City of Regina
Saskatchewan CA

CPS Public Report

Regina's Culture Plan Progress Update


Department:Parks, Recreation & Cultural ServicesSponsors:
Category:Not Applicable


  1. Printout
  2. Appendix A - Part I Cultural-Plan
  3. Appendix A - Part II - Cultural-Plan-Appendices
  4. Appendix B (This file has not yet been converted to a viewable format)

Report Body



Since its approval in 2016, the Regina Cultural Plan (the Cultural Plan) has provided guidance for program and policy development and for decision makers on issues related to the arts, culture, heritage and public spaces. It also provides a lens to view activity within the broader cultural sector, demonstrating how Regina’s artistic strength and cultural diversity is a result of many agencies and individuals working towards the goals articulated in the Cultural Plan.


The purpose of this report is to provide an update on initiatives that support the implementation of the Cultural Plan, undertaken since the last update in mid-2018.




The Cultural Plan (Appendix A) supports achievement of the City of Regina’s (City) Vision to be “Canada’s most vibrant, inclusive, attractive, sustainable community where people live in harmony and thrive in opportunity” and the Official Community Plan (OCP) Design Regina: specifically the chapters on Culture, Inclusion and Accessibility. Three goals are set out for achievement over a ten-year horizon: Embrace Cultural Diversity; Strengthen the Artistic and Cultural Community; and, Commemorate and Celebrate the City’s Cultural Heritage. Extensive research, current state assessment, community engagement, and application of leading practice in cultural planning fed into the creation of the Cultural Plan. It was approved by Council in 2016.




Defining the City’s Role


The Cultural Plan articulates a vision for cultural development and artistic excellence for all of Regina. There are many agencies and individuals contributing to progress on the Cultural Plan and ultimately to successful achievement of the goals. This report and the appendix will describe highlights of both external agency initiatives and initiatives that are supported in some way by the City. Administration continues to work to define indicators for success and a measurement program that will supplement these progress reports with qualitative data. This work is taking place throughout 2019 and implementation is anticipated to begin in 2020.


In the first report to Committee on progress on the Cultural Plan, CPS18-13, Administration defined three ways in which the City contributes to cultural development in Regina and specifically to progress on the Cultural Plan: Strategic Contributor; Creator of supportive policy and regulatory environment; and Direct Delivery.


Strategic Contributor Highlights


The City administers one-time contributions as well as grants, incentives and contributions of in-kind services to community organizations.Community Investment Grant Program


The Community Investment Grant Program (CIGP) Culture Stream provides both grants and enhanced partnerships between the City and cultural organizations. In 2019, $1.2 million was distributed in Community Partner grants and $330,000 through Annual Activity and New Initiative grants. Over $100,000 was distributed in Special Events grants for proposals that align with the Cultural Plan.  Within the list of funded organizations and programs are many that directly support objectives in the Cultural Plan. A selection of these is outlined in Appendix B.


In 2018, results from the City’s participation in the Municipal Benchmarking Network (MBN), specific to cultural grants, were available for the first time. Results show that in 2017 the City provided a level of arts festival grants equal to the median for MBN municipalities. Meanwhile, Regina is home to cultural organizations and enterprises of the highest quality, that provide tens of thousands of residents and visitors with cultural experiences that enhance quality of life and social cohesion. That this level of excellence is leveraged by a level of City funding considered average for MBN municipalities, is a testament to the strength and resiliency of Regina’s cultural sector.


Community Non-Profit Tax Exemption Policy


In 2018, Council approved a Community Non-Profit Tax Exemption Policy which sets parameters under which the City will consider applications for property tax exemptions from non-profit organizations. While some cultural organizations have had tax exemptions approved by Council in the past, the policy provides consistent criteria for review and rationale for the exemptions.


The importance of the cultural sector is documented in the new policy, specifically in the criteria which speaks to culture, arts and heritage organizations in purpose-built or retrofitted facilities, and/or positioned strategically within the city to enhance activation of institutional, recreation and economic hubs. The policy is designed to align with the Cultural Plan specifically in supporting access to cultural resources, and broad support for artists and the arts.


Globe Theatre Redevelopment


The Cultural Plan directs that support should be provided for performing arts spaces and that opportunities to establish new cultural venues be leveraged. The approval of federal and provincial funding for the Globe Theatre’s redevelopment of the Prince Edward Building is a major event for Regina, the culmination of years of planning and discussions. The renovated theatre will feature an expanded mainstage seating area; a state of the art, accessible 250 seat second stage venue available to other arts organizations; and office, rehearsal and collaborative workspaces also available to the broader community.


Policy & Regulation:


A second critical role for the City in cultural development is to create supportive policies and regulations where cultural activity can continue to thrive. The Cultural Plan directs the City to update and renew policy instruments in several areas, including cultural collections and the conservation of heritage properties. Significant progress was made in advancing policy in these two areas in 2018 and 2019.


