Community members came together to discuss the steps steps in the cultural planning process.

Taking it to the streets: Cultural planning

Community members come together to discuss the next steps

fter a year of meetings, discussions and focus on the arts and cultural aspects of Sooke the Sooke Region Cultural Plan has been completed.

It is hoped the cultural plan will serve as a starting point for discussion around developing a healthy arts community for the Sooke region.

Evonne Black, who served as project coordinator along with Sarah Temple, said the plan is intended to identify five key strategies that can be implemented over the next five years.

At a wrap-up meeting on Nov. 15, volunteers and member of the public came together to discuss where to go from here. Twenty-seven people from all sectors of the community openly discussed the completed plan and the steps required to go forward.

“One year ago we started to say, ‘what are we sitting around the table trying to do?’’ said Black. “It was to create a five-year planning document that includes representatives from all sectors.”

The working group consisted of 37 people representing 42 different organizations, service groups, individual artists and businesses. Eight meetings were held plus a one-day Cultural Summit on Oct. 22. Funding came from a collaboration between the District of Sooke, Juan de Fuca Economic Development, Sooke Community Arts Council, Sooke Region Tourism Assoc., and the Sooke Fine Arts Society. A monetary grant was received from 2010 Legacies Now and Creative City Network of Canada.

The cultural plan was a direct result of ArtsWave, a series of surveys, interviews and public consultations to provide a perspective on the strengths and challenges for the arts in the region.

At the Nov. 15 meeting, Black outlined the next steps.

The first crucial step is to create a Cultural Planning Advisory Committee (CPAC) by amalgamating with the Sooke Program of the Arts Committee and to explore additional partnerships. This would be an umbrella organization representing all sectors of arts and culture in Sooke and the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area.

The CPAC would then approach local and provincial governments for funding to carry out the plan and to perhaps create a staff position with civic administration to provide leadership, coordination and collaborative working relationships for the arts sector. The position could be shared with the Sooke Regional Tourism Association and the Sooke Economic Development Committee.

“Coordination cannot continue to be done by volunteers,” said Black.

Other priorities would be to revamp the community grant review panel and review its policies and criteria. Hosting an annual cultural summit to foster community partnerships is also a priority as is seeking out grant opportunities  that would provide funding for the administration of building a collaborative approach to developing a vibrant arts and cultural sector. A volunteer centre was also listed as something important.

To increase knowledge and interest in the arts, cultural and heritage resources there was talk of developing an electronic newsletter to serve as a central hub for information.

Lee Boyko, executive director for the Sooke Region Museum, said it was necessary for organization to talk to each other.

“The infrastructure is already in place,” he said.

Coordinating marketing and promotion campaigns was a high priority as well as producing cooperative advertising materials suitable for hotels, B&Bs and vacation rentals.

Another direction would be to encourage event organizers to partner with community arts, cultural and heritage organizations in the planning process as well as joint marketing.

“We have lots to celebrate here,” said Black.

Mentoring opportunities with artists within school programs was another of the strategic directions outlined in the cultural plan. Opportunities for youth to exhibit and perform at events within the region was a high priority as was developing a youth-friendly media source for communication.

Coordinating with First Nations bands in arts, cultural and heritage festivals and events was seen as an important facet of the plan.

For now, a slight reorganization within a swiftly formed ad hoc Cultural Planning Advisory Committee, will assess the best way to move forward to start implementing the priorities outlined in the plan.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Woman arrested for hit and run that left another vehicle in Colwood front lawn

The woman was issued a 24 hour driving prohibition and a ticket

Sooke jumps on board to ban use of rat poison

City staff will educate residents on harmful effects of rodenticides

VicPD looking for 17-year-old girl, believed to be in downtown Victoria

Circumstance under which she has gone missing are considered to be high-risk

New urgent, primary care health centre opens in Saanich come November

North Quadra area facility to provide same-day, ongoing care for folks without family doctors

McKenzie interchange project drives towards completion

Motorists asked to continue following construction zone signage as crews will be on site into the fall

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Man sentenced to 7 years for gas-and-dash death of Alberta gas station owner

Ki Yun Jo was killed after Mitchell Sydlowski sped off in a stolen cube van without paying for $198 of fuel

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

One person dead in two-vehicle accident in North Island

Highway 19A was closed for several hours north of Courtenay following the crash

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Most Read