The development of a regional performing arts facilities service was moved ahead by the Capital Regional District board, which directed CRD staff to work with a new committee to design what such a service would look like. Those details would be forwarded to all CRD member-jurisdictions for consideration. (Black Press Media file photo)

The development of a regional performing arts facilities service was moved ahead by the Capital Regional District board, which directed CRD staff to work with a new committee to design what such a service would look like. Those details would be forwarded to all CRD member-jurisdictions for consideration. (Black Press Media file photo)

Support for Greater Victoria regional arts facilities service not unanimous

Goal of regional body is to have all jurisdictions benefit, board chair says

The idea of creating a regional service to plan, develop and fund performing arts facilities with regional impact received broad, but not unanimous support around the Capital Regional District board table.

The board approved setting aside $150,000 for the project and directed staff to begin the process of establishing such a service, under the guidance of a new committee to be formed specifically for this purpose. The latter point was a recommendation from a standing committee report, Stage One: A Public Conversation About Performing Arts Facilities in the CRD.

While the idea moved forward, paying jointly for such a service requires a CRD bylaw, requiring approval from all member jurisdictions.

Several directors, including Lanny Seaton and Denise Blackwell from Langford, Mike Hicks from Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, Gary Holman from Salt Spring Island and Ryan Windsor from Central Saanich, opposed the idea.

Blackwell said her city already financially supports arts on the West Shore and has plans to build its own performing arts venue. She and Seaton said their council isn’t likely to support sharing financially in a regional facilities plan.

ALSO READ: Vancouver Island tenor Ken Lavigne brings latest show to the comfort of your home

Board chair Colin Plant suggested all municipalities, including those that already contribute to the arts in their own communities, stand to benefit from a regional service.

“That’s the whole goal, that we will all benefit,” he said. “There’s no doubt that when Langford builds a facility, it will be a regional facility at 1,400 seats, or 800 seats. That is just inevitable.”

While the establishment of a service is called for, he added, all CRD jurisdictions will be asked specifically what they would want to see before a bylaw returns to the CRD board.

While noting his community strongly supports downtown arts facilities, Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch said the costs and benefits need to be made clear when the requisition goes out to CRD jurisdictions.

Director Susan Brice of Saanich recalled how, when the Royal Theatre was in peril, Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria stepped up to buy the regional facility, and the McPherson Playhouse was similarly brought into the CRD fold. Supporting current and future performing arts venues “is an important part of our growth, our development, our fulsomeness as a region,” she said.

ALSO READ: VIDEO: Array of COVID-safe ‘dance bubbles’ installed downtown Vancouver

Like Murdoch, she acknowledged frank conversations will be needed once the details of the service are known, to help ensure everyone is represented.

To read more about the Stage One report, go online to bit.ly/3vi6myr.


 

Do you have a story tip? Email:don.descoteau@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Arts and EntertainmentCRD

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

Just Posted

Some Saanich firefighters have expressed concerns about first responders in the Island Health Region not being prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as an outbreak at a fire station would make service delivery a challenge. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich firefighters not prioritized for COVID-19 vaccine despite working on frontlines

Members express frustration, department calls on Island Health to take action

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of UVic varsity women’s team

Suspension of Barney Williams would be reversed if he complies with certain terms

A total of 10 flight exposures have affected the Victoria International Airport in April so far, making it the highest monthly total since the start of the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hits record-breaking number of monthly COVID-19 flight exposures

As of April 21, 10 flight exposures reported for the month

Victoria police are searching for Andrew Swanson who was last seen in Victoria April 7 and is wanted on warrants for choking related to a domestic assault and obstructing police. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police searching for missing man wanted for domestic assault

Andrew Swanson, 47, last seen in Victoria April 7

The Esquimalt Fire Department was called to a residence on Glengarry Place Tuesday afternoon for a fire that has displaced two families. There were no injuries and damage is being assessed. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt fire displaces two families

Fire damage at residence on Glengarry Place still being assessed

A lone traveler enters the Calgary Airport in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
VIDEO: Trudeau defends Canada’s travel restrictions as effective but open to doing more

Trudeau said quarantine hotels for international air travellers will continue until at least May 21

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson leaves the assembly with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Paid sick leave for ‘hard-hit’ workers left out of provincial budget: BCGEU

‘For recovery to be equitable it requires supports for workers, not just business,’ says union president Laird Cronk

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Most Read