Brilliant Cultural Centre
The Brilliant Cultural Centre is a modern multi-functional facility owned and maintained by the USCC. It is centrally located at Brilliant, the historical heartland of the Kootenay Doukhobor community, just a few minutes from the airport and the City of Castlegar. It serves local Doukhobors as a prayer home, meeting and convention hall, and as a performance and cultural activities center for various festivals, banquets, weddings and funerals and is available for use by the wider community.
The design, funding, construction and associated supervision of the centre was primarily carried out by USCC members along with other Doukhobors and friends who volunteered their labour and equipment, and who helped with monetary contributions. Financial grants were also obtained from various levels of government. Initial construction of the center began with a sod-turning ceremony on May 18,1976, with completion only a year later. The official opening of the Brilliant Cultural Centre coincided with the 30th Annual USCC Union of Youth Festival in May 1977.
ABOUT THE BUILDING - MAIN UPPER LEVEL
In terms of its structure, the Brilliant Cultural Centre is essentially a large rectangular building, with architectural brick walls and a flat roof supported by steel trusses. The use of these engineered trusses enabled the designers to create a large interior open space approximately 120 feet long and 72 feet wide on the main floor, a massive space that can potentially accomodate a seating capacity of 1100. Although there is no fixed seating in this area, chairs, tables and benches are available to configure various seating arrangements. This main floor also features a spacious front stage with professional lighting and sound equipment and a projection room in the rear balcony, where there is also additional overflow seating. The walls and ceiling of the centre were designed with integrated sculptured baffles to accomodate and enhance acoustic concerns. Apart from this large central hall and adjacent restrooms, this floor currently houses an administrative office and the business and production centre of the ISKRA magazine.
The bottom floor consists of various smaller meeting rooms, a Russian preschool/playschool facility and a fully equipped modern commercial kitchen and banquet area capable of seating 450 people. The kitchen facility is funded and maintained by the USCC Kootenay Ladies Organization, which is capable of catering large-group banquets featuring traditional Doukhobor cuisine. A special catering group also operates out of this facility to prepare traditional Douhobor food for sale to the general public. A side wall in this space features an interesting collection of historical photographs, paintings, clothing, woodcraft and other memorabilia.
FUNCTION AS A COMMUNITY CULTURAL CENTRE
Aside from its use by membership, the USCC has routinely opened Brilliant Cultural Centre doors to invite and welcome the general public. In its concern for peace and disarmament, human rightsand responsibilities, social justice, multiculturalism and the natural environment, it has hosted numerous public conferences, conventions and performances at this centre, featuring distinguished speakers and performers from around the globe. Being the largest facility of its kind in the West Kootenay, the USCC also makes the Brilliant Cultural Centre available for general public use when other local facilities are unable to accomodate large groups, particularly for events and functions that address common issues. Banquet and catering services can also be reserved at the centre, as part of an event or independently.
The USCC welcomes visitors but requests that they respect a number of policies that are in place regarding prohibiting smoking, alcohol and the eating of meat, and consideration of general dress and behavior.