The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford

Organization size: Medium
Discipline: Visual Arts
Abbotsford, BC (2014-2015)

The Reach Gallery Museum Builds Legacy with Local Business

The Reach Gallery Museum and Columbia Kitchen Cabinets Ltd. Partnership Summary

The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford (The Reach) and Columbia Kitchen Cabinets Ltd. (Columbia Kitchen) both value family, heritage and their community. Columbia Kitchen had a 44 year business building relationship in the community and a relationship with The Reach for 6 years. Thanks to this, The Reach was able to leverage the artsVest program and propose a meaningful and legacy-building sponsorship partnership to Columbia Kitchen Cabinets.

The Reach’s By Land and Sea exhibition involved programming by a Fraser Valley born artist, Marian Penner Bancroft, whose works investigate her Mennonite family history and relationship to landscape from a narrative of migration and forced relocation. Columbia Kitchen was founded by a Mennonite immigrant with family history in Southern Russia. For more than 45 years (they celebrated their 45th anniversary in 2015), Columbia Kitchens continues to hire, train and provide business opportunities to Mennonite immigrants or their descendants, along with immigrants of other ethnicities and residents. The company gives back with funding and volunteers to individuals and communities in third world countries, and in more recent years, has started to invest more in the Fraser Valley community where their employees and families reside.

The partnership between The Reach and Columbia Kitchen was the perfect fit, as the By Land and Sea exhibition and its sponsorship served to showcase and progress both organizations’ missions and values.


“Build relationships with the business and a decision maker within the business, try to learn about what truly matters to their business and them personally and then go above and beyond to fulfill your promises to them.”

– Ingrid Epp, Director of Development,
The Reach Gallery Museum


The Reach Gallery Museum
thereach.ca

The mission of The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford is to be the centre of cultural and creative innovation in the Fraser Valley. The Reach is committed to preserving and sharing the stories of rich and diverse cultural heritage and showcasing the best in the visual arts from the Fraser Valley community.

Since 2008, The Reach has shown over 117 exhibitions featuring hundreds of local and international artists, and engaged children to seniors in more than 250 interactive educational cultural initiatives from family arts to youth projects and fundraisers. The Reach Archives has to date digitized 31,000+ historical images for public access, and stewards 5,040 permanent artifacts in its collection.

Columbia Kitchen Cabinets Ltd.
columbiacabinets.com

Columbia Kitchen Cabinets has become one of the most respected cabinet companies of its kind in Canada and the United States. Columbia craftsmen, many with 20 to 45 years of experience in cabinetmaking, work out of a modern, high tech 100,000 sq. ft. plant ideally located in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Columbia Kitchen has excelled in their industry, winning a number of business excellence awards. Without forgetting their humble beginnings, Columbia Kitchen continues to place significance on supporting their employees, clients and community by giving back through like -minded partnerships.

 

 

About the Partnership

The Reach approached Columbia Kitchen as their primary sponsorship partner for the By Land and Sea exhibition. The exhibition involved programming by a Fraser Valley born artist, Marian Penner Bancroft, whose works investigate her Mennonite family history and relationship to landscape from a narrative of migration and forced relocation. Columbia Kitchen was founded by a Mennonite immigrant with family history in Southern Russia. For more than 45 years, Columbia Kitchen continues to hire, train and provide business opportunities to Mennonite immigrants or their descendants, along with immigrants of other ethnicities and residents. The company gives back with funding and volunteers to individuals and communities in third world countries, and in more recent years, has started to invest more in the Fraser Valley community where their employees and families work, live and give in.

From the first sponsorship meeting onward, The Reach proposed a moderate monetary sponsorship to Columbia Kitchen, which was agreed to. Upon further dialogue with the sponsor, a special concert featuring a local renowned musician was added to the Art Exhibition Opening Reception, increasing the value of the sponsorship and event for both Columbia Kitchen and The Reach, and providing additional value to local musicians and guests of the event. Although this sponsorship relationship was an obvious win-win from the first meeting, it took time and patient relationship building and attention that culminated in a well-packaged sponsorship proposal that resonated with the business, as a result of the artsVest process.


