Arts strategy unveiled by White Rock city council

WHITE ROCK — After two years of collaboration between the city and the local arts community, the White Rock Cultural Strategic Plan is now a reality.

The plan began in 2011 as an idea to create a guiding document that would lay out in detail the city’s artistic and cultural direction from 2014 to 2018. To do so, the city established a cultural activity task force, which was composed of various members and stakeholders of the local arts community.

Claire Halpburn, the city’s manager of cultural development said the strategy was broken up into six key goals that would work towards ensuring a vibrant arts community and move White Rock into becoming a year-round destination for cultural tourism.

Read out by various members of the task force, the six goals were economic development through the arts, expanding partnerships, increasing arts and cultural infrastructure, developing diverse arts programs and festivals, promoting the value of arts and culture and finally, accountability.

Ideas presented from the strategy include requesting council explore the possibility of giving tax incentives to building owners who rent to arts organizations, working with BC Film to promote the city as a filming location, look into using vacant spaces for arts, establishing a summer concert series as well as buskers festival and creating public display shelters along the waterfront.

Pat McClean of the White Rock Player’s Club said as part of the plan, the committee would also like to see a marketing campaign to “showcase White Rock as an arts and cultural destination,” using methods such as travel brochures and local hotels to help get the word out.

Coun. Louise Hutchinson, chair of the task force, thanked everyone who helped put the strategy together.

“I was blown away by the offer of help from them throughout this whole process and they really took ownership of it, and you could hear passion in their voices,” she said.

According to Eric Stepura, White Rock’s director of leisure services, implementation of the plan would cost around $67,000 on top of the $10,000 already approved.

Stepura said the goal was to achieve that $67,000 within a three-year period, with a majority of it coming in the first year, and smaller amounts in the second and third. The funds would not include the $50,000 already set aside annually for the arts.

Coun. Helen Fathers said the money requested was “pocket change” in the bigger picture, especially when it came to promoting and expanding the arts community.

Mayor Wayne Baldwin praised all who contributed to the report and said it would be important for them to continue to come back to the future council to keep making sure the strategy is being implement properly.

“We’re going to count on you and staff to make sure you’re the memory of council and prodding us to ensure we do this,” he said, noting that council could change following the Nov. 15 election. “You should be there pushing the council of the day to say these things must be done.”

Finally, Stepura said throughout the process, one of the best things to come out of it was having a chance for the various stakeholders to come together to form a focused cultural vision for the community.

“This process with the task force, in my mind, is one of the single greatest benefits that’s come out of this strategy, the cohesion among the arts community that never existed before this time.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

PHOTOS: B.C. Day long weekend on White Rock beach

Hundreds of families gathered at the beach Sunday

Seeds of Change Surrey to launch two new programs

United Way of the Lower Mainland donated $77,000

White Rock RCMP to host free bicycle registration clinic

Stolen registered bicycles are easier to return to proper owner if recovered

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Fraser Valley Bandits clinch playoff spot with win

Bandits down Niagara River Lions 70-57 on Sunday, improve to 3-2

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Most Read