Vancouver’s creative community will be represented by a new voice following City Council’s move today to establish an Arts and Culture Policy Council which will report to City Council and advise Council and staff on civic arts and cultural issues, programs and services.
“The new Arts and Culture Policy Council will provide us with the input, expertise and leadership we need to support and strengthen Vancouver's arts community,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We look forward to working with a team that reflects a broad range of the community to enhance our vibrant arts and culture scene, which is an important economic generator and a benefit to citizens and visitors alike.”
The Arts and Culture Policy Council will consist of up to 15 voting members along with non-voting liaisons from City Council, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, the Vancouver Board of Education, and City staff.
The Council will help identify community issues; provide advice on arts and cultural services and programs; act as a conduit for public feedback; and engage in outreach and public awareness for civic-related services and programs.
The City has a strong history of supporting its arts and cultural community through grants, awards and support programs, cultural infrastructure grants, civic theatres and public art programs, and special projects. However, there has been no consistent representation of the arts community as a whole since the early 90s.
Currently, there are two City Council appointed committees with specific arts and culture mandates: the Civic Theatres Board and the Public Art Council. Over the next year, the Public Art Committee will be incorporated as a subcommittee of the new Arts and Culture Policy Council. As the new policy council refines its priorities and focus through its first term, it will determine if additional subcommittees should be created.
City staff and members of Vancouver’s arts and cultural community set the membership criteria and priority directions for the Arts and Culture Policy Council through workshops and a survey earlier this year.
A public call for members will take place in early March 2012.