Mayor Gregor Robertson backs significant boost in Vancouver public art

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      A plan to significantly expand Vancouver’s public-art program has received an endorsement from Mayor Gregor Robertson. The motion, to be ntroduced by Councillor Heather Deal at the next regular city-council meeting (May 31), recommends finding and funding projects already being developed that could be accelerated for completion this summer.

      The plan also intends to make use of the city’s Innovation Fund to invest in new projects for completion in 2017.

      “Vancouver hosts tremendous talent with more artists per capita and the highest public arts funding of any city in Canada,” Robertson said in a May 26 news release. “I hope Council will be unanimous in backing this expansion of the public art program and bolstering our local artist and creative community.”

      Myfanwy MacLeod and Shannon Oksanen’s Playtime.
      Amanda Siebert

      City staff is asked in the motion to expand their efforts, with tasks including:

      • elimination of barriers to public art;
      • consulting with business and cultural groups, other interests, and citizens on expanding art projects and opportunities;
      • a "robust" plan to make sure that existing public art is looked after; and
      • a campaign to raise awareness about the city’s public art.

      One element of the program will be providing more opportunities for local First Nations artwork.

      Public art and art galleries are an integral part of Vancouver’s culture, with the city boasting more than 400 installations throughout the past 25 years.