There may be some overlap in the new Arts, Culture and Heritage Awards, but local contributors to Saanich’s arts community are sure to be honoured during their presentation in November.
Coun. Vicki Sanders, who chairs the committee of the same name, said the awards are meant to acknowledge those who have been instrumental in raising awareness of the arts. Nominations for the awards’ five categories are being accepted until Oct. 14.
“There’s the leaders, and then there are the people that work behind the scenes,” said Sanders. “It’s really to acknowledge the people who have built the arts.”
While Saanich has a rich arts history, Sanders said it wasn’t until 2002 that Saanich adopted a comprehensive arts policy in response to public demand for art. The district has a growing number of public art pieces, including a steady rotation of art displays at the municipal hall.
“We were the first in B.C., as far as I know, to have a comprehensive arts policy,” she said. “We’ll be looking for people that were there at the ground floor and encouraged Saanich to recognize the importance of the arts.”
Sanders noted Saanich residents seem to be more in tune with art around them, making the awards an exceptional way to support the arts community.
“Imagine if you got into an elevator and there’s no music or there aren’t any paintings on the wall of a store or people don’t paint their house nice colours,” she said. “We really appreciate our environment, and with that appreciation, the art is part of that as well.”
The five categories include Unsung Hero (individual award), Cultural Stewardship (organization award), the Art of Business (supporter award), Next Gen (youth award) and the Individual Lifetime Achievement Award.
Residents can submit nominations to the Arts, Culture and Heritage committee, which will evaluate each nominee’s impact on the community, leadership and/or service over a significant period of time, and contributions to the district’s goals related to arts, culture and heritage.
“I just hope people will be really excited to nominate people and come out when we give the awards in November,” said Sanders.
Nomination forms are available online (saanich.ca/arts) or in person at the municipal hall and Saanich rec centres. Online forms should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org while printed forms can be mailed or dropped off at Saanich Legislative Services, 770 Vernon Ave., Saanich, B.C., V8X 2W7. Nominations must be received by 4 p.m. on Oct. 14.