City of Merritt Receives $5,000 to Identify Arts and Cultural Assets

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The City of Merritt will undertake a cultural mapping project as a first step towards developing a more diverse arts and culture policy. Under the Creative Communities program, 2010 Legacies Now and the Province of British Columbia are providing $5,000 to the City to develop an inventory of existing arts and cultural resources through the mapping process.

Creative Communities supports local governments and arts organizations to understand their cultural assets and identify strengths and challenges in their arts and cultural sector. The City of Merritt plans to work with stakeholders, including the Arts Council, the Valley Visual Artists, the Heritage Commission and the Walk of Stars Society to name a few, to participate in the cultural mapping of existing resources.

The project is a first step towards offering a greater support for arts and heritage organizations and encouraging development of new cultural offerings in the City.
 
"This project will bring together those involved in arts and culture to gain a thorough understanding of the local region," said Councillor Harry Kroeker.  "The resulting cultural inventory will provide information that will be used to expand the region's arts and cultural services and to put the word out about how much Merritt has to offer in terms of arts and culture."

Together with the Province of British Columbia, 2010 Legacies Now has invested more than $300,000 into 42 Creative Communities projects around the province, and $3.9 million in the arts overall through its contribution programs.  Funding under Creative Communities is available in three categories: Cultural Mapping, Cultural Planning and Cultural Tourism Strategy with the goal being to use arts and culture to achieve social and economic objectives.

"Cultural Planning gets to the heart of a community's identity," said Kevin Krueger, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts. "The Creative Communities program is a great way for communities to build on the success of the Olympics, express their own unique cultural characteristics, and support the growth of the arts and culture sector in B.C."

Lori Baxter, Director of Arts for 2010 Legacies Now said, "This is an exciting way for local government to work collaboratively with arts and heritage groups to learn about how the cultural sector can benefit the region."


Creative Communities assisted local governments to take stock of their cultural assets and identify strengths and challenges in their local arts and cultural sector. The program also guided governments through community consultations to determine how and where to expand local arts and cultural programs and projects.

Funding was available for these cultural mapping and cultural planning processes to help communities discover a cultural identity that is unique to them and expand it into a viable part of community life. The program was supported by the Province of British Columbia.