By Kathryn Gowling
Special to The Pioneer
Editors note: This is the fourth article in a series on the history of Pynelogs in honour of the historic buildings 100th anniversary this summer.
Community spirit and volunteer energy in a small town can work wonders. In the case of Pynelogs, following each change in use of the building, local individuals assisted in the renovation and upgrading as necessary on an ad hoc basis, and as funding and time allowed. Pynelogs even faced rumours of demolition and closure threats by the authorities. However, the cultural devotees in the community argued and pleaded for help to restore the building to usefulness. Minor upgrades were made in most cases but, over 2004 and 2005, a major renovation and restoration ensured the longevity of this community treasure. Funding came from all levels of government and many local organizations. The town and valley had acknowledged the value of the cultural centre.
Renovated Pynelogs became a 2005 building wrapped in a 1915 shell. The room layout became open concept. The work included structural reinforcement, extensive insulation, new electrical/heating/ventilation/air conditioning, energy-efficient windows appearing like the originals, wireless internet, LCD projection, a modern kitchen, restored original flooring, recovered walls, and important exterior log work. A large deck was added as was a new front entry and an accessibility ramp while a an upstairs balcony was removed. Then, in 2014, Pynelogs welcomed a storage building and the interior received a fresh coat of paint for the buildings centenary.
Pynelogs today is a busy place. Able to operate year-round, it serves as an art gallery with a gift shop; houses continuously running professional, amateur and student visual art shows from spring through to fall; and provides a musical and performance venue offering an intimate stage for music to dinner theatre. Community festivals, arts and crafts workshops, a popular rental facility, an upscale lakeshore caf and the administrative office for CV Arts all call Pynelogs home.
We are celebrating the heritage and gift of Pynelogs throughout the year of its centenary. There are, no doubt, more stories about Pynelogs that we have not yet heard. If you would like to send us a story or a photograph, please contact us through the CV Arts website at www.columbiavalleyarts.com .