Keith Ferlin, chair of The George Ryga Centre Society, has announced that one of B.C’s only artist retreats has closed. The retreat operated from the Summerland heritage home of the late playwright George Ryga.
Ryga was a prolific Canadian playwright and author, known for writing The Ecstasy of Rita Joe. He wrote a great deal of his work at an old kitchen table in the front entrance of the heritage home.
Due to the money required to maintain the aging structure, the important literary landmark is now for sale. According to an article in The Vancouver Sun, the asking price for the historic house is $437,000. The home was named Summerland’s heritage “site of the year” in 2011.
The Royal LePage listing describes the home as follows: “This charming heritage home was owned for many years by the famous playwright George Ryga. There is incredible character throughout the entire home and property. Lots of large windows surrounding the comfortable home keeps the open floor plan bright and inviting. The large lot is beautifully landscaped with mature trees and provides many places to enjoy the serene surroundings. The east offers views of the lake and vineyards.”
Ferlin says that he hopes the home will be maintained as a cultural structure. He noted that, “We canvassed people in the arts community and they were supportive of the centre and they believed in it.”