Caetani Cultural Centre
The 120+ year old Caetani Cultural Centre is a 6,000 sq. ft. designated heritage house, situated on 1.5 acres of land on lower East Hill. The facility is operated by The Caetani Cultural Centre Society as a registered not for profit charitable organization, and the house and grounds are owned by the City of Vernon.
The House – built in 1895 by Samuel Sommerville, the house is a designated heritage site, and described as Late Victorian Vernacular Revival style. (Designated 86.03.10 (Bylaw #3370, HRA Bylaw#4813 – HRA-2003-018).
The former home of Sveva Ersilia Giovannella Caetani – artist, writer, teacher and mentor – Sveva was locally known as ‘the Countess’ due to her aristocratic background and she was a visionary figure in the community with a deep belief in culture, knowledge and artistic endeavours.
The home was divided into four self-contained apartments by Sveva in the 1960’s that have remained as residency suites targeted to artists involved in or contributing to the local arts community. The house and grounds were bequeathed to the City of Vernon in 1994 by Sveva Caetani for use as a commmunity cultural centre. In 2008 a separate society was formed to manage this community cultural centre.
The mysterious and heartbreaking story behind the history of the house and its inhabitants provides a gateway to understanding our recent past, opening a window to a much different world and shedding light on the many artworks and writings created by our benefactor Sveva Caetani. Following the death of her father in 1934 she was kept a virtual prisoner in her own home for 25 years by her invalid mother. Her story is one of overcoming adversity and rising above her circumstances. Sveva left her 1.5 acres of gardens and historic home to the community of Greater Vernon in 1994 with the express wish that it serve as acommunity cultural facility for artistic and critical exploration.
Sveva’s vision for her home has become reality and is now being carried out through creative and thought-provoking programming. The Caetani Centre (C3) provides a venue for visual artists from around Canada and the world to explore a diverse range of arts practices, theories and experiences through our Residency progams for visual artists, writers, curators, and creative individuals.
C3 provides quality arts facilities that allow artists and writers to experiment, develop new ideas and interact with fellow artists and the community through talks, workshops and exhibitions. Programming includes partenrships with additonal community organizations to encourage artists to approach creativity, exploration and research in different ways and present the community both locally and globally with new ways of seeing, experiencing and interpreting arts and the environment around us.
Sveva Caetani Artwork
The complete works for the Recapitulation series are housed at the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, located in Edmonton, Alberta. They can be viewed online at the Alberta Foundation for the Arts website.
The Caetani Centre gratefully acknowledges the Vernon Public Art Gallery Society as the current copyright holders and for the use of the Caetani images for educational and promotional purposes.