“It is important for us to contribute to the local community, whether it’s performing or visual arts especially when it enriches the creativity for kids, youth and families.”

– Hans Kruger, President, Columbia Kitchen Cabinets Ltd.


Columbia Kitchen Cabinets

This business partnership leveraged marketing potential for Columbia Kitchen: Over 7,000 exhibit-goers of all ages attended the gallery from September 2014 to January 2015 and were introduced to the Columbia Kitchen brand, business and their contribution to the gallery.

Short term

  • Brand/logo recognition on The Reach’s great hall exhibition signage
  • Building brand awareness through logo recognition on all exhibition and reception related invitations and materials
  • Opportunity to share business brand and productions through four newsprint ads
  • Special recognition through Preview Arts Magazine ad
  • Opportunity to cross promote company website on The Reach’s e-newsletter and website
  • Opportunity to display a special company incentive piece onsite at exhibition, chance to more personally connect with exhibit goers
  • Client networking opportunity at the official exhibition opening reception
  • Employee engagement incentive – representatives able to speak and attend opening of exhibit, receive invites to public fall programs as well as offered an opportunity for a private team tour with The Reach’s creative family

Long term

  • Columbia Kitchen was able to showcase its products, services and brand to audiences of the exhibit, and show the value the place of culture in the Fraser Valley.

The 700 year old oak at Chortitza, site of the first Mennonite gathering in 1789
Marian Penner Bancroft, The Reach’s By Land and Sea exhibition.


Benefits for The Reach Gallery Museum

The monetary gain enabled The Reach to provide an exceptional exhibition, furthermore, the partnership helped The Reach continue to build an inclusive, healthy and attractive place for current and future generations to live and prosper in.

Short term

  • Provided awareness for the exhibition and exposed newcomers to the gallery

Long term

  • More students experienced the tour and projects at The Reach
  • The partnership created volunteer engagement opportunities
  • The Reach was able to bridge to other organizations, provide referrals and assist other non-profits through sponsor and partner connections

Benefits for the Community

The Reach and Columbia Kitchen built a strong, respectful and supportive two-way relationship that both parties and the community can be proud of and appreciate. This translated into an increase in programming volume and more compelling, challenging and diverse public programming that The Reach and its partners could offer to the community. In addition, the partnership:

  • Added ‘reputational’ value to the community’s tourism industry
  • Enriched the exhibition and reception for audience goers

“Many goers of the exhibition expressed surprise of Columbia Kitchen Cabinets Ltd.’s sponsorship. It was of interest for many to know that a business so well known for their support of faith based projects and initiatives abroad were now also supporting local arts and heritage.”

– Ingrid Epp, Director of Development,
The Reach Gallery Museum


“We sent a thank you letter, providing stats on how many guests had experienced the project they had sponsored, along with samples of promo pieces and ads. I also made an effort, and continue to, book artists CKC supported for other Reach events, and for the Rotary Club I belong to.”

Ingrid Epp, Director of Development,
The Reach Gallery Museum

Stewardship

The Reach invited Columbia Kitchen to speak at the sponsored project Opening Reception & Concert, and again, when the opportunity was provided for a business sponsor to speak at the artsVest Fraser Valley Celebration. Columbia Kitchen was also invited to succeeding events and festivals at The Reach. The Reach’s stewardship strategy included invitations and recognition of Columbia Kitchen at public forums and artists talks connected to their sponsored project, in press releases, promo pieces, The Reach website, recognition plaque and annual report.

The Reach continued to provide Columbia Kitchen sponsorship opportunities that aligned with their values, and in the fall of 2015 The Reach partnered with CKC again on a 5-year sponsorship agreement.