Artists identify affordability, accessibility as top priorities

The city’s arts and culture master plan to provide pathway for future planning

Artists identify affordability, accessibility as top priorities

When Victoria city Coun. Pamela Madoff walked into one of the city’s input sessions for its new arts and culture master plan, she was surprised by what she saw.

Lined up outside, waiting for the facility doors to open were a mix of people from the local music industry — music producers, entrepreneurs, studio musicians and musicians looking for studios — waiting to provide their input to develop the city’s arts and culture master plan.

“Some of it took me by surprise,” Madoff said during a meeting Thursday. “There was a sense of optimism.”

The five-year Create Victoria arts and culture master plan, currently in development, will provide a vision, guiding principles, goals and strategic priorities for arts and culture within the city.

Development of the plan began in September of last year, and over the past few months has included engagement with stakeholder groups, and Victoria’s innovators, entrepreneurs, performers, designers and artists. The city also hosted five cultural cafes for its visual art and design, literary, special events and festivals, music and performing arts groups.

Artists identified accessibility to arts space and affordability, diversity, preservation and conservation, celebration and promotion and participation and inclusion, as areas of focus for the plan.

Coun. Jeremy Loveday attended the literary cafe and also noted the mix of authors, book publishers and spoken word poets, who came together for a common goal.

“They were all in the same room together, that doesn’t happen often,” he said. “Some of the issues they’re facing are the same, despite their differences.”

In the coming months, the city will be seeking feedback on the cultural policy and draft master plan. The final arts and culture master plan will be presented to council in late July and if adopted, will be implemented in September.