Nanaimo Creative City Forum
A forum for arts and cultural organizations and their members to share information and ideas, ask questions and foster opportunities for collaboration and partnerships.
The City of Nanaimo is beginning the process to create a new Cultural Plan for Nanaimo. One of the first steps is to complete a cultural mapping project. We held a feedback session with arts and cultural groups on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 where we received some valuable suggestions and ideas. I have incuded a summary of the session here. Let us know what you think? We would appriciate any feedback you have about the cultural planning process.
Engaging the community and stakeholders in the coming months will help to make the cultural map and portal truly reflect who we are as a city and assist us with developing a new cultural plan for Nanaimo.
Cultural Mapping – What is It?
Cultural mapping is a tool to identify and map community cultural assets and resources. It helps us to identify strengths and weaknesses and generate new perspectives. It gives a visual picture of who we are as a city. It prepares the groundwork for a new cultural plan that will identify needs and opportunities for investing in future cultural development.
Some examples of cultural maps and mapping projects in Canada:
What is the Purpose of Cultural Mapping?
Helps to define our local cultural identity and demonstrate the breadth and variety of cultural activity in our community
Identifies all the cultural resources in the community including ones not commonly known. A comprehensive cultural resources inventory all in one place.
Increases access to information about cultural resources in the community
Helps to identify strengths and weaknesses. Locates gaps, needs and opportunities
Gives a visual representation of the distribution of cultural resources throughout the city.
Helps identify symbiotic opportunities for the city and cultural organizations, businesses etc.
The first step in the preparation of a new Cultural Plan.
Builds an information database of resources that can be included in a Cultural Portal on the City website
Helps to make the case(to staff and elected officials) for investing in future cultural development
Desired Objectives of the Cultural Mapping Project
The overriding objective is to gain a greater knowledge of what cultural resources are present in our community, where they are and where they are lacking.
Other questions that were discussed:
1. What do we need to know?
• Information about Nanaimo’s cultural resources and cultural identity and where they are located in the city.
• Where are the gaps? What are the needs/priorities for future cultural resource development?
2. Who needs to know?
• City staff and elected officials
• Arts/Cultural Organizations
• Tourism organizations / Accommodation Sector / Travel Planners
• Transportation sector
• Event Planners
• Churches and Faith Based organizations
• Nanaimo Economic Development Commission
• Students (schools and VIU)
• Businesses / Chamber of Commerce
• Realtors / VIREB
• All age groups (children, youth, adult, seniors)
3. Why are we creating a cultural map?
• To provide cultural resources information in one place that is easily accessible to all
• Cultural awareness- identify Nanaimo’s unique cultural identity
• Facilitates pride of place / community pride
• Increases historical awareness
• Audience development
• Assists city staff and elected officials in determining gaps, needs and priorities for future cultural development.
• Assists with building partnerships and collaboration
• Attracts artists and creative people to our community
• Attracts tourists and newcomers
• Engages citizens
• To stay competitive as city
• To grow culture
• Attract funders
• Attract conferences, conventions and events
• To discover trends
4. What are the desired outcomes of Nanaimo’s cultural mapping project?
• A comprehensive cultural resources inventory all in one place (no duplication)
• A user friendly data base that is accessible, interlinked and interconnected.
• A visual map that shows where all cultural resources are located and how to get there (linked to google maps)
• Locate cultural hubs
• Better cooperation / collaboration amongst the cultural community
• Identify gaps / needs that will facilitate the cultural planning process and identification of priorities to be included in the new Nanaimo Cultural Plan
• Enhanced community pride
5. What resources should be included in the inventory and cultural map? (not necessarily both)
• Cultural organizations (with links to their websites)
Music (eg. Jazz)
• Cultural Facilities / Venues
Theatres and performance spaces
Museums / archives
Schools / University
• Cultural Industries / Commercial Cultural Organizations
• Cultural Heritage
• Natural Heritage (eg. natural resources we choose to preserve for future generations)
Places of Interest
Community Gardens / Botanical Gardens
Beaches / waterfront
• Artists / Artisans
• Cultural Workers and support personnel (stage hands, lighting, sound etc.)
• Public Art
• Festivals / Events
• Culinary Arts / Food
• Community Identity / Human Heritage – The history, values, traditions and stories that define Nanaimo’s cultural uniqueness.
A cultural portal is an online cultural resources inventory that will be on the City of Nanaimo website. The information that is collected for the cultural mapping project will form the basis of what information will be included in the portal. All the entries will link back to the cultural map. The information on the portal will be basic so as not to duplicate, with links to websites where users can find more comprehensive information.
Although we did not have a lot of time to discuss the portal project, here are some comments and suggestions from the group at the feedback session:
• Important for the portal to be interconnected with links to websites
• Avoid duplication and repetition
• Ensure information is kept up to date. Users to have access to update their own info
• Market the portal to residents, visitors and the world
• Featured organizations and / or events- rotating (not paid ads)
• Technical support / help function
• Taxonomy that makes sense- easy to use / navigate
Last edited by Bob Kuhn; 05-25-2012 at 07:50 AM.
Bob, Sorry I couldn't attend the latest forum. I met yesterday with Gary Froese, the new Music Director of the Malaspina Choir, to make plans for a collaborative choral production for April, 2013 which will see about 160 singers on stage. We agreed that, apart from the Port Theatre - which lacks an organ and is expensive for community groups, there is no really suitable performing venue in town for such a venture. We also agreed that it is time to make a move to presenting choral music to this community in a more collaborative fashion and on a higher plateau in terms of quality and repertoire. Choral acitivity is on the upswing with the recent formation of Nanaimo Sings! and with the hosting of the Provincial B.C. Choral Federation "Chorfest" in May, 2013. Looking ahead, then, I think our choral community rates some consideration in planning for a performance venue appropriate for our needs.
Thanks to PRC for starting this forum. I hope it grows and encourages broader and better communication between all of us interested in Nanaimo's arts and culture. Looking forward to my inaugural Culture Committee meeting June 6.
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