Public art policy review nearing completion

Policy would clarify on how public art is selected, purchased, maintained and decommissioned

A little tweaking and the near-complete public arts policy could make it’s way to council this fall.

The Parks, Recreation and Culture Commission perused the draft policy during its Sept. 7 meeting.

The policy would replace its 1994 predecessor and offer clarity on how public art is selected, purchased, maintained and decommissioned.

It would establish a sustainable funding mechanism to support the municipality’s commitment to public art and offer a guide for implementation of public arts.

The current draft calls for an annual municipal contribution of $20,000 with 10 per cent committed to maintenance and the balance for purchase, planning, design, fabrication and installation of public art.

Before sending it to council, the commission recommended slight revision to the portion of the policy that would clarify if the municipality would allocate one per cent of the budget for municipal building construction or renovation projects in excess of $250,000 and other appropriate capital projects towards the purchase or commission of public art for public areas or may incorporate designs or concepts into the design of the building or structure.

The draft also recommends Oak Bay consider a “per cent for art” for private construction projects as part of a district community amenity bylaw.

The commission will also fine-tune wording surrounding potential youth membership of the public art committee. The draft currently outlines a makeup that could include: two art professionals (with curatorial and or gallery experience, conservation background, art historian, landscape architect, architect or design professional); two visual artists (junior and senior, working in different media); one community representative, one business community representative, the arts laureate, a council representative (non-voting) and arts and culture programmer (non-voting).

The committee would develop a strategy for art acquisition to be brought to the Parks, Recreation and Culture Commission annually for review as well as develop calls for proposals and select artwork for display and potential acquisition. It would also consult on specific issues, including proposed gifts, donations, bequests and loans of artwork.

Find the full draft policy at www.oakbay.ca. The next Parks Recreation and Culture Commission meeting is Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. at municipal hall, 2167 Oak Bay Ave.