Ottawa doesn’t have an extensive industrial history, which makes it pretty hard to find those large, derelict or abandoned buildings that can be repurposed in ways the original architects never dreamed of – artists’ studios. On Kaladar Avenue, near Bank and Heron, is a legacy industrial area that is being transformed. Somewhat run-down buildings that were once warehouses are now home to a design house, a storefront selling Italian paper products, and a leather goods store and workshop. Down the street one-time factories now house creative enterprises: a film and television production studio, animation and gaming designers, a craft brewery, a mid-century modern furniture dealer, and the new kid on the block, Studio Space Ottawa.
Old Midway Amusement Park Space
Midway Indoor Amusement Park went out of business in February, 2019 leaving behind a 50,000 sq.ft. building with a ‘For Lease’ sign out front, a sign that was noticed simultaneously and independently by artists Kathy Bergquist and Ada Brzeski. Very soon artists Anna Frlan, Susan Roston, and Christos Pantieras were working with them and Stonewater Property managers Donna Parent and Sarah McClurg to show artists the space, and ask them to imagine the possible studios.
‘working spaces for working artists’
Within six months, Studio Space Ottawa, a not-for-profit whose sole purpose is to create stable, affordable studio spaces for artists was incorporated, 20 studios were built, and 23 artists moved in and got to work, realizing the organization’s tag line, ‘working spaces for working artists’. There are more studios under construction, and there is room for many more. How many more? That will depend on a complex dance of wants and needs on the part of the arts community and the landlord. Optimism is warranted: anyone can learn to dance.
Studio Space Ottawa is hosting a Grand Opening party this Friday, October 25th, 2019.
South Bank Street at 2477 Kaladar Street
Want to know more about the Studio Space Ottawa? Check out their Facebook page.
With support from Wallack's Art Supplies