Editorial: Donation recognizes the arts’ contribution to our community

Program stands to benefit residents and businesses alike

We have written before about the impact of the arts on this community, both from a financial perspective and in creating a place we live in and enjoy.

We commended Oak Bay council when they allocated a portion of surplus Parks, Recreation and Culture funds to purchase the district’s first piece of public art, Chris Paul’s Salish Sea, standing at Turkey Head, near the Oak Bay Marina.

However, as mayor and council wrestle with municipal costs amid calls by some residents for restraint, we know a significant public art program can’t be completely funded from municipal coffers.

To that end, we applaud Oak Bay Marine Group for stepping up this week with a $10,000 donation to fund the performance space at the sculpture, bringing to fruition Oak Bay Arts Laureate Barbara Adams’ vision for the site.

Noting the company’s longstanding involvement with the arts, the donation also underlines the Oak Bay Marina’s prominent position along the waterfront and as part of the community. “We want Oak Bay Marina to be a gathering place…This only continues to move into that direction of a gathering place of community-minded marina,” says Susan Barcham, Oak Bay Marine Group’s director of corporate affairs and communications.

Adams deserves kudos for her tireless efforts to put Oak Bay on the map as a destination for the arts. Building on the public art events of the last few years, and this recent success surrounding the Salish Sea, Adams now seeks sponsorships from area groups and businesses to help fulfil a vision of a year-long sculpture program.

Such a program stands to benefit residents and businesses alike and we look forward to its continued growth.