art:
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 the facilities can be checked out at least partially after hours,
 the windows have no glass break detectors, and
 glass can be smashed for entry unless protected by security film.
Although the Vernon police services are located only a few blocks away, the inevitable gap in response
may be enough for perpetrators to escape apprehension.
Several people can access the facility after hours.
Twelve sets of keys and access codes have been distributed in order to provide programming,
maintenance and security for the facility:






6 to full and part time staff,
2 to contract workers (bookkeeper and cleaning),
Kalamalka Security,
City of Vernon (for building maintenance),
Vernon Fire Department, and
Facilities Manager, Regional District of North Okanagan.
Although all may be held securely by trustworthy people and although this may expedite emergency
response after hours, this many points of authorized entry is a security weakness, particularly given the
lack of secure separation of collection storage from the rest of the Gallery.
3.2 Water damage
Uncontrolled exposure to water can cause major damage to paintings, works of art on paper, electronic
media and many types of sculpture, including:





stains and tidelines,
delamination of paint layers,
distortion, buckling and cockling of materials,
corrosion of metal sculpture and components, and
loss of soluble materials in works of art.
Artwork is at risk of water damage from building leaks at VPAG.
No building is completely safe from occasional water leaks or floods even when adequately
maintained. Situated in an adapted retail space under an open parking garage, the risk of damage due
to water leaks is somewhat higher than might be the case in a purpose built museum facility:
 although partially covered, parking areas immediately above the Gallery are exposed to the
elements;
 storm drains from upper parking lot abut the back storage room;
 utility pipes run through ceilings;
 main sprinkler pipe, rather than just branch lines, runs through storage area and back of Topham
Brown Gallery (under suspended ceiling);
 not all rooms with sinks and plumbing have floor drains, only the washrooms;
 the water shutoff, situated in the ceiling near the washrooms, is not easily accessible; and
 gallery floors are almost level with the sidewalk and thus susceptible to flooding from the street.
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VPAG staff is aware of the water leak risk given recent and ongoing incidents such as:
 leaks in back storage room due to the storm drain;
 flooding from broken water mains in December 2013 when water accumulated on all gallery
floors; and
 small flood due to a defective humidifier hose.
Staff have taken some precautions against water leaks:
 most art in storage is wrapped in plastic (Figure 5); and
 a water detector was installed close to the art racks.
However, the risk of damage to art remains:
 frequent ongoing leaks seem inevitable due to poorly
sealed concrete seams;
 many artworks were observed on the floor in storage – if
only temporarily due to lack of space – where water
tends to pool and the risk of water damage is highest;
 a single water detector may not detect flooding from the
back of art storage or in any of the galleries.
VPAG is fortunately not located in a designated flood plain
(BC Ministry of the Environment 2007) and is therefore not at
Figure 5. Paintings covered in plastic
high risk from natural overland flooding. Moreover, the entire
to protect them from water leaks.
facility is above grade. The Okanagan climate is moderate;
therefore, the likelihood of extreme daily rainfall is lower than
in places like Vancouver or Toronto. Catastrophic flood damage is therefore not expected.
Staff emergency preparedness is not yet adequate with regards to collection protection and salvage.
At the time of the site visit, VPAG had no emergency response plan with procedures for collections
salvage and recovery. Although staff manage emergencies as they arise and although the Gallery has
collections insurance, greater damage to art on display or in storage (for example, mould following
water leaks) can result if staff are unprepared. The curator has recently attended an emergency
preparedness workshop in order to correct this problem.
3.3 Fire
Art is highly susceptible to damage from fires such as:




total loss through combustion,
staining by soot and smoke,
deformation due to heat, and
damage from extinguishers or water during suppression.
The facility provides adequate fire protection for life safety.
The VPAG facility is equipped with the fire protection systems required for life safety which will
protect art objects to some extent:
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 alarms, smoke detection and emergency lighting throughout;
 wet-pipe sprinklers throughout; and
 three fire extinguishers, one next to the loading dock door in the back storage area, one in the
kitchen and one at reception.
Moreover, the facility is a fire-resistive, concrete structure. Response in the event of a fire is likely to
be quick:
 the Vernon fire station is only a few blocks away, and
 there is a municipal fire hydrant out front.
Notably lacking are fire alarm pull stations which can speed response to fires detected by staff or
visitors during open hours.
Limited compartmentation leaves art at risk.
The lack of fire-rated barriers between gallery spaces, however, makes fire damage – smoke damage in
particular – more likely in the event of fire:




no barrier between non-collection functions and art storage in back of house;
no fire doors between three of the galleries and back of house;
no barriers from Community Gallery to gift shop; and
main doors on Topham Brown Gallery provide some protection, but glass has a low fire rating.
VPAG location adds additional fire risk from vehicle fires or arson.
The presence of the parking garage above and covered loading bay at back may introduce additional
fire risk:
 presence of parked vehicles and potential for vehicle fires, and
 poor loading bay visibility even in the daytime as cover for arsonists.
3.4 Accidental damage
When handled or installed in spaces poorly designed for gallery activities, inadvertent damage will
occasionally occur, such as:




surface abrasion and scratches,
dents or tears,
marks or spills, or
cracked glazing.
Damage is likely when art is stored or handled in crowded VPAG storage.
Even with good handling training, movement of materials through crowded spaces creates a higher risk
of accidental damage. With insufficient space for its needs, back of house at VPAG is not ideal in this
regard even though it currently has enough art rack storage for the size of its collection:
 no real separation of art storage from non-art storage;
 materials, tools and furniture stored along art movement path (Figure 6 left);
 art, frames and interpretive panels stored on floor in art rack area (Figure 6 centre);
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Figure 6. Congestion in back storage room along path to loading bay door and art storage (left) and around
art racks (centre) and on top of flat file cabinet.
 art racks are installed right up to the wall so that the wall side of the last rack has insufficient
space for safe access (it is currently not used to store art);
 no dedicated space to set paintings on retrieval from or return to storage; and
 no space to set works of art on paper on retrieval from or return to flat file storage (Figure 6
right).
Lack of adequate programming space creates similar risk:
 activities and lectures are held in the galleries;
 visitors are involved in activities other than looking at exhibits and may accidentally bump into
art;
 events require frequent movement of furniture in and out around art.
