On April 11, 2006, an Arts and Culture Summit was held at the Wosk Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.
Arts and Culture: Building B.C.’s Creative Agenda was hosted by Olga Ilich, the Minister of Tourism, Sport and the Arts and moderated by Max Wyman. The participants, who represented a diversity of interests, talked about creativity, infrastructure, sustainability, community, public and political engagement, and the value of arts and culture. The results of that conversation were reported by Max Wyman in Building From Strength. I attended the summit and recorded the conversation. The next day, on April 12, 2006, I registered artsbc.com to give the British Columbia arts community the ability to continue the conversation.
The idea for artsbc.com was to create a communication centre to give community leaders and creative contributors the ability to create connections, conversation, and collaborative enterprise around ideas and initiatives that contribute to the cultural development of our communities and our province. The centre would provide the community the opportunity to explore and contribute information, ideas, stories, and opportunities to increase our appreciation for the value of our arts, our cultural diversity, and our creative resources.
Community leaders could contribute to and engage in a conversation about how we create a future for our arts and cultures. Conversation around ideas and initiatives is how we excite cooperative enterprise and cooperative enterprise is how we leverage our resources and our creative ideas in pursuit of our common interests.
Why the Arts
The following summer I was working with the Executive Director of the Alliance for Arts and Culture, Andrew Wilhelm-Boyles. He asked me to read and give him some feedback on a presentation being prepared for the Provincial Government for the 2008 budget. I thought it was one of the best articulations of why the arts I had seen. I edited and reorganized the presentation and returned it. I was subsequently asked to make the presentation.
In September 2007, I presented the report to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services on behalf of Arts Future BC which included the Assembly of BC Arts Councils, the BC Museums Association, the BC Touring Council, Canadian Artists Representation of British Columbia, Citizens for the Arts, the Greater Vancouver Alliance for Arts and Culture, the ProArt Alliance of Greater Victoria, and the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres, – people who represent the Arts Future for British Columbia.
Creative British Columbia
In the fall of 2008, I was asked to prepare and present a submission to the British Columbia Government for the 2009 Provincial Budget on behalf of Arts Future BC which built on the same case for investing in the arts. I used this presentation as an opportunity to introduce the idea and the possibility for British Columbia to become known as Creative British Columbia.
These reports created and still create the opportunity for community leaders to engage in conversation about the future for the arts in British Columbia.and the importance of our creative resources and our creative economy to the future of our province.