The City of Vancouver is now home to an Arts and Culture Policy Council which will advise City Council on civic programs relating to arts and culture. The creation of the council was announced back in February, but last week members of the council were finally announced.
The 15-member council was chosen from 199 applicants, and is comprised of representatives from performing arts, visual arts, literary arts, and from emerging talent as well as established artists.
The council was established with feedback from the community, including 150 community members at two public workshops and 544 surveys that were created using the feedback from public workshops.
The committee will meet six times a year, and it has nine priorities (listed in order of importance):
- Need for sustainable multi-year arts funding
- Lack of affordable, small-scale, safe and legal spaces for creation and presentation
- Address City regulations that discourage multi-use creative spaces
- High cost of living
- Need to nurture and retain local talent
- Lack of public awareness of arts and culture
- Further develop Vancouver’s vision for arts and culture to reflect our unique identity
- Lack of mentorship, support and integration in arts and education
- Need for better collaboration between cultural sectors and artistic disciplines
Also identified as priorities by workshop and survey participants was the need to deal with Vancouver’s restrictive liquor laws and lack of mid-sized venues.
Heather Deal, a city councillor and supporter of the arts told the Georgia Straight that establishing an arts and culture council was a natural progression for the City.
“We have people giving us advice on everything from seniors to accessibility to food policy to heritage, and although we have the public art committee . . . and we have a civic theatres board, we didn’t have that larger, broader voice of the artistic communities here at city hall . . . This council is going to be tremendously exciting and important to us as decision-makers and policy-setters in a time when there are increasing challenges and opportunities for arts in our city.”
The committee members’ term will end December 7, 2014.
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Photo by Ian Alexander Martin