Arts plan adopted 

Whistler council on Monday adopted a plan of action for the arts in Whistler which will see the Whistler Community Arts Council become the umbrella organization for local arts.

The document outlines the need for better services, communications, staffing, facilities and funding for the arts in Whistler.

Legacy Heritage Consultants and Professional Environmental Consultants put forth 16 recommendations after a year-long study. The steering committee, made up of 12 local residents, summarized the findings in four core points: (1) That the Whistler Arts Council be recognized as the single co-ordinating body for arts activity in the municipality; (2) In addition to its own fund-raising, that the RMOW, Tourism Whistler and Intrawest each contribute financially to the Arts Council for the next two years; (3) That the Arts Council develop its staff to include an Executive Director, Office Co-ordinator, Programs and Event Manager and Promotions Professional; (4) That the community’s providers of arts-related services develop a tool to assess performance and new needs on an annual basis.

After studying other alpine resort communities, such as Aspen, and consulting with local residents and stakeholders, the report also puts forth a detailed five year strategy for implementing the changes. They include the immediate action of adopting the Arts Council as an umbrella organization and raising seed money for co-ordination. Short term goals include developing partnerships with business, an awards program, art walks and drives, a revision to the art sales bylaw and the creation of art and dance studio space and an interim art gallery. The report suggests space in the proposed library and museum facility be set aside for local art exhibits until a permanent gallery is built in the future.

The committee also expressed interest in adapting existing warehouse or industrial spaces for studio space. The long term goals include developing a paid staff, an arts centre and a Whistler School of the Arts.

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