Arm's length arts council in the works for Vancouver

Vancouver could have a proposal for an arm's-length arts council by springtime, according to Vision councillor Heather Deal. “It will probably take at least a couple of months to do”¦research, and then go out and do consultation with community and staffing and come up with a recommendation [for an arts council model],” she said.

Deal said her other priority was to protect artists' work spaces by changing city zoning bylaws: “That's a bigger piece of work, and I'll be asking staff to work with me in finding out what those implications are,” she said. “For instance, if you take an area that's currently zoned for a higher use, and you do what's called down-zoning it to a different use, which in theory depletes the value of the land, then we have to compensate people.”

Deal credited the artists of 190 Prior Street (formerly 901 Main Street), where a developer is planning to build high-end apartments, with raising the issue's profile. “I've talked with the 901 people a lot,” she said. “We may or may not be successful”¦but it absolutely highlights the need to have protective zoning for creative space.”

On December 8, council voted to appoint Deal as the nonvoting councillor liaison to Vancouver's public art committee and the Vancouver Heritage Commission. Vision Vancouver councillor Tim Stevenson has been appointed as the nonvoting councillor liaison to the Vancouver Civic Theatres board of directors.




Jan 3, 2009 at 5:11pm

I was thinking I would believe this once I saw something happening, and I still view the arms-length municipal arts council as science fiction. However, I just noticed that the new positions that the Office of Cultural Affairs was touting as one great outcome of their multi-year planning process have apparently been canned. Is a shake-up coming, or is there a plausible administrative reason that seven new "Cultural Planner" positions were posted and then withdrawn within a couple of weeks? (As of right now, the cancelled postings are still up on the city's hr pages.)


Jan 6, 2009 at 8:14pm

Does anyone know the story behind the withdrawal of the seven Office of Cultural Affairs positions? (They are no longer on the HR pages.)