Heritage Conservation Program


The City’s Heritage Conservation Program was updated in early 2019 with the repeal of the Heritage Holding Bylaw and adoption of a Heritage Inventory Policy and five-year workplan. This change brings the City into stronger alignment with national leading practice in the conservation, identification and evaluation of heritage properties. It also establishes tools that will be used to update the inventory and ensure the conservation of heritage properties for present and future generations.


Civic Art & Cultural Collections Policy


Council will review a new Civic Art and Cultural Collections Policy (CACCP) in Q4 of 2019 to replace the Municipal Arts Policy (1993). The CACCP articulates standards for management of the collection that are aligned with contemporary leading practice and broadens the definition of the City’s collection mandate beyond physical pieces. The CACCP also directs regular engagement with artists and cultural workers and other stakeholders so that decisions about the City’s collections are well-informed and transparent. If approved, implementation of the new policy fulfills the Cultural Plan direction to support artists and the arts through development of a cultural collections policy. 


Community Street Paint Program


On a smaller scale, Council’s approval of the Community Street Paint Program and decision to absorb costs for in kind City services, ensures that community organizations have ample opportunity to participate in small-scale placemaking events around the city. Examples to date include the École Harbour Landing Pride crosswalk, Regina Pride’s crosswalks along the 2019 parade route, and the Warehouse BIDs project on 8th Avenue and Hamilton Street. These initiatives contribute to a shared sense of public space and civic identity and help to enrich public life in their respective neighbourhoods.


Direct Delivery


The City manages the Civic Arts Collection including repair and maintenance of numerous public art pieces, and initiates new projects as resources allow. The City also operates the Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre (NBCAC) and a small annual artist in residence program.


Civic Art Collection Management


In 2018, four artworks from the Civic Art Collection were placed on long-term display at mâmâwêyatitan centre in agreement with the mâmâwêyatitan Art Committee. The selection focused on Indigenous artists within the collection: a Joe Fafard was placed in the Board Room, an Edward Poitras near the entrance to the woodworking shop, a work by Larissa Kitchemonia at the top of the main staircase in the centre, and a Bob Boyer in the dance studio. These installations improve access to the collection by new audiences (Scott High School students and North Central residents) and helps to raise the profile of the collection.


Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre Renovations


A project to repair underground infrastructure at the NBCAC has provided opportunity to make improvements to the interior of the building, including upgrading finishes and renovations so function could be improved. Stakeholders, including artists and programmers, were engaged in early 2018 to share information about the renovations, identify community expectations and opportunities, and help the project team to understanding how renovations will affect regular programming. The renovations are expected to be complete in the fall of 2019 and have transformed the front entrance, courtyard, and rear studio into flexible spaces that can accommodate a variety of programming and events. As part of the renovation, the Civic Art Collection storage and workshop space will be relocated to the NBCAC. This move allows more opportunity for artists and the public to interact with the collection directly, and provides a permanent, purpose-built workspace for Collection staff.


2019 Artist in Residence


Underway at time of writing, the City’s 2019 Artist in Residence program will work closely with Sâkêwêwak Indigenous Artists’ Collective to develop a painted tipi liner. The project will include key community partnerships, opportunity for local artists, community engagement, and the creation of a tipi liner that will be accessioned into the Civic Art Collection. The liner will accompany the eighteen-foot City of Regina tipi when set up in the community and at events, to increase cultural impacts and community learning opportunities.


The Year Ahead


Cultural Development and Heritage staff will be focused on the implementation of the CACCP and the Heritage Inventory Policy in late 2019 and 2020. Work is ongoing to develop and refine indicators to better document progress made on the Cultural Plan, with the intention of having a framework in place for the next update to this Committee. 




Financial Implications


To date, most City actions to achieve the Cultural Plan have taken place within a funding envelope consistent with what existed prior to 2016. This is true for both general operations and the Culture Stream of the Community Investment Grant Program. The exceptions have been special projects like the Glockenspiel Restoration and the Heritage Conservation Program update which have received budget allocations.


Environmental Implications


None with respect to this report


Policy and/or Strategic Implications


The Cultural Plan is a City master plan intended to guide decisions and investments over a 10-year period. The Cultural Plan provides a strategy for approaching the arts, heritage, diversity, and other aspects of culture in a manner that supports achievement of the OCP and ultimately Regina’s vision to be Canada’s most vibrant, inclusive, sustainable, attractive community where people live in harmony and thrive in opportunity.


Other Implications


None with respect to this report.


Accessibility Implications


The accessibility of cultural experiences is a priority within the Cultural Plan. Physical and financial accessibility is considered in the grant evaluation process within CIGP, and Administration continues to work to reduce or eliminate barriers to our direct programming, and with the events hosted by community partners.




The Cultural Plan is available on and used by Administration when working with stakeholders to advance City initiatives and priorities. Work continues to develop strategies that build awareness and promote City art and cultural initiatives.




The recommendations contained within this report are within the delegated authority of Community & Protective Services Committee.



Respectfully Submitted,              Respectfully Submitted,


Emmaline Hill, Acting Director              Laurie Shalley, Acting Executive Director

Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services               City Planning & Community Development


Report prepared by:

{ResUserUser1:First Last, Title}