EDITORIAL: West Shore is arts-ready

Community is ready to support a dedicated arts facility

A quick scan down the list of B.C. Arts Council grants for the most recent uptake period found a noticeable absence of West Shore arts and cultural organizations.

With the exception of a $9,041 cheque written to the West Shore Arts Council for operating assistance, and perhaps individual grants to artists living on the West Shore (hard to tell if there were any), there was no indication that groups here are getting government money to provide arts and cultural experiences to local residents and visitors to the West Shore.

Sure, organizations have municipal grants to help with operations, but the B.C. Arts Council grants list is generally a good indication of where the action is.

That brings us to the point of the need for a dedicated West Shore regional arts facility.

Residents from Metchosin to View Royal have attended events in the downtown core for decades, largely because there are few professional or high-level amateur productions that happen on West Shore.

Rock the Shores, one of the Capital Region’s largest music festivals, is a notable exception, but is held in a temporary venue at West Shore Parks and Recreation.

With roughly 70,000 residents to draw from – that’s close to 20 per cent of the region’s population base – the time is growing near for the “build it and they will come” mentality to extend to the arts community.

A recent low-tech residential survey undertaken by the City of Langford determined that more than anything else, people want to see an arts and culture facility built in the area. It’s one more way to keep West Shore residents on the West Shore.

It wouldn’t be good news for our municipal neighbours to the east and south, but it’s a sign of the times. Business has been moving out west for years now due to the population shift.

It’s time to start working on the creation of a community arts centre befitting the combined size of our communities, either through West Shore Parks and Recreation, the creation of a separate arts and cultural entity or maybe even our largest jurisdiction, Langford, moving forward on a similar partnership to City Centre Park to get such a facility built.

We know West Shore residents would support it, big-time.

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

Just Posted

Michael Friesen, 38, is a Caucasian man standing 6’1” and weighing approximately 220 pounds. (VicPD handout)
VicPD seeking man believed to be ‘actively evading police detection’

Michael Friesen wanted on an unendorsed warrant for various offences

A power outage is affecting over 1,500 people on the West Shore on the morning of Oct. 19. (BC Hydro)
Over 1,500 people without power due to early morning West Shore crash

Some delays on Sooke Road as BC Hydro crews repair damage

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Greater Victoria in high-demand on website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Saanich police are warning residents to be aware of a non-aggressive bear sighting in the 400-block of Haliburton Terrace. (Black Press Media file photo)
Non-aggressive bear spotted in Saanich neighbourhood

Saanich police advise residents to be aware of sighting in the 400-block of Haliburton Terrace

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control is warning customers of a confirmed case of COVID-19 on WestJet flight 195 from Calgary into Victoria on Oct. 11. Passengers seated between rows one and seven should self-minotor for symptoms for the next 14 days. (Black Press Media file photo)
Confirmed COVID case on WestJet flight day after previous exposure on same route

BCCDC warning passengers seated in rows one to seven on WestJet flight 195 on Oct. 11 into Victoria

In this photo provided by Shannon Kiss, smoke from the CalWood Fire billows, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, as seen from Gunbarrel, Colo. (Shannon Kiss via AP)
‘First guys out:’ western Canadian air tanker fleet busy despite drop in wildfires

CEO believes wildfires have become more dangerous in recent years as people live closer to where they start

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
The BC Ferries vessel the Queen of Oak Bay. (News Bulletin file photo)
‘Buy a boat,’ Horgan advises anti-maskers on BC Ferries

NDP leader John Horgan talks COVID-19 misinformation

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada-USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Restrictions on non-essential travel between Canada and the United States are being extended until at least Nov. 21. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
Non-essential travel restrictions at Canada-U.S. border extended to at least Nov. 21

The restrictions do not apply to those providing essential services in either country

The BC Ferries vessel the Queen of Alberni. (News Bulletin file photo)
UPDATE: More sailings cancelled after ferry breaks down

Queen of Alberni out of commission, BC Ferries revises schedules

Jordan Naterer, 25, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. He planned a hike in the Manning Park area, and has not been seen since. Photo Facebook.
Family devastated as search for missing Manning Park hiker suspended

‘It was an extremely difficult meeting with the parents when we had to tell them.’

FILE - Nathan Cullen speaks to media in Smithers, B.C., Friday, February 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, Cullen apologize for NDP candidate’s comments about Haida candidate

Nathan Cullen had made insensitive comments about Roy Jones Jr. Cheexial

Six Mile Beach outside Nelson is known for its perfect sand, clear water and unique sand spit. But the drowning death of a man in July has residents asking if the dangerous spot has become too popular. Photo: David Grantham/Kootenay Drone Services
Dangerous oasis: The fatal history of a popular Kootenay Lake beach

Six Mile Beach near Nelson is known for its unique sand spit. But locals have feared it for decades

In this photo illustration, a provincial election mail-in ballot sealed in an Elections B.C. return envelope is seen before being deposited in a Canada Post mailbox, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. The final result of British Columbia’s provincial election won’t be known for at least two weeks because more than 700-thousand mail-in ballots have to be counted by hand. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s snap election means 700k ballots will be counted manually, delaying results

Elections BC spokesman said employees in 87 electoral districts will count mail-in ballots one by one

Most Read