Some of the best events I've been to in the last couple months have happened in the Khyber building—like the Obey Convention and the Totally Wicked Music Festival. Well kids, just when you think that things are finally getting settled under that old turret, last week we heard from Steven James May, one of the organizers of the Salon des Refusés Atlantique, which, annually, has applied salve to filmmakers' bruised egos by screening local films rejected by the Atlantic Film Festival. Every year since 2001 the salon has taken place at the Khyber, but not this September. According to May, when he tried to book the space, he received this note back from Christine Lavoie, team lead for HRM's Culture & Heritage Development: "The Khyber is presently not available for rent (no HRM staff on site to operate it). However, we are working with a consultant who's developing a plan to address the future of the building, in consultation with the artistic and cultural community."
Lavoie confirmed her response to May, and says that the consultants—Toronto-based TCI Management Consultants—are planning on releasing their report in the late summer/early fall, for consideration to council. Let's hope the city can get their shit together (pun intended) on this one. It would be a terrible shame to lose this space, or for it to lose its raggedy, grassroots spirit. In the meantime, show your support for the Khyber ICA, which is still programming exhibitions—go see Chris Foster's Notions of Progress, on until July 24.
UPDATE: Just received an email from May stating the salon will continue on with its Khyber-location legacy, but not in the old Khyber Club, as in past years. The Khyber ICA's Ballroom is the place to be Saturday, September 19, from 7-10 pm. "Let's hope that by September 2010 the Khyber Club will be up and running in time for the Salon to celebrate its 10th anniversary."