The lack of adequate space for the collection, other storage and programming needs may also inhibit
collection use, and thus access to it, limiting its value for the region and discouraging donations.
Movement of art into VPAG is hampered by inadequate loading dock.
The loading bay to the rear of the Gallery (Figure 7) is designed for retail not museum needs:
 turning radius from alley is too tight for typical art transport trucks;
 although protected from precipitation, crates cannot be brought directly from trucks into
temperature controlled Gallery space;
 entrance to Gallery is through small single door; and
 route from loading bay to galleries is through crowded storage and requires several turns.
Due to the inadequacy of the loading bay, crates are usually brought in through the larger, double main
doors at front which provide more direct access to the galleries but provide only partial protection from
inclement weather. Even these doors limit considerably the size of crates and artworks that can be
collected by or exhibited safely at VPAG.
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Figure 7. VPAG loading bay with single door access (left) and small turning radius for trucks (right).
The collection is not at risk of earthquake damage.
Although some areas of British Columbia require special seismic provisions to protect buildings and
contents, VPAG and its collection is at low risk in this regard. Vernon lies in a low risk earthquake
zone (Earthquakes Canada 2010; Kovacs and Sweeting 2004) where the largest earthquake likely in
500 years is expected to have a magnitude of around 5.4. Small tremors occur but few are felt. No
seismic provisions are specified in the national building code for buildings in this area (Homeowner
Protection Office, 2012, p. 4).
3.5 Uncontrolled relative humidity and temperature
Art objects that are displayed or stored in a poorly controlled environment can suffer damage over
time:
 cracking, delamination or buckling of oil paintings due excessive relative humidity fluctuation,
particularly drops in relative humidity to lower than 30% or repeated cycling of ± 10% RH or
more over many decades;
 cockling of works of art on paper in high relative humidity; and
 corrosion of metal sculpture in high relative humidity.
Most changes accumulate very slowly but may be difficult if not impossible to treat after the fact. The
damage may lower both the appraisal value of an artwork and its usefulness for exhibition.
Lack of good relative humidity control at VPAG puts sensitive art objects at risk.
An HVAC system, upgraded in February 2014, provides some control over the temperature and
relative humidity at VPAG in the Topham Brown Gallery:
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 temperature well controlled year round at 20 ± 2°C;
 winter relative humidity somewhat controlled by a VAPAC humidification system,
 keeps the relative humidity above 30% in winter,
 avoids the very dry extremes that otherwise occur when cold outdoor air is heated;
 air conditioning keeps summer relatively humidity usually below 70%,
 damp avoided; therefore low risk of mould;
 short-term relative humidity fluctuations usually within the 5% to 10% range.
Portable humidifiers are used to further modify the relative humidity if required by lenders. Conditions
in other galleries and in collection storage will be less controlled although extremes of temperature and
relative humidity are not expected due to the moderate Okanagan climate. Temperatures are likely to
remain below 25°C most of the time and to remain below 30ºC even in summer. Relative humidity in
the 20-70% ranges is expected for most of the year. Values in storage of 24ºC and 52% were measured
during the site visit on a summer day.
The risk posed by the environment to art on display or in storage can be characterized through the level
of environmental control as classified by ASHRAE (ASHRAE 2011; Grattan and Michalski 2013).
Based on hygrothermograph charts from the Topham Brown Gallery for August 2013 to August 2014,
the current level of overall environmental control in that gallery can be characterized as ASHRAE B
(Table 1):
Table 1. ASHRAE Classes of Control (ASHRAE 2011; Grattan and Michalski 2013)
Maximum fluctuations and gradients in controlled
spaces
Short-term*
fluctuations and
space gradients
Seasonal adjustments in system
set points§
±5% RH
±2°C
RH no change.
Up 5°C and down 5°C.
AA
none
Precision control, minimal seasonal
changes to temperature only.
±10% RH
±2°C
RH no change.
Up 5°C and down 10°C.
A
Good control, seasonal change to
temperature only.
none to small
±5% RH
±2°C
Up 10% RH and down 10% RH.
Up 5°C and down 10°C.
A
Good control, some gradients or
seasonal changes.
none to small
±10% RH
±5°C
Up 10% RH and down 10% RH.
Up 10°C (but not above 30°C) and
down as low as necessary to
maintain RH control.
B
tiny to moderate
Control, some gradients plus winter
temperature setback.
Class of control
Risk to Paintings
and Objects
Within range 25–75% RH year-round.
Rarely over 30°C, usually below 25°C.
C
Prevent all high risk extremes.
moderate to high
Reliably below 75% RH.
D
Prevent damp.
high
*Short-term fluctuations are any fluctuations less than the seasonal adjustment; however, some fluctuations are too short to affect some lesssensitive artifacts and those that are enclosed.
§RH and temperature set points: historical annual average for permanent collections or 50% RH with the temperature between 15 and 25°C.
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 precision temperature control, 20 ± 2ºC (equivalent to ASHRAE A class of control);
 annual average relative humidity set point of 45%;
 seasonal adjustment for relative humidity of 10% up in summer (average 55%), 10% down in
winter (average 35%); and
 short-term relative humidity fluctuations usually within ± 10% but often greater than ± 5%.
Artworks such as oil paintings on canvas or board, photographs, gouache paintings on paper are at tiny
to moderate risk of cracking and delamination in such an environment. Acrylic paintings and most
works of art on paper are at low to no risk of damage (Michalski, “Incorrect Relative Humidity” 2013).
The class of control for the rest of the building cannot be determined reliably without actual data but
since winter relative humidity is very likely to drop below 25% from time to time, ASHRAE class D
control is probable. The risk of damage such as cracking to some art objects stored in this facility over
the long term could be high.
Improving environmental control in the galleries or collection storage in the facility is not possible
without significant upgrading of vapour barriers in the building envelope. Without good control of air
leakage and vapour diffusion, damage to the building structure due to moisture condensation in the
walls in winter is likely. Moreover, the cost of maintaining the controlled environment could be
prohibitive.
3.6 Dust and pollutants
Inappropriate levels of dust and pollutants may eventually damage certain artworks due to:
 soiling of exposed surfaces,
 permanent discolouration of hard to clean fragile,
porous or soft surfaces such as those of acrylic
paintings, and
 alteration of some colourants by pollutant gases.
