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City art policy comes with price tags
A new city public art policy was too rich for some councillors to sign off on at the last council meeting.
The city’s Community Services Recreation and Culture Commission brought forward a number of changes to the city’s art policy aimed at contributing to the revitalization of downtown.
But Coun. Andy Adams thought some of the dollar figures attached to the report were too great.
“In reading this I have some concerns, (specifically) section 2.1 ‘council will commit $50,000 annually to develop and implement its Public Art Program, including the creation of works of art,’” Adams said.
The report also suggested council allocate one per cent of the city’s total capital improvement costs to the acquisition, administration and the management of public art.
“That’s a heck of a lot and usually these would come before us at financial planning,” Adams said. “I think it needs more of a lengthy look and discussion.”
Coun. Claire Moglove agreed and suggested the policy be referred to council’s Committee of the Whole meeting, which council agreed to.
“I think the COW (Committee of the Whole) is a better opportunity to flesh out the policy,” Moglove said. “This public art policy has gone through the commission for five years, I think it can wait another two weeks.”
The public art policy is designed to help the city keep track of its artwork and manage the volume of public art donations the city receives, particularly from the Canada Day carving contest at Frank James Park.
A Public Art Committee of five to seven voting members would be formed by council and tasked with consideration of donations based on the piece’s ability to integrate into the city’s existing public art collection; the quality and condition of the work; sustainability of the theme of the artwork to a public venue; susceptibility of the work to degradation, wear or vandalism; and any potential of endangering public safety, among other things.
The Public Art Committee would be required to submit its recommendations on donation proposals, including site placement, to council.
The committee would also be responsible for periodically reviewing the city’s public art inventory to determine whether public art pieces should be removed based on their condition, their required level of maintenance or repair and whether the artwork poses a public safety threat.