The arrival of the New Year marks a new beginning for the Owen Sound Artists' Co-op, which is moving from its present location to the Historic McKay Building on Main Street.

"Our current location has been wonderful, but the McKay building offers new possibilities and more room for our artists to exhibit their work," says Co-op President Diane Edwards. "Our membership is very excited about the future!"

On December 31st the Artists' Co-op closed for two weeks, during which time members will pack and move the store.

"We've been working to prepare the new space since November," Co-op Manager Morag Budgeon says. "In addition to the 40 members of the Artists' Co-op, the new space will include Birgit's Pastry Café, featuringdelicious baked goods, as well as light lunches and coffee. Many Owen Sounders will know proprietor Birgit Wright from her many years creating memorable breakfasts at the Farmer's Market."

The Owen Sound Artists' Co-op recently celebrated 20 years in business. In 1994, a group of local artists and craftspeople turned the closure of the Grey Bruce Arts Council into an opportunity to create a self-sufficient retail outlet. The Co-op includes 40 local artists and guests, with a percentage of sales reserved for store operations. Over the two decades, the Artists' Co-op has infused millions of dollars into the local economy.

"Downtown Owen Sound is being recharged by many new businesses, and we hope this move to the main street will continue the renaissance of 2nd Avenue East," says Budgeon. "Our current location has been wonderful and served our membership well, but over the past few years we have expanded our mandate with workshops, gallery rentals and community projects. This new space allows us to continue to grow in the community!"

The Co-op will re-open in its new location, 942-945 2nd Avenue East on January 11th, 2016.