Longer hours for art gallery costs

RHONDA MARKBY
Last updated 05:00 01/02/2013

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Increasing the time the Aigantighe Art Gallery is open each weekend is possible - but it will come at a cost.

The gallery's opening hours came up for discussion late last year with Timaru District councillors questioning why it could not open on Monday.

A report on the gallery's hours by director Fiona Ciaran makes it clear she is not in favour of the gallery being routinely open on Monday, the day when many exhibitions are installed and taken down, although it could open occasionally for pre-booked tours.

When it came to weekend opening hours, Dr Ciaran recommended they either remain the same so current targets can be met, or weekend staff be employed for two hours more each weekend day.

The additional opening hours would see the gallery open from 10am (instead of noon) till 4pm and would cost an additional $5000 annually.

Dr Ciaran said to cover additional weekend hours from the current weekday staff would be impractical and "not a cost-effective use of their professional time".

The option of extended weekend hours will be referred to the March budget meeting for consideration.

More than 32,000 people visited the gallery in the year to the end of June, while gallery staff visited more than 3000 students at school.

More than 180 adult South Canterbury artists exhibited at the gallery during the year as did 621 students.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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