Thursday, October 11, 2012

Nanaimo Cultural Plan Forum


Nanaimo Cultural Plan
Community Visioning Forum
October 16, 2012 7:00 - 9:30 pm
Beban Park Social Centre

The City of Nanaimo invites you to participate in the cultural planning process to make Nanaimo a more vibrant and creative city. The event will be held October 16th, 7- 9:30pm at the Beban Park Social Center. Your feedback and ideas will be invaluable in making the updated Nanaimo Cultural Plan reflect who we are as a city and what kind of a creative city we want to be in the future. We will present the new cultural resources inventory and map. There will be opportunity for discussions regarding our key cultural assets, guiding principles for the plan and our vision for the future. Sandra Thomson, Development Consultant, will be facilitating the feedback session.

Nanaimo has embraced "Cultural Vitality" as one of the 4 pillars of sustainability in its Corporate Strategic Plan. To this end we are embarking on a municipal cultural planning process to leverage local cultural assets and resources for supporting economic prosperity and overall creative community building.

Culture is recognized around the world as an important consideration in place-making, sustainable development, creative city planning and quality of life initiatives. The city has established cultural vitality as a major driver in building prosperous and successful cities. To this end the city has begun a year long process to develop a new cultural plan for Nanaimo.

Culture is about who we are as a people- our history, our values, and is central to our identity. Culture is welcoming and celebrates diversity. It fosters innovation, collaboration and community partnerships. It builds community identity and pride of place. Culture is what makes our city look and feel the way it does. Imagine a Nanaimo that is vibrant and interesting, welcoming and liveable... a community that is exactly what all our residents have envisioned and worked together to create. A place where anyone in the world would love to live or visit. Your Nanaimo- A place to be proud of!


Municipal cultural planning is a powerful tool for building local economies. It is about "Quality of Life" & "Quality of Place" It recognizes the importance of culture to community building. It is about leveraging cultural assets and resources in order to offer residents a quality lifestyle that makes our city a desirable place to live or visit. It establishes cultural vitality as an important "Pillar of Sustainability" placed equally alongside environmental responsibility, economic health and social equity dimensions. Municipal cultural planning brings cultural considerations into all aspects of municipal planning and decision making by looking through a “cultural lens”.

The new Nanaimo Cultural Plan is being developed in house by city staff with assistance from our “Cultural Planning Technical Team” made up of professional cultural managers from the Port Theater, Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo Museum, TheatreOne, Vancouver Island Symphony, Crimson Coast Dance Society, Centre for the Arts, Nanaimo and the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music. At each phase of the process we will be engaging the community, stakeholders, business and Council / Commissions for input.

There are 3 phases to the cultural planning process. The first phase began last spring by identifying our current cultural assets and resources. These assets and resources are presently being put on a cultural map that will show the distribution of resources across the city. A cultural map identifies strengths and weaknesses and is a first step in developing a municipal cultural plan. It shows the value of investing in cultural assets towards a more creative and unique city. It will guide Nanaimo’s future investment in cultural development to build wealth and be a catalyst for economic prosperity in Nanaimo. Once the cultural mapping project is complete, the city will be developing an online Cultural Portal where anyone can find information about all of Nanaimo’s cultural assets and resources.

Phase 2 is the community and stakeholder engagement stage of the process. We will be seeking feedback from city staff, Commissions and City Council. We will also be going to the community for feedback and consultation through forums, open houses and interviews.
In Phase 3 we will be drafting the new Nanaimo Cultural Plan for review and feedback. Once we have received feedback from both internal and external stakeholders and the public, a final draft will be prepared for recommendation to the Nanaimo Cultural Committee, The Parks, Recreation and Culture Commission and adoption by City Council. The new Nanaimo Cultural Plan will guide Nanaimo’s creative city planning to 2018 and beyond.

The City of Nanaimo recognizes the growing importance of the role played by creativity, innovation, arts and culture and quality of place, for a healthy vibrant community.

For more information about the cultural planning process and how you can get involved, please contact Bob Kuhn at bob.kuhn@nanaimo.ca (Phone 250-760-1139)

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