Kelowna, British Columbia Public Art Committee

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Kelowna, Canada

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Type: Policy

Status: Established in 1997

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Since its inception in 1997, the Public Art Committee has recommended the acquisition of more than 23 works of public art in its collection, ranging from acrylic paintings to large, site-specific sculptural installations.

The Public Art Committee advises Council on the expenditure of the Public Art Reserve Fund, which is set at a minimum of $100,000 per year (a sum equal to one per cent of the City’s annual capital budget from general taxation revenue).

The Committee is guided by its mandate to:

  • work with the community to humanize and animate the urban environment
  • increase the livability and artistic richness of the community
  • stimulate the growth of arts and art-related businesses through the provision of public art.

Acquisition methods include:

  • direct purchases from artists
  • donations by artists and others
  • competitive commissions
  • partnerships with the private sector.

Competition calls are generally open to artists from any location. The collection includes many works by British Columbia and local artists, and others by artists from China, the UK and the USA.

Community Public Art

This recent initiative of the Public Art Committee is a collaborative, collective creative process between a professional practicing artist and a community. Up to $10,000 of matching funds is available annually to non-profit organizations for community public art projects.

The goals of community public art are:

  • to encourage the creation of publicly accessible, permanent or temporary artworks having artistic merit and community benefit. Community benefits include encouraging or documenting social change and strengthening understanding between diverse communities.
  • to foster community pride, identity and cohesion through collaborative artistic endeavor and the creation of artwork legacies
  • to support local leadership in community art projects while respecting the role of creative artists and other design professionals
  • to reflect the diversity, needs and ambitions of the larger community