Kelowna Evaluate Local Arts and Culture Sector

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With a $15,000 grant from Creative Communities, the City of Kelowna now has a cultural map – the first phase of a new, ten-year master plan. Funding allowed the City to form a Cultural Planning Advisory Committee, with ideas generated by the committee’s visioning session forming the overall vision for the plan. Staff also gathered information on community cultural resources and creative sectors, plotting more than 500 resources into a mapping application. The City now uses the system for planning purposes. The municipality also held eight community dialogues on culture to help shape the overall strategy.

Thanks to the cultural map, the city can now generate reports to help with planning, and can gauge the economic impact of arts and culture in the community. For example, it now knows the number of open artist studios, artisans, and venues offering workshops, as well as the number of people working in Kelowna’s creative sector. The City has now focused on its medium- and long-term goals to increase the sense of community; remove economic and physical barriers to participation; involve youth and seniors more directly in the planning and delivery of services, and more.

Creative Communities assists local governments to take stock of their cultural assets and identify strengths and challenges in their local arts and cultural sector. The program also guides governments through community consultations to determine how and where to expand local arts and cultural programs and projects. The program is supported by the Province of British Columbia.