Vancouver launches arts and culture policy council
The City of Vancouver launched a 15-member arts council today (May 23) that will act as an advisory committee on civic arts and culture programs.
The committee members, which were chosen from 199 applicants, include Goh Ballet Academy director Chan Hon Goh, Contemporary Art Gallery executive director Nigel Prince, Chutzpah! Festival managing and artistic director Mary-Louise Albert, Neworld Theatre artistic director Marcus Youssef, and Coast Salish artist Thomas Cannell.
Vision Vancouver councillor Heather Deal said the city received an unprecedented amount of interest from people wanting to be a part of the civic advisory committee. She noted the nomination committee tried to include broad representation from the performing arts, visual arts and literary arts, and from emerging talent as well as established artists.
"We have people giving us advice on everything from seniors to accessibility to food policy to heritage, and although we have the public art committee…and we have a civic theatres board, we didn’t have that larger, broader voice of the artistic communities here at city hall," Deal told the Straight by phone.
"This council is going to be tremendously exciting and important to us as decision-makers and policy-setters in a time when there are increasing challenges and opportunities for arts in our city."
Deal initiated the creation of the advisory committee through a motion in July 2011, and the terms of reference for the Arts and Culture Policy Council were approved by council in February 2012.
The advisory committee will meet six times a year. Its terms of reference include advising city council and staff on arts and cultural programs, acting as a conduit for feedback from the public on civic arts and culture services, and engaging in public outreach and awareness.
The 15 committee members are: Mary-Louise Albert, Graeme Berglund, Thomas Cannell, Becki Chan, Hugh Cochlin, Chan Hon Goh, Amy Kazymerchyk, Sharman King, Paddy Macleod, Katherine McManus, Nigel Prince, Esther Rausenberg, Eric Szeto, Charlie Wu, and Marcus Youssef.
The terms of the committee members will end December 7, 2014.