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The Organization

Centre3 for Print and Media Arts, a Hamilton-based artist-run organization, has undergone many exciting changes over the years but one important element has remained the same: Centre3 is dedicated to providing the arts community in the region with an affordable venue for making and exhibiting art. For close to a decade, Centre3 has been a vibrant exhibition hub for artists, especially printmakers, both locally and internationally.

The Challenge

Founded in 2003, Centre3 has, over time, expanded its programming and mandate to meet the needs of a much broader community, one that draws out the artistic visions of at-risk youth, while continuing to meet its original mandate serving artists, especially printmakers.

Going forward, the organization needed to strengthen its infrastructure and become a more mature organization by diversifying its funding base. The management team at Centre3 realized one of the most effective ways to do this is to hire a full-time Development Officer. Executive Director Colina Maxwell approached Centre3’s board with the recommendation that they take out a loan with the Community Forward Fund in order to hire the Officer who would raise their salary plus unrestricted funds. The board’s reply was a definite no.

In response, Maxwell along with Centre3’s board chair developed a strong strategy making the business case for hiring the Development Officer. Over time, they persuaded the board that this was an important and crucial next step for the organization. Once the board agreed, Centre3 contacted the Community Forward Fund’s Director of Lending Services and they began the loan application process.

How CFFAC Helped

The Community Forward Fund met with Centre3 at the Hamilton Community Foundation’s office where they discussed the details of a loan. Given Centre3’s long-standing presence and strong reputation in the community, their steady growth over the past decade, and strong business plan, CFFAC’s Director of Lending Services encouraged Centre3 to apply for a loan. Because they had a solid strategy in place already, the paperwork was almost fully completed and before too long the loan was approved.

The loan will provide them with the cash flow to hire a Development Officer. Maxwell believes in the strength of community and the vision of artists. She states, “This loan is an important part of our next steps as an organization and will allow us to expand our offering and create more value in our community.”