Make your mark at Create Victoria

Organization wants input from community on where to take arts and culture over the next five years

A series of drop-in sessions at a downtown storefront will be the final chance to give input on how the City of Victoria should be investing in arts and cultural initiatives.

Known as Create Victoria, the arts and culture master plan will be presented to council sometime in the coming weeks and give them a sense of the priorities that artists, organizations and residents feel are important for the next five years, says Nichola Reddington, senior cultural planner for the City.

“We really want everyone to have an opportunity to have a say … whether you’re a resident, an arts organization, a facility owner or operator, an artist … we really do want to hear from everyone, because culture is all around us and it’s part of your everyday experience,” she says.

“What is most important, what are the big priorities for you and what would you like to see happen in the next five years in arts and culture?”

The public engagement began in March and has seen city staffers hear from a variety of sources. One group that has been particularly enthusiastic in this process, Reddington says, are individual artists who may not otherwise qualify for arts grants.

Ideas being bounced around include the development of a creative worker attraction and retention strategy, a microloan program for creative entrepreneurs, an arts incubator program or ways to enhance arts education in schools. Others could see the city begin to facilitate connections between artists with spaces, or cultural venue operators with other potential funding sources.

The upcoming drop-in schedule at 742 Johnson St. will see the space open from noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 23, 4 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 26 and noon to 4 p.m. on Sept. 30. Or you can go online to complete a survey at victoria.ca/create.

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