Cleaning of the surfaces of paintings is generally not
recommended, unless done by a conservator; therefore
prevention is important.
HVAC air filtration controls dust levels fairly well.
VPAG spaces were not noticeably dusty; nor did staff
report problematic dust levels. Recently upgraded, the
HVAC system has a good capacity to filter particulates
in air:
 the air intake was raised from the loading bay to the
upper level of the parking garage (Figure 8) after
smoke from a vehicle fire aspirated into Gallery;
 the system is equipped with medium efficiency
Camfil Farr pleated filters that have a Minimum
Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of 8.
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Figure 8. HVAC air intake at the rear
of the parking garage.
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MERV 8 filters remove from the air (NIOSH 2003):
 more than 70% of large particles:
 3-10 microns,
 most dust and spores, lint and hair, etc.; but
 no smaller particles:
 less than 3 microns, including
 smoke and soot, etc.
This level of filtration is generally adequate for offices but may not provide enough protection for
paintings in collection storage over the long term.
Dust generated by indoor activity is less well controlled for art in storage.
Much indoor dust is generated by human activity (Cassar et al 1999; Yoon and Brimblecombe 2000)
and may not be fully filtered through the HVAC system. This source of dust may have little impact on
art on display at VPAG due to:
 sealed concrete, vinyl (imitation hardwood) and tile floors which are easier to clean than carpet
(removed from galleries last winter after flooding), and
 short temporary exhibition times of 8-10 weeks.
Indoor generated dust may be more of a problem in collection storage due to:
 lack of separation between general storage and collection storage leading to higher levels of
activity in the room than would be the case in a dedicated storage room;
 overcrowding, making it difficult to keep the space clean;
 long-term storage which gives sufficient time for dust to settle even onto vertical surfaces.
Much of the collection in storage is currently protected from dust by:
 plastic wrapping,
 glazing, or
 storage in cabinets and boxes.
The plastic wrapping is a precaution against possible water leaks in the space and is generally not
recommended for long-term art storage due to the danger of creating damp microclimates.
3.7 Light and UV
Although essential for appreciating art, excessive exposure to light or ultraviolet (UV) radiation can
result in damage to artworks:
 fading, yellowing or discoloration of pigments and materials; and
 reduction in strength or gloss of materials due to chemical degradation.
Because colour is often an essential component of the artist’s vision, art damaged by light may no
longer represent the artist’s intent if colours have changed.
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Track lighting in some galleries permits good light exposure management for art on display.
The Topham Brown and Caroline Galbraith galleries are equipped with conventional halogen track
lighting. Such fixtures permit adjustment of light levels to those generally recommended for art
display:
 150 lux for paintings on canvas;
 50 lux for works on paper,
 UV below 75 microwatts per lumen
Given the short length of most exhibitions at VPAG – 8 to 10 weeks – light exposure in these galleries
can be adequately managed.
Large windows in other galleries expose art to high UV and visible light levels.
Large windows in the Community Gallery (Figure 8) and Up Front Gallery combined with fluorescent
fixtures create lighting conditions that are not recommended for museum display of art:
 visible light levels up to 900 lux near the windows,
 visible light at almost 200 lux on the back wall of the Community gallery, and
 UV over 250 microwatts per lumen.
These windows do draw the attention of passersby to the Gallery’s exhibits (see Figure 4), which the
building itself struggles to do. The windows are north facing, which means direct sunlight is avoided.
Because art is displayed for only
short period under these conditions,
only the most sensitive, pristine
colourants (ISO 1) displayed close
to the windows will exhibit any
noticeable fading within one
exhibition (Table 2). Since fading is
cumulative, each exhibition “uses
up” more colourant than would
identical display period at
recommended museum settings
(Table 2). For example, sensitive
works displayed at 450 lux with
high UV will fade:
 about 4-9 times faster than if
displayed in UV-filtered light
at 150 lux, and
 12-26 times faster than if
displayed at 50 lux.
Figure 8. Windows and fluorescent lighting in the Community
Gallery.
Art in storage is unnecessarily exposed to light.
Because VPAG does not have a separate storage vault, art storage is lit even when no one needs access
to it. The lights in this single room go on if people need access to any of the materials stored there,
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much of which is not art. For most art, this unnecessary exposure is minimal:




the area is rather dimly lit by two fluorescent fixtures,
only one fixture is located directly over the art racks where most paintings are hung,
art racks shade most of the works, and
lighting is intermittent.
Nevertheless, much of this exposure could be avoided if the collection was stored in a dedicated vault.
Table 2. Estimated number of exhibitions (10 weeks, 400 hours) to just noticeable fade of sensitive
colourants at various light levels (based on Michalski, “Light, Ultraviolet and Infrared” 2013)
Number of exhibitions to just noticeable fade
ISO1
Lux
Level
ISO2
ISO3
(e.g. most plant extracts (dyes), lake pigments,
carmine, cheap synthetic colourants, felt tip pens, red
and blue ball point ink, many colour photographs)
ISO4
(e.g. alizarin dyes
and lakes, many
colour photographs)
Light Dose
(Mlux hr)
UV
Level
50
0.02
low
15
50
150
500
150
0.06
low
5
17
50
167
450
0.18
high
1.3
3.3
8
19
600
0.24
high
1.0
2.5
6
15
900
0.36
high
0.7
1.7
4
10
3.8 Pests
Museum pests, whether insects, rodents, birds or microorganisms, damage collections by:
 grazing, consuming, or gnawing on materials,
 staining materials with urine or faecal matter, or
 using materials for nests.
Infestations, once established, can be highly damaging and difficult to eradicate or control; therefore
prevention and pest management is encouraged.
Lack of adequate storage increases risk of pest damage.
Pest management is compromised by the lack of adequate storage space in the current VPAG facility.
Protection of the collection from potential pest damage is problematic due to:
 lack of physical barriers between collection storage, non-collection storage and the rest of the
facility increasing the likelihood of pest transfer to artworks;
 overcrowding in storage which makes prevention of infestation through good housekeeping
difficult;
 cluttered storage spaces, which can delay the identification of infestations, potentially resulting
in greater damage; and
 lack of separate space in which new artworks can be examined carefully or quarantined before
integration with the rest of the collection.
