Cultural vision at the forefront for community
By Aaron Guillen, Staff Reporter
With rapid developments changing the landscape of the Tri-City area, the necessity for an updated cultural landscape is long overdue. The City of Port Coquitlam aims to display the community’s diversity and appreciation for art through their cultural plan, Imagine Port Coquitlam. The update to the cultural projections of the city comes 15 years after their last revision in 2001.
“By extending community engagement beyond existing audiences, using a variety of engagement tools, and delving deeper into the question of How We Live, the Imagine! Port Coquitlam cultural plan articulates strategies that are rooted in local context and will see a vibrant and active arts, culture, and heritage scene, and animated space and facilities,” stated the city’s cultural plan document.
From over a year of consultations and surveys, the community has noted the value of festivals, musical theatre, culinary and visual arts, and walking tours. In addition, the community has recognized their appreciation for the city’s small-town spirit, the abundance of parks and trails, and the fact that it is the birthplace of Terry Fox, a national hero. For many, areas of improvement lie in the recognition of local talent, the teaming up of arts and cultural groups, and a promotional boost to cultural events and services.
In the coming weeks, Port Coquitlam residents can expect to hear feedback on a new cultural roundtable thanks to Carrie Nimmo, the city’s new manager for arts and culture programs.
“We are looking for a few more members to represent specific areas such as young people in theatre and music […] for the cultural roundtable. The format will be open and we are looking for diverse representation from the community. [This] will be an opportunity to network, share ideas and resources and work together to develop new cultural initiatives,” she explained to Tri-City News.
The meeting, which is the first of 10 planned in the upcoming year, will be held on November 24 from 4:30–6:30 p.m. at Leigh Square. In addition, council member Darrell Penner is heading up the new festivals committee, promising to take a closer look at revamping the organizational process for current and future events.