Oak Bay buys first work of art

Done deal: culture added and Salish Sea sculpture is funded

In an “unusual move” Oak Bay approved shifting funds in a bid to buy the Salish Sea sculpture.

“It’s certainly adding to our artistic character,” said mayor Nils Jensen. “I’d like to see a program where we as a community acquire public art. We’re seeing that in many communities throughout British Columbia, a focus on art and culture as well as recreation. I think its a very positive trend.”

Normally, surpluses and deficits across the board contribute to the overall municipal budget. Monday night council made an exception.

Thanks to a boon of filming this year, the 2015 culture operating budget expects a $30,857 surplus that will fund the final $4,600 needed to purchase the Salish Sea. Oak Bay will also shift $15,000 to the community Public Art Fund.

“I think this is an excellent use of this money. We were blessed with lots of filming,” Jensen said, adding the sculpture walk this summer brought in tourists and shoppers.

“It energized our community. It really adds to the quality of life.”

Coun. Eric Zhelka said he hoped to see the decision made closer to budget discussions, when grants are handed out and projects get the nod or the noose.

“I’m a bit uncomfortable moving forward with a process like this at this time,” said Zhelka, who went on to be the only council member to oppose the final motion.

Coun. Kevin Murdoch agreed his first reaction was concern over shifting that amount but was willing to do it “this year uniquely” noting staff and the arts laureate are still creating a public art policy.

It was also a special case as they officially added the culture title to the Parks and Recreation portfolio.

“This is an unusual circumstance,” said Coun. Tara Ney.

“It’s an appropriate move to help kickstart this program and give it a good strong foundation to move forward.”

That sentiment was echoed by Coun. Hazel Braithwaite who wondered aloud whether the Entrance Park whale bones sculpture still on loan from this summer, could be next.

“(The public art policy) will come forward from our arts laureate and our cultural department in 2016,” Jensen said. “That will formalize how we go about acquiring public art amongst other things. We do have a policy to require or add art to new public buildings, or significant renovations … It’s a matter of looking beyond our buildings.”

The Salish Sea sculpture adjacent to the Oak Bay Marina first went up on loan by artist Chris Paul in 2014 during the first summer art installation created by arts laureate Barbara Adams.

The net cost of the piece is $23,600, after a GST rebate. The municipality had already committed $9,300, donations from the community added up to $9,700, leaving the $4,600 required to pay the artist.

Adams said she’ll seek grants to fulfill her vision of a performance area adjacent to the Salish Sea sculpture.

 

 

Council sees value of arts program

Council voiced value Monday night to the arts program created by arts laureate Barbara Adams.

I’ve seen that in my travels in Europe where some communities have long walkways that are dotted with public artwork, said Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen. It is a good way to get people out of their houses and into the community and enjoy nature and the art.

The expanded summer art program, set to embark on a third year in 2016, includes a series of painted pianos that highlighted for Coun. Michelle Kirby the impact the project has on the community.

Each pleasant evening of the summer, while walking her dog, Kirby noted a group gathered. She and others engaged, they sat to chat and listen to a gentleman play the piano at Cattle Point – enjoying nature.

“(The pianos) have increased the health of our community… energizing people in conversations they wouldn’t normally have,” Kirby said. “It livens all of us.”

 

 

Just Posted

B.C. needs Disability Act: Victoria council

Council motion asks province to make B.C. barrier free

Council votes no to changing how residents pay sewer debt costs

After a reconsideration, council votes down motion to move portion of debt costs to tax bill

Dance Victoria Nutcracker contest returns to Oak Bay village

Find Mr. Nutcracker and Tommy Tempo now through Nov. 26 for chacne to win ballet tickets

Oak Bay light up steeped in tradition

Nov. 26 event kicks off Christmas in Oak Bay

Sailors set to deck the hulls for annual Sea of Lights

Lighted sail past set for Dec. 1 with community events at vantage points Willows Beach and Gyro Park

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Pine beetles from Jasper National Park moving into commercial forest

In 2014, beetle activity went from a few spots around Jasper’s townsite to rampant

VIDEO: Tragically Hip members, Alex Trebek receive Order of Canada

Newest recipients join 6,897 Canadians such as Christine Sinclair, Graham Greene and Mark Messier

AC/DC’s Malcolm Young dies at 64

‘Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many.’

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

LETTER: CRD director has ally in water battle

Re: Juan de Fuca gets nod for mediation (News, Nov. 15) I… Continue reading

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Most Read