Oak Bay’s new public art policy appears in this year’s estimates discussion.
“Moving the Public Art Policy forward signals tremendous cultural leadership from this council,” said Coun. Tara Ney, a member of the Public Arts Committee and the CRD Arts Commission. “This policy allows us to begin to develop a blueprint to support arts and culture in our community. There is tremendous power in how arts and culture can create a community.”
Council referred the funding request in the proposed Public Art Policy to estimates for the 2017-2021 Financial Plan.
The 2014 Oak Bay Official Community Plan recommended updating the Oak Bay Public Art Policy from the latest update in 1994.
The new policy calls for an annual municipal contribution of $20,000 for capital and maintenance of Public Art to the Public Art Reserve Fund. Ten percent of the annual contribution would be committed to maintenance of existing works while the balance would be used for the purchase, planning and design of art additions.
The policy also outlines the municipality would allocate one per cent of the budget for municipal building construction or renovation projects larger than $250,000 towards the purchase or commission of public art to be displayed in public areas or incorporate artists’ designs or concepts into the design of the building or structure.
“This policy encourages us to think more about the links between arts and culture and a sustainable community. We know that a culture more rooted in experiences rather than consumtion is better for the environment. Ultimately it will be culture, not science that will offer long-term hope for our planet,” Ney said. “I am very pleased that council voted unanimously to consider ongoing funding to arts and culture in our community.”
Estimates meetings are set for March 15 (with the Parks, Recreation and Culture Commission where the Public Art Policy falls), April 12 and April 19 at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers at municipal hall, 2167 Oak Bay Ave.