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The adapted commercial building – in good condition with few gaps at exterior doors and windows –
provides a relatively good enclosure to block pest entry from outside (Strang and Kigawa 2009) but not
an impermeable one. Mouse droppings have been found in the back storage room in the past,
indicating the potential for pest problems. Pigeons congregate in the loading bay area despite the use
of bird spikes to inhibit them. Although the risk of direct damage to art from these birds is low, bird
nests are known to be a breeding ground for certain insect species that may damage art objects.
Frequent infestation and severe pest damage to the collection is nevertheless unlikely. Staff members
report few issues despite little regular pest monitoring. VPAG is at lower risk for collection damage
from pest infestation due to the nature of its collection and the local climate:
 materials like skin, fur or wool that are high attractants for insect pests are not present;
 artwork where the major component is wood, which is at risk for wood borers, are few; and
 the relatively dry Vernon climate reduces the likelihood of many museum pests, such as
silverfish and furniture beetle, that thrive in damp places.
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4.
Managing Risk in the Existing Facility
VPAG and the Region of North Okanagan have managed to transform a retail space into a reasonable
working art gallery despite the constraints that come with a building not designed for museum
purposes. Compared to most other small public art galleries across Canada, however, the VPAG
facility is poorly designed. If the risks described in Section 3 are to be addressed adequately for the
long-term preservation of the collection, additional improvements are needed. This section explores
the feasibility of reducing risks within the existing facility through two approaches:
 improvements to the facility, and
 targeted strategies for collections care.
Although such changes could be beneficial for the short-term, they would still not enable VPAG to
fully meet its preservation mandate or the facility requirements for MCP Category A designation.
In some cases, modifications could result in reduced service to the community.
4.1 Reduce risks through facility improvements
Significant upgrading of the current facility is not is not recommended for several reasons:
 the existing space is insufficient for current gallery functions and expansion on site would be
challenging, if not impossible;
 increasing security to a level adequate for art of high monetary value within such a long structure
with numerous exits directly onto the street would be costly;
 upgrading collection storage to provide adequate protection from environmental fluctuations
may not be possible to the standard accepted by most galleries (ASHRAE class A) given that
upgrades to date in the Topham Brown Gallery have not provided this level of control.
Until a better designed facility is available, however, VPAG is responsible for managing the risks to its
collection. Smaller improvements may be possible but should be considered carefully in terms of costbenefit and their impact on gallery functions other than art preservation.
4.1.1 Improve security for art in storage and on display
Review key and access control and limit further if possible.
Security for the collection is enhanced if all access to collection spaces is supervised by staff:
 schedule work in collection spaces by contract staff or other non-VPAG staff, including floor
cleaning, during hours when staff are present;
 limit keys to staff and the regional facilities manager.
Review and possibly increase the level of intrusion detection.
A full security review by a qualified professional could provide ideas for cost-effective improvements
to the security system, such as:
 relocating the video surveillance monitor to a place where staff can easily see it;
 increasing the number of security cameras to cover all gallery spaces as well as the loading dock
door and the route towards collections storage;
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



installing glass break detectors on front windows;
ensuring that all storage areas are covered by motion detectors;
alarming all emergency exit doors; and/or
installing an uninterruptible power supply for the security system.
Most of these improvements would not prevent the type of theft that recently occurred at VPAG
although they could reduce the risk of after-hours incidents. Careful selection of security hardware
may permit transfer to a new facility in some cases.
Improve separation between galleries and back of house.
Currently there are no physical barriers between the Community and Caroline Galbraith galleries and
back of house. This may confuse some visitors as well as lowering security and increasing fire risks
due to poor compartmentation. The installation of doors between these galleries and the small hall area
in front of the kitchen, if feasible, would be beneficial but only if such doors can be large enough to
permit movement of art between collection storage and the galleries without damage. Reworking the
entire hallway between the galleries and the kitchen may be necessary and would likely result in loss of
valuable gallery space.
Consider separating collections storage from the rest of back of house.
Installation of a wall and lockable door to separate collection storage from the rest of back of house
would improve security for the permanent collection while also improving compartmentation and
permitting even better control of light exposure. Although any locked barrier would improve security,
other risks to the collection might increase if the separation is poorly designed. Ideally this upgrade
would include:
 a wall fire-rated for at least 60 minutes that rises to the ceiling slab;
 a door larger enough for removal of large paintings;
 a solid door secured with non-removable hinge pins and mortised 6-pin deadbolt lock and a
contact switch;
 addition of a separate switch for light fixtures in storage; and
 adequate ventilation to prevent creation of damp or hot microclimates in storage.
Because of the shortage of space for gallery functions, enclosure of collection storage could only be
effective if planned in conjunction with improvements in storage for non-collection materials such as
chairs and display plinths. Given the difficulty in providing adequate space on site, this upgrade may
not be advisable.
4.1.2
Improve non-collection storage
Provide better storage for non-collection materials.
Safer storage of the collection requires spacious, uncluttered transit routes from back of house into the
galleries. Thoughtful reorganization of back of house, perhaps combined with small renovations, could
give more room to items such as chairs, display plinths, easels and programming materials that are
currently stored in the same room as the collection. Addition of a significant amount of convenient
storage space may not be cost-effective. Nevertheless, ideas to consider include:
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 installation of a secure, portable storage container in the loading dock if the entire space is not
required for deliveries;
 enlarging the hall space between the Community and Caroline Galbraith galleries and the
kitchen; and/or
 repurposing the small Up-Front Gallery for chair and plinth storage.
Implementing any of these options will not add much additional space and thus does not really address
VPAG’s space needs. In addition, the impact on other activities may not be desirable. Parking for the
facility is already at a premium. Co-opting front of house spaces for back of house purposes would
result in the loss of valuable gallery and public programming space.
4.1.3
Practice proactive maintenance.
Continue to maintain the building and building systems proactively.
Although a key component of collections risk management in any facility, good building maintenance
is critical when the structure has not been designed to protect collections. Attentive, proactive
maintenance of HVAC, plumbing, fire protection and security systems and particularly of the building
structure combined with speedy repairs should limit the extent of damage from incidents expected in
this adapted retail space.
Because of the frequency of problems and potential for damage to art should systems fail in the current
facility, VPAG building maintenance should be a high priority for the Region of North Okanagan and
is likely to require more frequent attention than a new, well designed facility.
