A new arts laureate is on the way for Oak Bay. Council approved tweaked terms of reference on April 12 as it sets out on a search for the next arts ambassador for the community.
The role of the arts laureate is to raise the profile of Oak Bay’s artistic community and advocate for the arts. In 2014, Barbara Adams was named the inaugural Oak Bay arts laureate. In February council received her final report in the role.
“I look forward to seeing who our next arts laureate will be, it’s big shoes to fill,” Coun. Hazel Braithwaite said during the meeting.
Among the work during her tenure, Adams created the ArtsAlive program that sees sculptures dot the landscape each year, on loan by artists and up for public vote. Fan favourites are considered for purchase by the district, which has bought some works, such as The Hunt by Ken Hall that graces Queens’ Park. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic it also included pianos painted by artists and set and out for the public to play in community spaces such as Turkey Head.
The successful applicant will be an Oak Bay resident who has achieved excellence among their peers and has a body of artistic work showing connection to community. Candidates will be considered from all art disciplines.
Council hopes to have a new arts laureate appointed by June for a term ending Dec. 31, 2024, followed by regular terms of four years. All members of the PAAC are required to seek reappointment by council at the end of each term.