City to hire researcher to develop public art plan

The city will fund the hiring of a researcher to help develop a plan for public art in Campbell River.

At its Monday meeting, council approved allocating $5,000 from its 2017 public art budget to support a public art plan.
Michele Sirett, the city’s recreation and culture supervisor, said a Public Art Committee has already done substantial work, such as completing an inventory of existing public art and is about to launch an interactive public art map on the city’s website this month.

She said the committee is now ready to move on to the next step.

“The committee has determined that the next step is conducting research into the work the city has already completed, over the past 10 years, in the area of culture, including other relevant documents, reports and public consultations,” Sirett said. “The committee would like to bring all of this information together, into a contextual planning document that will inform our next steps.”

Examples of public art previously unveiled in the community include artwork on utility boxes, murals along Pier Street, city street banners, and the painted crosswalk at the three-way stop at 11th Avenue and Shoppers Row.

Coun. Colleen Evans, chair of the community services, recreation and culture commission which supports development of a public art plan, said all of the previous artwork and information gathered will form the blueprint for the plan.

“There’s a cultural plan that’s been developed, there’s been consultations with the community on culture and arts, so it’s being able to take all that information and pull it all together, to do the kind of research that allows the best things to rise to the front and then that would form the foundation to move forward to development of a public art plan,” Evans said. “That work’s been done, but it’s basically sitting on a shelf and it needs to be all pulled together.”

Sirett said part of the problem is that the job is time consuming and the Public Art Committee does not have the time to commit to the research.

Recruiting a researcher, however, will allow those documents to be analyzed and “put through the lens of current context,” said Evans.

For more information on public art, visit, campbellriverpublicart.ca