4.2 Reduce risks through strategic collection use and management
When facility improvements are not possible or insufficient, risk can also be reduced somewhat
through careful management of art within the building. Some of these suggestions are advisable
regardless of the nature of the facility. Others, which involve limiting the use and growth of the
collection to account for inadequate protection in the current facility, are offered as possible short-term
strategies only. These options overly restrict VPAG’s ability to meet its collecting mandate and to
deliver service to the North Okanagan community.
4.2.1 Account for security weakness
Use security hangers and secure display cases for portable art.
All art of apparent or actual high value can be considered at high risk of theft in the current facility.
Use of secure methods of display is thus recommended whenever possible:
 security hangers for framed art,
 display cases with vitrines secured to the base, preferably with tamper-proof screws, for small
objects and sculptures, and
 use of barriers to keep visitors back.
Capacity to protect art in this manner would also enable VPAG to better protect art at risk even in a
new facility.
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Exhibit and collect in a manner that accounts for security risks.
At present, VPAG’s small regional collection and an emphasis on exhibiting contemporary art may
mitigate security risks. Maintaining such practice until VPAG has a more secure facility is
recommended:
 exhibit items from the permanent collection and higher value art in the Topham Brown Gallery,
which is closer to reception, not visible from the street, and easier to monitor;
 avoid acquisitions of high monetary value or arrange for alternative short-term storage of such
works (e.g. short-term loan at another public art gallery with appropriate security).
VPAG will undoubtedly miss out on exhibitions or acquisitions that truly belong in the community by
following these strategies. High profile acquisitions can be used, however, to strengthen the case for
better facilities.
4.2.2
Prevent and prepare for emergencies.
Complete emergency plan and train response team.
No facility completely protects a collection from emergency incidents. Staff have the training and
information needed to develop a good emergency preparedness program for VPAG. Completing an
emergency plan and training a response team that includes both VPAG and regional staff will make it
easier for VPAG and the Region of North Okanagan to limit damage to the facility and the collection
when incidents occur and to expedite collection salvage and recovery when necessary. Although the
emergency plan would need to be modified for a new building, any effort to develop a preparedness
program now will make the transition easier.
4.2.3 Manage risks due to inadequate collection spaces
Risks to art due to lack of environmental control or lack of storage space can be dealt with over the
short-term through careful collections management.
Adopt protective storage methods.
Because of the nature of the building envelope, renovating the existing structure to provide a museum
environment in all collection spaces in terms of relative humidity and pollutant control, if feasible, is
not likely to be cost-effective and is, therefore, not recommended.
Appropriate storage methods can reduce the impact of environmental fluctuations or dust accumulation
and are recommended, even in a good facility:
 glazed framing, especially if well sealed,
 backing boards on paintings on canvas (Daly-Hartin 1993), which also protect against handling
damage,
 storage of works on paper in cabinets or boxes (preferably matted to provide further buffering
and protection for handling), and
 glazing or covers over acrylic paintings that would otherwise be exposed to dust.
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Collect with the facility in mind.
Certain art media are sensitive to poorly controlled environments (Michalski, “Incorrect Relative
Humidity” 2013). The risk is lower if such materials are not accepted into the collection until a better
facility is provided:







large paper sheets adhered to stretchers or prints adhered at four corners,
paintings on wood panel or ivory or the smooth side of fibreboard,
thick oil-resin images on paper or canvas,
wooden objects with inlay (metal, shell, etc.) that spans the wood grain,
polychrome wood sculpture,
audio or videotape, or
sculptures made of rubber, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyurethane.
Acrylic paintings, many types of works of art on paper, ceramics and glass are at low risk at VPAG.
Metal sculpture would be fine if damp is avoided.
Similar, VPAG does not have sufficient storage space for large paintings or sculpture. Art that cannot
be safely stored in the current facility is put at risk if acquired.
Although advisable, such restrictions make it impossible for VPAG to fully meet its collecting mandate
and thus cannot be seen as part of a long-term strategy. Complying with such restrictions in the face of
potential donations that best belong in the North Okanagan – such as works by Joyce Devlin – would
be difficult. Acquisitions may be justified if art comes from similarly uncontrolled environments and
would be at no greater risk at VPAG.
4.2.4 Manage light fading risks
Exhibit art strategically to account for light fading risk.
Short exhibition periods already prevent visible fading of most artworks displayed at VPAG. Strategic
installation in the Community and Up-Front galleries would mitigate the remaining risk. Sensitive
materials, such as watercolours and dyed textiles as well as all high value art, could be exhibited only
in the Caroline Galbraith and Topham Brown galleries. Installation near windows, where lux and UV
levels are highest, could be limited to materials of lower sensitivity, such as recent works painted with
professional artists’ colours, black and white prints or drawings, ceramics or uncoloured metal.
Consider improving light and UV control in Community and Up-Front galleries.
Light exposure management could be improved in the Community and Up-Front galleries by:
 replacing fluorescent lighting with halogen or solid state (LED) track lighting, and
 installing solar blinds or UV filters on windows.
Since the fading risk can be effectively managed through appropriate exhibition practices, these
improvements are lower priorities than those that improve security and may not be necessary if a new
facility is being planned.
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5.
Recommended Art Gallery Design Specifications
The Vernon Public Art Gallery provides some protection for art. The risks to art in its facility,
however, indicate the degree to which VPAG fails to fully meet its preservation mandate in the current
facility. Further risk reduction within this commercial retail space is highly limited by:
 lack of adequate space for all VPAG activities, and
 a building envelope and systems not designed for art museum needs.
Provide a facility designed to adequately protect art.
This section describes the steps VPAG needs to take to provide adequate protection for art in its
collection and on display for the long term. To do so requires a better designed art gallery facility, a
facility that, with good maintenance, will help ensure that VPAG can provide Vernon and the North
Okanagan with access to regional, national and even international art for generations to come. Such a
facility would support the mandate of the Gallery through:
 long-term preservation of works of art in the permanent collection;
 donation of works of art from artists and collectors who know that the VPAG can provide for
long-term preservation of any art media;
 access to MCP Program donation incentives and funds (Canadian Heritage 2014);
 loan of works of art from institutions and collectors who will entrust their art only to institutions
that can maintain a high level of care; and
 provision of beautiful, comfortable, clean and safe spaces that encourage repeat visits and attract
rental income.
