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Rollin Art Centre and Garden

3061 8th Avenue, Port Alberni, British Columbia, V9Y, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2006/10/30

3061 8th Avenue, Port Alberni; City of Port Alberni, 2007
Rollin Art Centre and Garden, oblique view, 2007
3061 8th Avenue, Port Alberni; City of Port Alberni, 2007
Rollin Art Centre, side view
3061 8th Avenue, Port Alberni, circa 1915; Alberni Valley Museum and Archives, circa 1915, PN02974
3061 8th Avenue, circa 1915

Other Name(s)

Rollin Art Centre and Garden
Fred and Ellen Rollin House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2011/05/26

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Rollin Art Centre and Garden occupies a prominent site on four city lots on the southeast corner of 8th Avenue at Argyle Street in Port Alberni, British Columbia. Originally built as a home for Fred and Ellen Rollin in 1914, the Rollin Art Centre is a simple two-storey wooden structure with a hipped roof and a second story balcony on the front side of the building overlooking 8th Avenue. It is surrounded by landscaped gardens.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Rollin Art Centre and Garden lies both in its historical associations, providing links to memories of one of the early settler families and to life in Port Alberni in the early part of the 20th century, and in its more recent role as a community arts centre and public garden.

The beautiful gardens which surround the building today provide a living legacy to the memory of Fred Rollins, who was an ardent gardener, outdoorsman and naturalist. As the city of Port Alberni grew up around his home, Fred Rollin became known for his beautiful garden with its many unusual species of trees, shrubs and spring bulbs.

The present use of the building as a community arts centre honours the memory and continues in the spirit of Ellen Rollin, who was one of only two music teachers in the Alberni Valley for many years. It is also a testament to the dedicated volunteers whose vision and hard work were responsible for the creation of the Rollin Art Centre in 1977.

The Rollin Art Centre and Garden provides a visual link to memories of life in Port Alberni in the early part of the 20th century and to the role that the Rollin family played in the city's history.

The Rollin Art Centre has primary social significance to the Alberni Valley as the first permanent "home of the arts" in the Alberni Valley and as one of the first arts centres in British Columbia to be operated by an arts council. Since its beginning as an arts centre in 1977, the Rollin Art Centre has been a community symbol of the vision, commitment, perseverance and unflagging efforts of dedicated volunteers who believed and continue to believe in the importance of a strong presence for the arts in the Alberni Valley.

Source: Alberni Valley Museum and Archives

Character-Defining Elements

The character defining elements of the Rollin Art Centre and Garden include:

- situation of the building on its original site
- exterior building features including the modest, simple and homelike appearance, wood-frame construction, wood shingles and hipped roof
- the beautiful, well-maintained public gardens
- decorative garden structures including two garden fountains, balustrade and granite sculpture
- garden gazebo used for special events, including musical performances and weddings
- use of the place as a public gallery and public garden



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.954

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1977/01/01 to 1977/01/01
1914/01/01 to 1976/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Learning and the Arts
Building Social and Community Life
Community Organizations
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Exhibition Centre
Recreation Centre


Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Alberni Valley Museum and Archives

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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