Sooke council boosts arts

Re-establishes Sooke Program for the Arts (SPA) Committee

District council took another step forward toward town centre beautification last week with the re-establishment of the Sooke Program for the Arts (SPA) Committee.

The committee was disbanded by former mayor Wendal Milne. SPA will report directly to council and have the support of municipal staff.

SPA’s mandate is to develop a municipal arts program that celebrates Sooke’s arts and artists and encourages creation of works of all kinds.

“I like this committee because you can see what you’ve done. You can see projects completed because there’s actual money there for it,” said Coun. Brenda Parkinson, who was named council’s liaison to SPA.

Both Parkinson and Mayor Maja Tait expect the committee to be a major part of the town centre rejuvenation project.

“The big question is what’s going in the centre of the roundabout. It’s not something we want to enter into in a rush. So, there are some projects that would come forward that will likely go through SPA,” Tait said.

Added Coun. Kevin Pearson: “This is exciting because I fully believe in having a good-looking downtown and part of the project [is beautification].”

SPA is funded with three per cent from development charges. It currently has $41,000 in the bank.

The committee will have up to nine members. The district plans to advertise for the volunteer positions.