Kootenay School of Art

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Kootenay School of Art

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The Nelson School of Fine Arts, the parent body of the Kootenay School of Art was established by the Societies Act of British Colmbia in 1958. Zeljko Kujundzic, an art instructor with L.V. Rogers high school was seconded as the first Principal and commenced in 1960. The following year, the Board of Directors moved that the art school be given a new name and a separate governing body. Upon recommendation of the Minister of Education, the name of the art school was officially changed to the Kootenay School of Art and the following fall became a provincial school of art. The affiliation with the Vocational School commenced formally in 1964 when KSA became a major division of the newly opened in Rosemont. Kujundzic resigned due to philosophical differences and D.O. MacGregor assumed the position of Director By 1968 the art school had reached its maximum capacity of one hundred and five full time students. The same year, the art division became the first programme within the vocational framework to be given post-secondary status. KSA began providing studio training for Notre Dame University students majoring in fine arts and education in 1969. In June, 1972, the British Columbia Vocational School and Kootenay School of Art were placed into a trial meld with Selkirk College and became two major divisions of the College, each with its' own dirctor. In September, 1974, the post-secondary branch of the department of Education approved an agreement between the Kootenay School of Art division, Selkirk College and the Eastern Washington state college graduate programme to provide internship training. October, 1975 saw the final meld with Selkirk College take place. The closure of Notre Dame University in 1978 and the creation of the David Thompson University Centre (DTUC) on the former NDU campus marked the third location of the Kootenay School of Art. The University of Victoria was also affiliated with KSA during this time and offered students the ability to transfer KSA credits to the UVic Bachelor of Fine Arts programme. MacGregor hired Ric Gomez as Coordinator of the Visual Arts Programme and KSA began to build upon the vision of an integrated visual, performing and literary arts school originally conceived by the Nelson School of Fine Arts. The closure of DTUC in 1984 ended the dream of an art school in the Kootenays. The concept of a cooperative art school lingered in the community however, and the vision was revived in the early 1990s with the Kootenay School of the Arts.

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