Over the years, some of the courses included glass blowing, weaving, painting, silk screening, copper enameling, quilting, and woodturning. On a seasonal basis, a pottery studio has been located in the basement. The facility has housed exhibits of paintings, photographs, and crafts and has provided retail space for local artists. For a number of years the Malpak Arts Council utilized space in the centre. The building has also been used for classes as diverse as yoga, and canning, as well as for lectures, films, music lessons, and small community gatherings or meetings. For a number of years local musicians gathered for a weekly folk club.
Ownership of the facility was assumed by the City of Summerside in 1998 and in 2003 the restoration of the historic residence was initiated. After many months of careful restorative work, tragedy struck in March 2004 in the form of a fire that gutted most of the eastern side of the building. Measures began in July to rebuild and the facility was re-opened in August the following year. For more about the fire and the extensive amount of work to repair the building visit the page titled Restoration.
During the long span of time involved with the initial restoration and then the one following the fire, the users of the building found other accommodation. Adequate space was rented for some of the WHP staff in the lower level of Trinity United Church and Maurice Bernard, the artist who has used the Lefurgey House as a studio and classroom for many years, moved to a temporary location. The two apartments in the building, one on the third floor and the other in the back section of the second level, were vacated before any work began.
After the official re-opening of the Lefurgey Cultural Centre in the summer of 2005 staff moved back into the rooms of the second level, Maurice Bernard settled into a large studio and teaching area on the second floor of the kitchen wing, and Suzie Cameron, a long-term user of the basement for her pottery studio, reclaimed her work space. The members of the Lady Slipper rug-hooking group, who temporarily gathered in the sewing room of the Wyatt House, were able to reconvene on a weekly basis in the spacious drawing room, named the Lefurgey Room in honour of the family. The former front parlor, now the gift shop/reception area is named the Tuplin Room and the dining room of the house is named the Dalton Room.
A wide variety of activities and gatherings take place in the building. The main level space is available for rent and is especially conducive to small celebratory occasions.
For rental information click here.
For details about the restoration of the house in 2000 click here.
The Lefurgey Cultural Centre at 205 Prince Street is a Designated Heritage Building, protected by the municipality and included in the provincial and national registers of historic places www.historicplaces.ca and www.peihistoricplaces.ca. It is the recipient of a PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation architectural preservation award.
For additional information about this building and others of heritage value in Summerside go to www.peiancestry.com and browse the Heritage Properties.