Thoughts on the future of Campbell River: The arts

We are far more integrated into the community, across all sectors, than is generally understood

Alistair! Why is it that when we speak of imagining ‘ideal’ communities, so often the role of arts and culture is left out?

There was NO MENTION of it in your piece, yet if you examine positive, progressive and engaging quality-of-life communities around the world, you will find that the arts scene is a leader in the very indicators that create quality-of-life experiences.

The arts in Campbell River are provincial leading.

We are far more integrated into the community, across all sectors, than is generally understood.

We are engaged with seniors (music therapy programs), youth (notably marginalized and at-risk), schools (our Banner Program is embedded in 13 local schools and our educational program in partnership with the Pacific Salmon Foundation will speak to 2000 kids this year!) and multiple health organizations over the years including Head Injury Support Group, Stroke Recovery Association, the Hospital, Family Services, Social Planning Action Committee, Streetreach and on…

Many of these programs go under the radar for the public eye, but they are an essential resource used by local agencies daily.

Our Public Art Policy has been many years in the making and looks like it will finally start to emerge.

Public art is a MAJOR tool to assist in the placemaking that serves to bring an identity to downtown communities, streets, parks and buildings.

We are present at all community public forums and have been tireless advocates for positive economic, social and cultural development in Campbell River.

The Museum, Art Gallery, Tidemark Theatre, Arts Council, InFilm, along with local singing groups, theatre groups, writers, dance, photography, film… we have it all!

The arts are a resource and partner for any initiative in town, whether resource based, environmental, recreational, revitalization plans, beautification, health or educational development. Creative thinking finds the needed links between us.

If you want to go shoulder to shoulder into any challenge facing a community, I highly recommend having the arts sector alongside you.

As a flexible, creative, responsive and thoughtful partner, the arts are survivors and have the skills needed to weather the bad times and prosper in the good times.

A future Campbell River? One based on the creative economy. Inclusive, compassionate, curious, exploratory!

A place for young and old alike to celebrate what it means to be alive and puts in place the very things that bring meaning to life…

The arts are deserving of mention.


Ken Blackburn

Executive Director

Campbell River Arts Council