5.1 Secure collections
Because of art’s market and cultural value, collections and exhibitions need high security to protect
from theft or vandalism. Overall security requires a complementary blend of systems and procedures
(see ASIS and AAM 2008 for detailed suggested practice).
Provide a secure perimeter to prevent unauthorized entry.
Thoughtful art gallery design can inhibit unauthorized entry through the following characteristics:
□ site designed for good visibility with security lighting and landscaping that provides no cover for
intruders
□ ground level access points limited to as few necessary for access and emergency evacuation
□ solid steel doors with non-removable hinge pins and mortised 6-pin deadbolt locks
□ high security keyways and key control
□ no external door hardware on doors that are emergency exits only
□ ground level glazing restricted to lower security zones
Equip building with adequate security systems.
Security systems are designed to detect unauthorized entry and initiate and/or aid response.
Recommended systems include:
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□ an intrusion alarm system that is continuously monitored and fully tested regularly using
qualified personnel:
o contact alarms on all exterior, collection storage and loading dock doors
o motion detection in all collection spaces (exhibition, storage) and any perimeter spaces that
might be access from outside (e.g. lobby, loading dock)
o glass break detectors on ground floor windows
o alarms on any accessible air ducts and vents larger than 25 x 25 cm
o dedicated emergency exits alarmed at all times
o collection storage alarmed separately if possible so that it can remain alarmed during open
hours when staff are not present
□ recorded video surveillance for high security areas (exhibit galleries, collection storage, loading
dock)
□ uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for the alarm system
Secure collections on display.
Theft by outsiders will more likely occur from exhibition galleries; therefore, secure methods for
displaying art are critical:
□
□
□
□
use of security hangers for portable, valuable framed art
display cases with impact resistant glazing and tamper-proof closures for smaller, fragile objects
object and proximity alarms for very high value art or art not protected by cases
barriers to control visitor distance from art on display
Control access to non-public functions.
Security is enhanced and controlled access facilitated – particularly for smaller institutions with limited
staff – if the facility is designed with distinct security zones:
□ distinct public and non-public areas
□ few points of entry from public to non-public zones
□ dedicated collection storage vault that does not serve as office space or an access route to other
spaces
□ utility panels and mechanical rooms in a non-public zone separate from collections zone
□ individually controlled key or card access to each non-public area for only those who need it
□ monitored after-hours entry
□ gallery entrances that can be locked or easily blocked for exhibition installation without
impeding access to other galleries
5.2 Prevent water damage
Careful building design combined with proactive maintenance can reduce the likelihood of water
reaching art on display or in storage.
Design to route water away from art.
New facilities provide an opportunity to locate essential water-bearing systems away from art.
Recommendations for site and building include:
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□ locate on higher ground, not in a flood plain
□ drain water away from building through sloped ground surface, pitched roof and appropriate roof
gutters or drain pipes
□ locate plumbing, steam, roof drainage and main sprinkler pipes – pressurized pipes in particular
– outside of storage vaults and galleries
□ design HVAC to place condensate drip pans outside of collection spaces
□ insulate cold water pipe to prevent condensation
Locate art away from the impact of eventual building leaks.
Designing a building with eventual maintenance issues in mind can reduce the impact on the collection
or other art in the building:
□ locate storage vaults and galleries above grade
□ provide adequate storage furniture to ensure that the entire collection is off the floor at all times
□ avoid placing collection rooms under roof penetrations or joints; if possible avoid rooms directly
under roof
□ avoid placement of mechanical rooms, washrooms or kitchens above or next to collection spaces
□ avoid skylights or windows in collection spaces
□ provide floor drains in rooms with sinks and dams around mechanical rooms
Design to facilitate maintenance.
Building design that facilitates system inspection and repair is more likely to limit the impact of
eventually maintenance issues:
□ keep plumbing accessible; avoid suspended ceilings
□ provide easy internal access to mechanical room and roof to facilitate inspections and
maintenance
□ install water sensors where water leaks are likely
Prepare for emergencies.
Protection of art from water damage in a new facility, as in an older one, requires staff guided by an
emergency response plan specific to that facility that includes appropriate collections salvage
procedures. The trained response team should include facility managers as well as collection staff.
5.3 Protect against fire
Appropriate building construction and fire protection systems will protect the art collection as well as
human life.
Design to limit fire risk and spread.
Research has shown that museum fires are not likely to start in collection spaces (Tétreault 2008);
therefore, building materials and layout can reduce the likelihood that fire reaches the collection should
one occur. Recommendations include:
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□ locate the building in an area at low risk from wildfire or industrial accidents
□ use non-combustible or fire-resistant building construction
□ install fire-rated walls and doors (60 minutes or more) in collection spaces, mechanical rooms
and workshops
□ separate collection spaces from functions with higher fire risk (workshops, kitchens, etc.)
□ install electrical systems that will adequately support the needs of contemporary art practice
Provide systems that detect and suppress fires.
Design fire protection systems with property protection in mind, even if that means going beyond code:
□
□
□
□
fire alarms and automatic fire detection systems (smoke detection in collection spaces)
separate zone for collection storage
fire extinguishers
fire suppression throughout including collection storage and galleries
CCI recommends wet-pipe sprinklers despite the slight risk of locating water-holding pipes in
collection spaces. These systems are more reliable and less costly to install and maintain. Water
damage, although undesirable, is more likely to respond to conservation treatment than fire or soot
damage. Systems that limit the water risk – pre-action, water mist, clean agent – are also acceptable if
resources are available, particularly for ongoing maintenance.
Support systems with fire prevention procedures.
For systems to be effective when needed, good fire safety procedures must be developed for the
facility, including:
□
□
□
□
□
□
regular fire system inspections by certified personnel
regular fire safety inspections
regular fire drills
staff training on use of fire extinguishers
open flame and hot work not permitted or controlled
fire response procedures in the emergency response plan
5.4 Reduce the risk of accidental damage
Art is at risk of accidental damage when building design does not account for the size and use of art in
the collection and loaned for exhibitions.
Provide adequate space for the collection of tomorrow.
As VPAG continues to collect in accordance with its mandate, its collection will grow. Guidelines for
design include:
□ provide sufficient vault space and appropriate storage furnishings to accommodate existing
collections without crowding
□ accommodate collections growth in terms of number and object types over the next 20-30 years
□ provide adequate floor loading capacity for compact storage methods to maximize use of space
□ provide walls that can support heavy works of art
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Design for safe movement of art around building.
