Developing an arts and culture plan

On December 20 community volunteers – representing over 30 organizations, came forward to attend the initial meeting of the Cultural Planning Project. They brought with them a wealth of ideas, energy, and enthusiasm to begin a collaborative process that would focus on improving arts and culture in the Sooke region.

On December 20 community volunteers – representing over 30 organizations, came forward to attend the initial meeting of the Cultural Planning Project. They brought with them a wealth of ideas, energy, and enthusiasm to begin a collaborative process that would focus on improving arts and culture in the Sooke region.

Museums, music, theatre, dance, literary works, gardens, galleries, long boats, schools, craft groups, libraries, visual arts, and journalism all have a role to play in developing the culture of a community. The problem is most of these groups operate independently and communication between them in often limited or non-existent. Organizations compete with one another on dates to hold events, volunteers, facilities, equipment and financial support.

The aim of the Cultural Planning Project is meant to engage the community and seek partnerships with various organizations in order to move actions forward.

“The contribution made to the quality of life and wellness in a community through arts and culture is immense,” says Evonne Black one of the project coordinators. “When you see the difference belonging to a choir, theatre group, orchestra, community garden, or writer’s club makes to the level of personal enjoyment, social interaction, and skill development you begin to appreciate a healthy arts sector means a healthier overall community.”

The Cultural Planning Project will be focusing on five main areas:

• Fostering greater cooperation among local arts and heritage organizations.

• Sharing of knowledge, equipment, administration and volunteer support.

• Providing increased opportunities for youth.

• Creating and expanding First Nations and local arts and cultural festivals and events.

• Identifying improvements required to meet the needs and demands of rehearsal and performance venues.

“The rumors circulating through town the Cultural Planning Project is about building an arts centre in Sooke that will be a burden to the tax payer could not be further from the truth. The project is all about volunteers coming together to discuss the problems that currently exists for arts and cultural groups, seek to find solutions, and develop a plan to help shape a healthy future for a vibrant and dynamic arts community. High- priced consultants, costly buildings, or enormous salaries is not what is happening here,” says Black , “ this is all about community volunteers looking to improve a community. Are there dreams about someday an arts facility being created in the Sooke region – certainly there is just the same way there were dreams of creating Ayre Manor, the Charters Creek Salmon Interpretive Centre, CASA, or the community gardens.

“Holding onto the dream will be the only way a centre would or could be created at some point in the future. However the volunteers of the Cultural Planning Project are fully aware their primary focus is to work on improving what currently exists today and developing a positive plan and momentum to form a creative community we all proudly call home.”

The next meeting for the Cultural Planning Project will be held at 7 p.m. on February 8 at the Sooke Harbour House.

The meetings are open to be attended by anyone in the community interested in lending their voice.

Funding for the Cultural Planning Project has been provided through a grant received from the provincial program 2010 Legacies Now – Creative Communities, as well as the generous support of District of Sooke, Juan de Fuca Economic Development Commission, Sooke Fine Arts Society, Sooke Community Arts Council and Sooke Region Tourism Association.

Just Posted

Work begins on Sooke’s Evergreen Centre expansion

More trees will be planted to replace those lost

Researchers head out from Sidney to explore Canada’s largest underwater volcano

The Explorer Seamount is as large as Greater Vancouver and full of previously undiscovered species

RCMP confirm foul play in death of 60-year-old Metchosin man

Police believe crime an isolated incident

Prolific offender found sleeping in Oak Bay resident’s car

Of 106 calls to 911 last week, eight were abandoned

RCMP identify Sidney bank robbery suspect, believe he is still on Vancouver Island

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Dashcam video captures moment Victoria cyclist struck

Police seeking cyclist captured in video

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Canadian is detained in China on drug allegations: Chinese government

Detention of a Canadian in China comes as part a diplomatic dispute triggered by arrest of Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou

Rare white ravens spotted again in mid-Island

Nature photographer Mike Yip said mysterious birds back in Coombs area

Most Read