Input about public artwork sought in Cumberland

Cumberland council will look for community input about art on BC Hydro poles and boxes.

Cumberland council will look for community input about art on BC Hydro poles and boxes.

Village Art in the Streets (VAST) Cumberland submitted a selection of sketches by local artists, which it suggested be featured on eight poles and seven hydro boxes in the village. But, council voted to defer consideration of the proposed project for a couple of reasons.

While noting her opinion had nothing to do with “the fine work of the artists,” Coun. Gwyn Sproule said she would like to see a cohesive theme on the boxes and poles and suggested hearing from the community on the matter.

“We want to know what the citizens think,” said Sproule. “What is our branding? Are we heritage? Are we a nature place? You know, I’d like to see a theme throughout it so I feel it’s a little bit premature.”

Meanwhile, funding for the project would come from BC Hydro via a Graffiti Removal Agreement but a Village staff report noted BC Hydro doesn’t expect to complete its guidelines until early 2014. Coun. Roger Kishi expressed concern over entering an agreement when the guidelines are not yet complete.

Mayor Leslie Baird pointed out VAST planned to paint the boxes and poles this coming spring and summer, when BC Hydro’s guidelines will be complete. She suggested the community discussion start soon.

“I think it’s really important to have community buy-in because, not only are we looking at the telephone poles and the hydro boxes, but they (VAST) also came to us and wanted to do the street art, so there’s a lot of things going on here,” said Baird, adding there should be a number of Village Hall meeting discussions about the project to ensure the community has a chance to be heard by council.

Council voted to defer consideration of the project until it has heard feedback from the community and BC Hydro’s guidelines are complete.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

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