An effective art gallery design anticipates how art will be moved and used throughout the facility. The
following characteristics are recommended:
□ doors, corridors, ceiling height and freight elevators sized to accommodate the size of art objects
and installations
□ corridors with few if any turns between loading dock, galleries and vaults
□ entrance to storage vault(s) and galleries directly off corridors kept clear of clutter
□ separate, dedicated storage vault(s) to minimize activity where art is stored
□ adequate, separate space for storage of non-collection items (display cases, crates, light fixtures,
tables, publications, business records, etc.)
Design to minimize art handling.
A new facility provides the opportunity to select storage techniques that facilitate access while
reducing handling risks. Suggestions in this regard include:
□ store framed art on art racks to provide visual access without handling
□ size and install art racks for ease of access to all surfaces and to permit use of rolling ladders for
art hung at top
□ mat and store smaller works of art on paper in solander or other archival boxes on open shelves
□ use flat file cabinets only for unframed, oversized works of art on paper
Separate art from activities that could cause damage.
Activities or programmes that involve materials or processes that could accidentally damage artworks
need dedicated space:
□
□
□
□
clean preparation space for matting and framing
separate workshop space for construction of crates and display cases, etc.
separate areas for food preparation / consumption by staff or visitors or for receptions
separate space for educational programming
5.5 Provide a controlled environment
Relatively stable, moderate environmental conditions minimize the risk of damage from fluctuating or
incorrect temperature and relative humidity levels for many types of art objects, including paintings,
works of art on paper and photographs.
Provide ASHRAE Class A control with seasonal set point adjustments for all collection spaces.
MCP Category A designation and many art lenders require environmental control that meets the
requirements of ASHRAE Class A control for exhibition galleries and collection storage. Ideally, all
spaces where art is displayed, stored or transported (exhibition galleries, storage vaults, preparation
rooms, quarantine rooms, and connecting corridors) are controlled.
In the Canadian climate, we recommend seasonal set point adjustments combined with tighter control
over short-term fluctuations:
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□ temperature set point between 15°C and 25°C
□ ± 2°C short term temperature fluctuations
□ maximum seasonal set point adjustments of 5°C up in summer and 10°C down in winter
(although constant year round temperature is often feasible)
□ relative humidity set point near 50%
□ ± 5% short term relative humidity fluctuations
□ maximum seasonal set point adjustments of 10% up in summer (as high as 60%) and 10% down
in winter (as low as 40%)
□ incremental set point adjustment (e.g. steps of 0.1%) over two months in spring and fall (can be
programmed into HVAC systems with direct digital control)
Building design features that help ensure reliable, sustainable environmental control include:
□ separate zones for collection and non-collection functions so that only collection spaces need to
be tightly controlled
□ location of collection spaces away from exterior walls
□ double or triple glazed windows but minimal use of windows and skylights in collection spaces
□ well-insulated building envelope
□ vapour barriers in walls and roof
□ multiple units for humidification/dehumidification so that relative humidity control is not lost
when units fail
□ sensors located in rooms where art is kept, not only in ductwork
□ sensors located to prevent interference from windows, open doors, ventilation ducts, exterior
walls, etc.
Provide cool or cold or dry storage if collecting priorities require it
Certain art media require specialized storage environments to prevent damage. Magnetic media, such
as audio or video tape, colour photographs and some modern polymers (e.g. rubber, polyvinyl chloride
(PVC) or polyurethane) are chemically unstable and deteriorate relatively quickly at room temperature;
these require cool or cold storage (Michalski, “Incorrect Temperature 2013). Certain metals –
particularly steel or iron – may corrode at moderate relative humidity levels and are better preserved at
relative humidity below 30%.
The VPAG collection currently does not include many such materials. Specialized storage need only
be considered if future collecting is expected to include them, particularly if such art might be certified
as cultural property.
Provide an enclosed or sealed loading dock.
The best protection for incoming and outgoing art is an enclosed loading dock with a separate HVAC
zone. Loading dock seals, shelters or truck curtains on exterior doors are acceptable alternatives for
MCP Category A designation.
Monitor and keep records of the environment where collections are stored and displayed.
One year of environmental data for each collection space and evidence of ongoing monitoring is
required for MCP Category A designation. Access to loans for exhibitions in the new facility may also
be contingent on being able to provide lenders with recent graphs that demonstrate good environmental
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control. Hygrothermographs or data logger data are acceptable. If data loggers or the building
management system are used to collect and report data, graphs can be interpreted more easily if they:
□
□
□
□
□
□
□
reflect data gathered within the rooms close to where objects are located (not in ductwork)
are based on data points every 15-30 minutes
show data by month
have consistent temperature axes, 0-30°C
have consistent, preferably separate relative humidity axes, 0-100%
use colours consistently to represent temperature and relative humidity
are archived for future reference
Independent monitoring of collection spaces by collection staff is encouraged. Building sensors and
stand-alone data loggers or monitoring equipment need periodic calibration to ensure that readings are
accurate. HVAC problems can be identified and addressed most quickly if both facilities and
collections staff are involved.
5.6 Control dust and pollutants
Building systems and collection fittings designed to minimize dust and airborne pollutants are not only
good for human health but also maximize collection preservation.
Provide enhanced particulate filtration.
Better than average air filtration is required for MCP Category A designation. The level of filtration
commonly used for offices and classrooms may effectively remove coarse particles but not fine small
particles (less than 3 microns) which are most likely to embed permanently into soft or fibrous
surfaces.
The HVAC system should be able to meet the requirements of at least the Level D specification class
described by Tétreault (2003, p. 44):
□
□
□
□
MERV 8 first-stage particle filter (equivalent to dust spot efficiency of 30-35%)
MERV 12 final-stage particle filter (equivalent to dust spot efficiency of 70-75%)
positive pressure to minimize the infiltration of pollutants and to optimize climate control
filters on return air and gaseous filtration recommended but not required
Appropriate exhaust or filtration must also be provided for workshops or kitchens where dust or
cooking or use of chemicals is expected, for health and safety reasons as well as to protect the art.
Design rooms, finishes and furnishings to facilitate good housekeeping.
