Vancouver city manager rescinds postings for new cultural planners

Vancouver’s new city manager, Penny Ballem, instructed the office of cultural affairs to take down its job postings for seven cultural planners.

The job postings seeking planners for public art, culture-plan implementation, partnerships and promotions, facilities development, and outreach were posted on the city’s job board but were removed December 19.

“They’re just off at the request of the city manager on a temporary basis,” said Sue Harvey, managing director of cultural services, adding, “We’re hoping to put them back up.”

The seven positions, with salaries ranging from $63,808 to $93,193 per year, were approved by the previous council in June 2008. The new planners were to help implement the city’s new 15-year culture plan, which calls for changes to programs for grants, public art, arts facilities, and cultural tourism.

Without the seven new staffers, Harvey conceded the plan’s implementation might be slowed down.

“We’re working on a whole host of initiatives that were approved by council. However, there are some of them that were dependent on having the staff to implement,” she said.

Joseph Li, spokesperson for the City of Vancouver, said the decision to withdraw the planner positions was made because council is currently exploring different models of arm’s length arts councils.

“City council has asked for a report on other models for delivering cultural services, and this decision was made not to fill the positions in advance of that report,” Li said.


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Jan 9, 2009 at 2:54pm

Yea, just what the arts in Vancouver needs, ANOTHER committee! Why on Earth would the new council want to add another half million dollars in city expenses to do the jobs of people already hired to do this job? What an absolute waste of taxpayer money!!

What's very sad is that there's not one person on the current council who has an impressive, international arts background. Playing tuba or singing in a choir doesn't count. For a cultural city like Vancouver, this is a tragedy. The new people on council who want to add yet another layer of bureaucracy to an already complex process seem intent on choking our local arts institutions.

That $500,000+ of taxpayer money would be better invested in BC Ballet or one of our other local arts institutions, not to hire a bunch of bureaucrats to sit on an unnecessary committee! WAKE UP CITY COUNCIL!


May 28, 2012 at 11:24am

Why do the bullshit jobs always pay so well?

Now, let's go after those greedy teachers!


May 28, 2012 at 11:02pm

The easiest way to free up 500000 dollars of taxpayer money is to replace Penny. She made $300000 in 2010 all by her lonesome. I'm sure there are numerous people willing to do her job for 50,000. Actually, why not just ship her job overseas....

Wake Up

Jul 18, 2012 at 5:43am

No Fun City! No Culture City! No expressive opinion city! Oh and wear a helmet when u ride your bike! No wonder our city is hated on so much. D bags like this dude.

dan none

Jul 26, 2012 at 9:35am

My yogurt has more culture than this city.
Vancouver is still the biggest backwater town in North America.
One Expo and one Olympics has not changed that.


Sep 15, 2012 at 6:29pm

This bull shit paying these people that much, Canada Culture planner should get 100,000 and scrap the rest. Art gets far to much money, but they will be whining when they see the budget after Provincial Election, it will be cut by 80% if we win!

Martin Dunphy

Sep 15, 2012 at 10:12pm


This article is almost four years old.

Just sayin'.


Sep 18, 2012 at 9:09pm

Vancouver does have a culture,!! 2 to be exact. vegan (for food) and asian. thats the choice of most enterainment,shopping,real estate, and in this city. so stop complaining about cultures. it has already been established .

davy jones

Oct 11, 2012 at 6:03pm

its not art and culture
its their art and thier culture
and their friends art and thier friends culture

the snob club who pretend to enjoy ballet then go home and watch XXX

KiDDAA Magazine

Nov 6, 2012 at 11:17am

Look around Vancouver, Surrey BC it aint just white anymore. Its a great multicoloured racial smorgasbord. The true winners are those who hang out based on character not race. But like this story there are still plenty of bigots, racists who cant and wont realize diversity. KiDDAA Magazine and the Straight understand the BC of today is about diversity not segregation. The kids are mixing why don't you?