Despite the need to make deep cuts in spending as a result of steeply-reduced revenues, Vancouver City Council recognized the importance of maintaining the momentum on implementation of the Cultural Plan as a contributor to local economic regeneration.
Full details of how the budget reduction will impact the implementation process has yet to be heard, but in the immediate term this decision helps sustain the commitment of multi-sector stakeholders to keep working together on development.
For a brief description of what Council decided, see Arts Notes in the Georgia Straight April 9 – 15, 2009.
This is an excerpt from an email alert I sent to my networks in the creative community earlier this week. The ‘troops’ rallied and spoke eloquently on behalf of this keystone project, we continue to advocate and the decision is on Tuesday April 7 09 at the regular Council meeting:
Vancouver City Council considers cutting implementation of Cultural Plan
At last week’s Council meeting, City staff presented a report on recommendations for ways to increase revenue and cut expenses (a response to the economic downturn and resulting drop in City revenues). Informing these recommendations was a consultation done with citizens in January using various means, including a Mayor’s forum. Included as one of the recommended cuts – considered a low priority project (based on this public input) – is the implementation of the Cultural Plan, which this year includes the Facilities Plan and the Cultural Tourism Strategy. Continue reading
There are a number of projects that are gathering interest and momentum in Vancouver these days. The work of the City’s Office of Cultural Affairs to develop a Cultural Plan that will not only ensure a Creative City that is healthy for the arts but also for the economy, has engaged an incredible spectrum of stakeholders. The Creative Spacemaking workshop led by Artscape, the world’s leading experts in cuture-led regeneration, was a triggering event for action, which is now made difficult by the economic reality the City is facing.
The decomissioning of an older Park Board property has presented an opportunity that could ensure an interim measure of development while the bigger projects stall. There is a will on the part of the community to save the Mount Pleasant Community Centre building – and its outdoor pool – when the programs move to their new building on September 1, 2009.
The following article appeared in the Georgia Straight on March 12, 2009:
Mount Pleasant arts centre on shaky ground
By Jessica Werb
A battle over daycare facilities at the old Mount Pleasant Community Centre could make or break plans to convert the centre into an arts hub. The idea was first floated in March of last year by then park-board commissioner Spencer Herbert. The community centre is scheduled to move into a new facility at 1 Kingsway in September, after which the old facility (at 16th Avenue and Ontario Street) is to be demolished. A before- and after-school program for students at Simon Fraser Elementary School is currently housed in the building, and will be moved (to view the article online, go to: Arts Centre Article
My response to this item lays out the position proposed by a group of nearly 30 artists and arts organizations who have been meeting to build a strategy for re-purposing the old building. Continue reading
It is important to make space where creativity can emerge, and where individuals can get help or share ideas not when and where the preset agenda dictates, but in the moment when the need or thought occurs. “The long hallway” refers to a comment made by a participant in a study of work in documentary film, who was describing the powerful influence of space – the hallway joining the offices of senior filmmakers at the NFB where young filmmakers could stop by and ask questions, get feedback, and trigger new ideas. Long gone, with downsizing of funds, and closure of the studios as we knew them, this emergent ecology was an invaluable part of learning and creative risk-taking. Continue reading