Mayor Robertson to Support Motion Giving Boost to Public Art

May 27, 2016 | Arts and Culture

Mayor Gregor Robertson will support a motion that will see a significant expansion – curatively and financially – to the City’s public and community art program. The motion, put forward by Deputy Mayor Heather Deal, directs City staff to find projects already in process that can be accelerated for Summer 2016 completion, and leverage the City’s Innovation Fund to invest in significant new projects for 2016/17.

“Vancouver hosts tremendous talent with more artists per capita and the highest public arts funding of any city in Canada,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “I look forward to supporting this motion that will see an unprecedented amount of public art in our city for all residents and visitors to enjoy. I hope Council will be unanimous in backing this expansion of the public art program and bolstering our local artist and creative community.”

A key element of expanding the public art program will be to provide more opportunities to integrate local First Nations artwork in the public realm to reflect and celebrate the City’s multicultural nature and changing demographics.

City staff have been asked to create a ‘public art boost’ and will report back to Council as soon as possible on:

  • Barriers to public art and suggested steps to remove them;
  • Identifying projects already in process which can be installed during the Summer of 2016;
  • Opportunities to use the Innovation Fund to leverage community partners to enable significant new public art projects for 2016 and 2017;
  • Consultation with cultural and business communities, other organizations and interested residents on the expansion of public and community art opportunities and projects;
  • A robust plan to ensure existing public art is maintained; and
  • A public awareness campaign about Vancouver's public art.

Vancouver’s public art program has to date resulted in over 400 pieces of public art and community art installations throughout the City over the past 25 years. In addition, private sector rezonings greater than 100,000 square feet are required to contribute $1.98 per buildable square foot to a public art process approved by the City.