A bear from the ArtsAlive sculpture Freshly cut stumps on Oak Bay Avenue are those of Norway maples that were planted in the 1990s. They outgrew their welcome by breaking up the sidewalks and damaging sub-ground services. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

A bear from the ArtsAlive sculpture Freshly cut stumps on Oak Bay Avenue are those of Norway maples that were planted in the 1990s. They outgrew their welcome by breaking up the sidewalks and damaging sub-ground services. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Oak Bay extends ArtsAlive until August, pending artist approval

District hopes to see sculptures can stay extra four months

Oak Bay is looking to keep the 2020 ArtsAlive sculptures an extra four months until August 2021.

The popular outdoor arts exhibition runs April to April but last year, COVID-19 delayed installation of the 10 sculptures until August.

“It is recommended that the 2020 sculptures remain in place until August of 2021 to provide for the full year of public display,” said Steve Meikle, manager of recreation and culture, in a report this week.

Council approved the extension to August as the program looks to be rejigged until the pandemic is over.

READ ALSO: Voting now ready for ArtsAlive 2020 sculptures in Oak Bay

Staff will request permission from the artists to extend the program until August, as many artists either sell their sculptures or send them to other outdoor shows once ArtsAlive is done.

The five-year-old ArtsAlive program relies on annual sponsorship to help cover the costs.

As such, the outgoing arts laureate Barbara Adams sent letters out in the fall to local business owners in hopes of gathering support for the 2021 program. It also asked for “further sponsorship” to pay the artists an additional honorarium for keeping the sculptures past the one-year agreement of April 2020 to April 2021, until April 2022.

Instead, Oak Bay is going to recall the request for further sponsorship. Staff will also review alternative options for the $20,000 budgeted for the 2021 ArtsAlive program and will present those suggestions at a later date.

Results of the annual voting for the 2020 ArtsAlive sculptures have not been released. The voting identifies a People’s Choice Award winner which council debates purchasing from the artist.

READ MORE: Hearts Alive summer art display on the way in Oak Bay

reporter@oakbaynews.com


 

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