City moves ahead with revitalization project at Ship Point

The City of Victoria is moving forward with a project it hopes will revitalize Ship Point during the upcoming tourism season.

The City of Victoria is moving forward with a project it hopes will revitalize Ship Point during the upcoming tourism season.

As part of the Ship Point design competition, the city is asking a team to design, build and install a temporary or “pop up” public space in the area immediately north of the Inner Harbour.

Designs will be judged based on five criteria, including social interaction, aesthetics, functionality, sustainability and feasibility.

The project is meant to revitalize the area and make it “a more vibrant, unique, memorable and welcoming space that will encourage people to socialize, explore and wander,” according to a report.

Staff have pegged the project at $45,000, to be allocated from the downtown core area public realm improvement reserve fund. The winning team will receive a $5,000 award and up to $35,000 for the construction, installation and de-installation of the temporary design.

The budget for the project is based on similar projects in cities such as Surrey, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Toronto.

“We don’t know what it is yet. It will be an exciting process to hear from the artistic community here,” said Coun. Jeremy Loveday.

Geoff Young was the only councillor to vote against the project.

“This is money badly spent that should be spent on proper planning for this site,” he said. “I think we should put money toward a planning process that would recognize economic realities and the value of the site . . . this is just putting lipstick on the pig.”

Registration for the competition will open this month, with the winner announced in June. The design will be installed in July and taken down in October, following the tourism season.

Council also floated the idea of keeping the design up after October for locals to use as well.

Ship Point is one of Victoria’s larger outdoor performance venues with Blues Bash, the TD Victoria International Jazz Festival, the Victoria International Busker’s Festival and the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival using the space in the summer.