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Insight: REIBC blog > Supporting Public Art in Sechelt

Supporting Public Art in Sechelt

posted on 10:23 AM, April 30, 2021
Oil-Free Salish Sea, by Dean Schutz. Credit: District of Sechelt

Sechelt (ch’atlich) is a growing rural community of about 10,000 residents, located at the heart of the Sunshine Coast in the unceded territory of the shíshálh Nation. To acquire public art, this small town uses a blended funding model that includes an annual budget allocation in addition to more typical “percent-for-art” and community amenity contribution models.

The percent-for-art approach “… allocates 1%–2% of capital construction costs for large aboveground civic projects to the acquisition of public art,” explains District of Sechelt’s Siobhán Smith. “Another popular means for financing acquisitions is through contributions made by developers, often by way of community amenity contributions. While popular and largely successful, both of these means of funding projects require a steady stream of sizable construction projects—public or private—to ensure art program funding.”

An annual budget allocation is necessary in a small community like Sechelt, where contributions from capital construction projects and amenity contributions from developers are not enough to sustain a public art program.

“Specific support for public art in Sechelt began in 1997 when our district council adopted a policy to declare the importance of arts and culture. This was reinforced in a 1999 Arts and Culture Plan, and again in the Official Community Plan,” says Smith. “These policies provided the basic framework to allow for commissioning public art, which led to the development of a Public Art Policy and Program adopted by council in 2013.”

Input Spring 2021
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To read more about Sechelt’s approach to supporting local public art, see “Supporting Local in Sechelt’s Public Art Collection,” in the Spring 2021 edition of Input. Download Spring 2021

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