Vankleek Hill’s Creating Centre has come to life this summer, and a seasonal employee has played a big role in making that happen.

The facility at the corner of High and Main Streets is intended to provide community space where arts and crafts are at the forefront through demonstrations, displays, or simply because of artisans being there at work. The centre was founded in 2018 by Samme Putzel, partner of the late Phil Arber.

Umaia Perlin, a liberal arts student at CÉGEP John Abbott College in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, worked for the summer as the Creating Centre’s coordinator, helping develop and implement its programming.

Perlin secured the summer position after writing to Samme Putzel, the Creating Centre’s owner and founder, and suggesting ideas for programs and activities during daily hours of operation.  Putzel liked what she read and hired Perlin.

One of the ideas was to create a library of art supplies, craft materials, sewing and knitting machines, and a spindle so people would have a place to access those items.

Another of Perlin’s ideas was the Art Cart Café.  It was designed to attract crafters and artisans to the centre to also enjoy tea and conversation five days a week.

“People like meeting here,” said Perlin.

Local artisans have been asking if studio space is available at the Creating Centre.  However, renovations are still in progress in parts of the building so that space is not available currently.

The regular users have a deep sense of personal identification and belonging there.

“Everybody who comes in sees it as an opportunity in their own personal universe,” Perlin said.

Perlin is no stranger to Vankleek Hill.  During the summer of 2018, she worked at The Review and appreciates the distinct charms of the community.  She has a year of studies left at John Abbott College and would also like to do some travelling abroad but plans to come back someday.

“It is a place that one returns to,” Perlin said.