At the Alliance's Arts Summit 2013 the cultural community of British Columbia began a conversation about the need for a BC Cultural Policy Framework.
This discussion launched a province-wide engagement process, BC Creative Convergence, with the goal of developing such a framework. The conversation continued in 2015 through a series of Community Cultural Roundtables conducted across British Columbia in collaboration with ArtsBC, and with the support of the Province of British Columbia, culminating on June 18 and 19 at the Arts Summit 2015.
A report on the outcomes of BC Creative Convergence was presented at the Summit for further discussion. The Alliance used feedback from the creative sector to create an updated version of this document, which can be downloaded below.
See more information below.
Report and Recommendations for a Provincial Cultural Policy Framework
This document, prepared by the BC Alliance for Arts + Culture, is a report on the feedback gathered from participants in the BC Creative Convergence consultation process. (Updated August, 2015)
Learn more background information about BC Creative Convergence below.
What is a Cultural Policy Framework?
Cultural policy is an official act of government affecting culture, such as legislation, budget appropriations, or establishment of government agencies. The BC Arts Council Act and the establishment of agencies such as Creative BC are good examples.
Given that cultural policy can be expressed in many government actions and communications, and can be found in multiple documents, strategies, and ministries, another tool is required to link these ideas. A Cultural Policy Framework provides an overarching structure for a government’s relationship to arts and culture. It should contain broad principles intended to guide the priorities and policy making of current and future governments. You can find several policy and related document examples here.
Why Do We Need One?
A Cultural Policy Framework for British Columbia would help to steer the government’s overall priorities and direction, linking plans relating to culture across all ministries, providing a consistent approach to the support of arts and culture, and providing mutual points of reference for all stakeholders. It would serve as a catalyst and a guide for a conversation between the cultural community and government as the latter develops, adopts, and implements policy.
COMMUNITY CONSULTATION PROCESS
Community Cultural Roundtables were community conversations designed to share ideas and identify specific sectoral and regional needs and concerns. The goal of these sessions was to ensure that all voices are heard and acknowledged in the development of a final report, which will be shared with our provincial government colleagues and will provide grassroots input into a final cultural policy framework.
Each Community Cultural Roundtable was co-hosted by a local Community Arts Council and other leading community arts, culture, and heritage community organizations. Roundtables took place in 2015 in the following British Columbia communities:
Kelowna (March 11)
Kamloops (March 12)
Nanaimo (March 14)
Cowichan (March 15)
Campbell River (March 16)
Tofino/Ucluelet - Pacific Rim (March 18)
Salt Spring Island (March 19)
Nelson (April 7)
Penticton (April 19)
Prince George (April 22)
Haida Gwaii (April 26)
Fort St. John and North Peace (April 30)
Tumbler Ridge and South Peace (May 2)
Williams Lake (May 14)
North Shore / Sea to Sky (May 21)
Vancouver (two sessions, May 26)
Victoria (May 26)
New Westminster (May 28)
The Roundtables focused on a Discussion Paper and addressed the questions of:
- What local and regional issues should be reflected in a Cultural Policy;
- How a Cultural Policy could recognize the economic and social impact of cultural activities;
- How a Cultural Policy should acknowledge the historic and contemporary importance of the multicultural diversity of BC’s communities;
- How a Cultural Policy could impact the relationships between the sector and the provincial government and its ministries and agencies.
The Community Cultural Roundtable series provided an opportunity for community members to bring personal, local, and regional perspectives to this important provincial initiative. An online survey was also conducted to ensure that voices from communities all across British Columbia are heard and acknowledged in the development of the framework document. Responses and online feedback were accepted until June 4, 2015.
To see photos from Roundtables across the province, see the album on our Facebook page.
The BC Alliance for Arts + Culture gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Province of British Columbia towards the Community Cultural Roundtables series.