The RCMP Musical Ride performs in Semiahmoo Park in July 2013. The City of White Rock's new cultural strategy and implementation plan calls for more cultural events in the coming years.

The RCMP Musical Ride performs in Semiahmoo Park in July 2013. The City of White Rock's new cultural strategy and implementation plan calls for more cultural events in the coming years.

Next White Rock council urged to fund the arts

White Rock has a plan for the future of arts and culture in the city.

White Rock now has more than just a vision of a being a place where arts and culture flourish – it has a plan.

Council Monday (Oct. 6) gave unanimous support to approving the White Rock Cultural Strategy and Implementation Plan 2014-2018; a document that is intended to guide the city in enhancing arts and culture in the community.

Such planning “allows us to identify the community’s cultural resources and to provide a roadmap to where we want to be in the future,” leisure services director Eric Stepura explains in a report to council.

“With a futuristic vision for culture, we can work collaboratively with community arts and cultural partners and stakeholders to establish White Rock as a thriving cultural destination.”

Impressed with the plan – which outlines six strategic goals and 39 recommended actions – Mayor Wayne Baldwin said the test will be in ensuring it doesn’t go the way of some previous grand endeavours.

“The challenge for us is not to take it as we do with many reports… and never see it again,” he said.

Noting the coming election could shift the look of council, Baldwin encouraged task force members to push whoever wins the seats Nov. 15 to follow the plan through.

It includes a call – which council also endorsed be considered in the city’s 2015-2019 financial plan – for an additional $67,000 in funding over the next four years. The majority of that funding is eyed for first-year projects and initiatives – including $25,000 for a cultural event-hosting incentive-grant program, and $12,500 to develop a summer concert-in-the-park series.

In response to a question from Coun. Helen Fathers, Stepura confirmed the $67,000 is over and above the $50,000 allocated annually to the city’s public-art budget.

“It seems like pocket change, really,” Fathers said of the additional funds.

It’s hoped the four-year plan can be accomplished in three years, Stepura added.

Prior to Stepura’s report, council heard more detail on each of the plan’s six strategic goals from task force members Kelly Breaks, Roxanne Charles, Sherron Fairbairn, Pat McLean and Mary Brunet.

Among actions recommended under the goal of promoting the value of arts and culture is to rebrand the leisure services department, including a name change to Recreation and Cultural Services.

There are nine recommended actions under the goal of develop diverse arts programs and festivals, including develop a busker’s festival, support development of a winter film festival and partner with Semiahmoo First Nation to co-host more cultural events at Semiahmoo Park. In July 2013, the RCMP Musical Ride performed at the park.

Weaknesses identified in the plan include a small volunteer pool, a lack of uptown vibrancy at night and parking fees that deter people from attending events at the waterfront.

Planning for the cultural strategic plan got underway in 2011; the seven-member task force was formed in 2013 to oversee the delivery of goals and actions outlined in the Arts Economic Strategy and Implementation Plan 2013-2017.

The group’s role was expanded this year to include working with city staff to develop the cultural strategy and implementation plan.

Stepura described the plan as “the result of considerable community and stakeholder engagement.” He said benefits of its successful implementation will include: attract local, regional, national and international visitors to White Rock; enhance the quality of life for residents; and, generate economic growth through arts- and culture-related businesses and event hosting.

He described development of a cohesive arts community with strong community partnerships as “one of the single greatest benefits” that has been seen to date.

“There’s a cohesion among the arts community that never existed before,” he said.

The plan also proposes creation of a cultural advisory committee, to retain and expand partnerships within the arts community and to oversee implementation of the cultural strategy.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Delta character - and former White Rock resident - Pansy May Stuttard inspects a loaded revolver in the cover photo for Jim Dwight and Gary Cullen’s fascinating biography, Lord don’t want me Devil won’t take me. Contributed photo
West Coast’s ‘Pistol-packin’ Pansy’ lives on in colourful biography

Infamous Delta character ended her days in White Rock and South Surrey

A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary. March 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Reports of student attendance ‘dwindling’ at Surrey schools: teachers’ association

STA president said he’s heard from staff that students might not attend in-person for 4th quarter

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Chilliwack Search and Rescue volunteers say that a call on April 17 on Vedder Mountain was affected by bikers who rode through the rescue site, throwing rocks onto members and the patient. (Chilliwack Search and Rescue image)
Chilliwack Search and Rescue team, and patient, sprayed with rocks and dirt during rescue

Volunteer crew speaks out after riders on Vedder Mountain show no courtesy at accident scene

File photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
One man dead after shooting in Downtown Vancouver

This is Vancouver’s fifth homicide of the year

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of April 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Most Read