Culture defines who we are

NANAIMO: Culture is about who we are as a people – our history, our values, and is central to our identity.

  • Oct. 15, 2012 12:00 p.m.

By Amanda Daly

Have you ever imagined a Nanaimo more vibrant and interesting, welcoming and liveable; a community exactly what all our residents have envisioned and worked together to create; a place where anyone in the world would love to live or visit?

We have.

Culture is about who we are as a people – our history, our values, and is central to our identity.

Culture is welcoming and celebrates diversity. It fosters innovation, collaboration and community partnerships. It builds community identity and pride of place. Culture is what makes our city look and feel the way it does.

The City of Nanaimo has embraced ‘cultural vitality’ as one of the four pillars of sustainability in its Corporate Strategic Plan.

To this end, we are embarking on a municipal cultural planning process to leverage local cultural assets and resources to support economic prosperity and overall creative community building.

The new Nanaimo Cultural Plan is being developed in house by city staff with assistance from our cultural planning technical team made up of professional cultural managers from the Port Theatre, Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo Museum, TheatreOne, Vancouver Island Symphony, Crimson Coast Dance Society, Nanaimo Centre for the Arts, and the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music.

The team will engage the community, stakeholders, businesses and city council / commissions for input at each stage of the planning process.

There are three phases to the process.

The first began last spring by identifying our current cultural assets and resources. A cultural map identifies strengths and weaknesses and is a first step in developing a municipal cultural plan.

Once the mapping project is complete, the city will develop an online cultural portal where anyone can find information about all of Nanaimo’s cultural assets and resources.

Phase 2 is the community and stakeholder engagement stage of the process. You can share your thoughts and ideas through community forums, open houses and interviews. The first forum is planned for Tuesday (Oct. 16) at Bowen Park.

In Phase 3 we will be drafting the new Nanaimo Cultural Plan for review and feedback.

The new plan will guide Nanaimo’s creative city planning to 2018 and beyond.

Let’s make your Nanaimo a place to be proud of. Please participate in the cultural planning process at the Community Visioning forum on Tuesday.

For more information about the cultural planning process, the Community Visioning forum, and other ways you can be involved, please go to www.nanaimo.ca or e-mail Bob Kuhn at bob.kuhn@nanaimo.ca or phone 250-760-1139.

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Amanda Daly is a marketing and communication specialist with Nanaimo parks, recreation and culture.

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