Room shape, layout, finishes and furnishings should facilitate effective, periodic housekeeping
(dusting, floor cleaning) to keep collection spaces clean:
□ separate collection storage from other activities (research, teaching, collections management,
offices) to minimize dust deposition from human activity in vaults
□ provide separate workshop space for “dirty” activities that use paints, chemicals, adhesives, etc.
or that generate dust
□ choose easy to clean tile, sheet vinyl, sealed concrete or hardwood flooring, not carpeting
□ ensure that all floors and corners are accessible for cleaning
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Use display and storage fittings made of stable materials.
Interior finishes, display cases and storage furnishings can provide additional protection from dust and,
if selected and used carefully, from other pollutants:
□ choose powder-coated metal furniture if possible, but wood sealed with appropriate coatings
(Tétreault 2011) is acceptable
□ use boxes, containers and enclosures made of archival grade cardboard or paper, polyethylene,
polypropylene, polyester, polystyrene, acrylic, or polycarbonate; avoid ordinary cardboard and
polyvinyl chloride
□ use enclosures that pass the Photographic Activity Test (PAT) to reduce risks to photographs
□ allow for adequate drying of coatings: 4 days for walls finishes; 4 weeks for airtight case
interiors
5.7 Manage light exposure
Light fixtures will vary according to the functions of different spaces. Systems that preserve yet
facilitate appreciation of art are best for collection spaces. Although natural light adds to the ambience
of buildings and can cut lamping and energy costs in offices and non-collection areas, light from
windows can be difficult to control in exhibition galleries and should be avoided in storage vaults.
Design facility to limit light exposure in collection storage vaults.
Dedicating storage vaults to collection storage only will keep light exposure to a minimum, in addition
to decreasing dust levels and improving security. Storage rooms are best kept dark unless someone is
in the room. Light exposure in storage can be further managed by:
□ use of low UV fluorescent room lighting at levels just high enough for safe access to collections
(500 lux or less is usually adequate)
□ installing pull-out art racks rather than racks that move side to side with light fixtures in front of
rather than over the racks
□ use of boxes or cabinets that block light, where appropriate
□ providing individual switches for banks of fluorescent lights so that only those needed can be
turned on
□ installing motion detectors that control banks of light in larger rooms or automatically turn lights
on and off in spaces that are accessed intermittently
Provide flexible, economical track lighting for exhibition galleries.
All display areas will need light fixtures that provide excellent control over light level and direction.
The track lighting at VPAG, although appropriate, is beginning to fail and will soon be obsolete.
Selection criteria for new lighting include:
□ lamps dimmable to at least 50 lux
□ lamps with a a colour rendering index (CRI) of at least 85, but preferably above 90
□ flexible, adjustable lamp placement (i.e. track lighting) so that objects can be illuminated only as
much as needed
□ no UV (preferable) or low UV (less than 75 microwatts per lumen)
□ low operating costs (combination of energy usage, lamp lifetime and relamping cost)
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Since incandescent lamps are gradually being phased out due to their energy inefficiency, selection of
museum-quality solid state (LED) systems is recommended. The use of these lamps also eliminates
problems with UV. Care is needed to ensure that low enough light levels can be achieved if the
distance from fixture to object is small.
Provide just enough light for collections management, research and educational activities.
Because light exposure is for short periods, light levels can be higher in spaces where collections are
used for activities other than display. Lighting systems and procedures that permit control of light
exposure are recommended:
□ overall light levels not greater than 500 lux at work table height
□ use of task lighting where higher light levels are needed
□ temporary storage cabinets or covers (e.g. Tyvek sheets) for objects retrieved for use but not
being looked at
5.8 Integrate pest management into facility design
Art collections that consist primarily of traditional media like paintings and works of art on paper, like
that of VPAG, include few materials that are highly attractive to most museum pests. Nevertheless, a
well-sealed building combined with good housekeeping and food management could make an
elaborate integrated pest management program with building-wide insect trapping unnecessary.
Design building and site to inhibit pest entry.
Several characteristics of the building and site can inhibit pest infiltration and are thus recommended
(MuseumPests.net 2015; Strang and Kigawa 2009):
□
□
□
□
□
□
□
□
stone or brick exterior
double sets of doors to exterior; tight door seals
exterior light fixtures mounted away from building, particularly by entrances and air intake grills
high-pressure sodium vapour exterior lighting rather mercury vapour
no ledges and nooks that could serve as roosting sites for birds
vegetation-free boarder around building (e.g. about 1 metre of pea gravel over landscape fabric)
only non-flowering vegetation and no water features
rodent proof garbage receptacles on concrete pads for away from doors and windows
Design for gradual integration of new acquisitions.
Pests are most likely introduced into clean, food-free collection facilities through infested new
acquisitions or materials for exhibitions. To prevent such infestation, we recommended providing:
□ space for quarantine or inspection of new acquisitions separate from storage vaults
□ chest freezer for freezing of infested materials (but not paintings – quarantine or low oxygen
methods preferred)
□ separate space for receiving and storing non-collection materials and crates
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Design to reduce the need for and facilitate good housekeeping around collections.
Accumulation of food wastes, dust and clutter can attract pests. Design that provides for eating and
drinking away from collection spaces will encourage compliance with rules that prohibit use of food
around collections. Room finishes and furnishings should facilitate effective, periodic housekeeping
(dusting, floor cleaning) to keep collection spaces clean and thus inhibit pests and improve early
detection. To lower risk of pest infestation:
□ provide suitable space for catered receptions outside of collection spaces
□ provide staff workspaces outside of collection areas so that staff can eat at or close to their desks
without increasing pest risks
□ choose easy to clean tile, sheet vinyl, sealed concrete or hardwood flooring, not carpeting
□ choose light-coloured finishes to aid pest detection
□ ensure that all floors and corners are accessible for cleaning
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6.
References
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Alexandria, VA: ASIS International, 2008. Accessed 8 May 2015.
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American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). “Museums,
libraries, and archives.” pp. 23.1-23.22 in ASHRAE Handbook: Heating, ventilating and airconditioning applications, SI Edition. Atlanta, GA: Author, 2011.
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Knelman, J. “Artful Crimes.” The Walrus, November 2005. Accessed 8 May 2015.
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Kovacs, P. and R. Sweeting. “Earthquake hazard zones: The relative risk of damage to Canadian
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Michalski, S. “Agent of Deterioration: Light, Ultraviolet and Infrared.” Ottawa: Canadian
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