CVRD seeks public input on Cowichan Lake Arts Council

Painters, actors, calligraphers, weavers, carvers — if it’s an artistic medium, there are likely practitioners in the

Painters, actors, calligraphers, weavers, carvers — if it’s an artistic medium, there are likely practitioners in the Cowichan Lake district. And soon area artists will have access to new funding from the Cowichan Valley Region District, although first they must come together and form an arts and culture council.

On Feb. 22, the CVRD hosted its first public meeting on the plan to establish a Cowichan Lake Arts and Culture Council.

John Elzinga, general manager of community services for the CVRD, presented an overview of the arts council idea, which took root last year.

“In April of 2015 a report was brought to the CVRD board proposing the establishment of a single arts and culture authority for the entire region. The board liked the proposal but not that way. They preferred to move more toward a sub-regional approach,” he said.

Consequently, new arts councils will be formed in the Cowichan Lake and South Cowichan districts, adding to the three existing arts councils in the Cowichan Valley in Ladysmith, Chemainus and Duncan.

By the end of 2015, a new arts and culture service was adopted by the CVRD and has a maximum tax requisition of $130,000 annually, which will be drawn from all nine electoral areas and four municipalities. Of these funds, $50,000 will be divided between the five sub-regional councils based on the property assessments from their areas.

Ladysmith and District will receive $8,500; Chemainus Valley will received $5,000; Cowichan Valley (the central council, based in Duncan) will receive $19,000; South Cowichan will receive $12,000; and Cowichan Lake will receive $5,500.

But accessing those funds in the Cowichan Lake district means establishing a suitable arts council.

“We can’t just hand a group a pot of money without having some criteria or expectations,” said Elzinga.

The Cowichan Lake Arts Council must be a non-profit society, include a range of members (people from all around the lake area, not just Lake Cowichan), work with children, offer at least one free event for the community each year, and collaborate with the other sub-regional arts councils.

The council must incorporate programming from at least three different artistic genres (for example: music, visual arts, theatre), and also operate a permanent space somewhere in the region.

Turnout at Tuesday’s meeting was low with six community members (including Area I director Klaus Kuhn) in attendance.

One audience member asked how the CVRD is defining “culture” for the purposes of these councils.

“For each of the arts councils, the definition of culture is going to come from that community,” said Elzinga.

Kirsten Schrader, manager of the CVRD’s arts and culture division, acknowledged culture can be a problematic term to define.

“There isn’t enough time or funding to cover all of culture. Sport is culture, language is culture — it doesn’t go that broad for the purposes of this project at this time,” she told the audience. “It’s the cultural arts. It’s the arts side of culture that we’re limiting this to.”

Some of the people present were members of the Kaatza Art Group, and Pauline Thompson (the group’s treasurer and also a member of the Cowichan Valley Community Radio Society) expressed her excitement about the possibilities the arts council presents.

She emphasized that the Kaatza Art Group is not a registered society, it’s a collective of about 15 artists who organize and host local events.

“We figured, well gee whiz, there are enough artists in this area that we could possibly get something on the go like this,” she said.

The next public meeting about the arts council initiative is Monday, Feb. 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena.

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

North Cowichan’s committee of the whole have rejected staff’s recommendation to limit the use of fireworks to Halloween. (File photo)
North Cowichan rejects limiting fireworks to Halloween

Municipality decides staff recommendation would be unpopular

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

CVRD Area E director Alison Nicholson, right, hiked two hours to Waterfall Camp at the Fairy Creek watershed along with Comox town councillor Nicole Minion and Comox Valley Regional District director Daniel Arbour to meet with old-growth logging activists on Monday, June 7. (Submitted)
Cowichan Valley regional director visits Fairy Creek protest camps

‘They clearly communicated that they are committed to what they are doing’

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Most Read