City of Regina
Saskatchewan CA

CC Committee Report
CR19-110

Priorities and Planning Committee: Civic Art & Cultural Collections Policy

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Department:Office of the City Clerk- Council ReportsSponsors:
Category:Not ApplicableFunctions:PPC Committee Reports

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PRIORITIES AND PLANNING COMMITTEE – OCTOBER 23, 2019

 

The Committee adopted a resolution to concur in the recommendation contained in the report. Recommendation #5 does not require City Council approval.

 

Councillors:  Lori Bresciani, Sharron Bryce, John Findura, Jerry Flegel, Mayor Michael Fougere (Chair); Bob Hawkins, Jason Mancinelli, Joel Murray, Mike O'Donnell, Andrew Stevens and Barbara Young were present during consideration of this report by the Priorities and Planning Committee.

 

The Priorities and Planning Committee, at its meeting held on October 23, 2019, considered the following report from the Administration:

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

1.      That the Civic Art and Cultural Collections Policy provided in Appendix A of this report be approved.

2.      That the Municipal Arts Policy (1993) be repealed.

3.      That Bylaw 2002-39 the Heritage Building Material Review Advisory Committee Bylaw be repealed and the City Solicitor be instructed to prepare the necessary bylaw.

4.      That Administration be directed to include a capital funding proposal for acquisition and maintenance of the Citys civic art and cultural collections within the 2020 budget process.

5.      That this report be forwarded to the November 25, 2019 meeting of City Council for approval.

 

CONCLUSION

 

The proposed Civic Art and Cultural Collections Policy (Policy) responds to Regina’s Cultural Plan, which directs development of a contemporary policy for the Civic Art Collection, salvaged material, public art, murals, mosaics, banners, City of Regina (City) archives and other cultural heritage resources.

 

The new policy reflects leading practices for public collections, which are inclusive, make way for diverse voices and new interpretations, and challenge colonial narratives about art and art collection. In turn, these changes offer opportunities for diverse communities to engage as audiences, artists and makers, and to contribute to setting and realizing a vision for art and culture within their neighbourhoods and public spaces. The policy establishes expectations for stakeholder engagement, collection management standards and practices, evaluation of historical legacies, and renewal of the collection and improvement of the public realm through sustainable ongoing investment. Alongside the policy, Administration is recommending consideration of an annual capital program of $150,000 within the 2020 budget, to allow for a minimum standard of maintenance and renewal of the collection.

 

BACKGROUND

 

Reginas Cultural Plan was approved in 2016 and sets a bold vision for cultural development in Regina over a 10-year period through achievement of three goals: Embrace Cultural Diversity; Strengthen the Artistic and Cultural Community; and, Commemorate and Celebrate Reginas Cultural Heritage. The Cultural Plan directs the development of a Cultural Collections policy to replace the outdated Municipal Arts Policy (MAP) which has been in place since 1993, as well as to conserve articles of cultural heritage including heritage building materials. A contemporary collections policy as outlined in the Cultural Plan addresses all three Cultural Plan goals, as it prioritizes diversity and inclusion in collection principles, ensures the work of local artists is collected and maintained for future generations, and identifies opportunities for the conservation of cultural heritage.

 

Background information is provided below on some key focus areas of the policy.

 

Civic Art Collection

The City owns approximately 350 pieces of art, including paintings, public art and sculpture, intended for display in public spaces and collectively named the Civic Art Collection. As a public collector, the City is ethically obligated to collect and maintain on behalf of residents with a focus on collecting work by local artists and representing themes that reflect the Regina community and its history. The Civic Art Collection has a small operating budget for regular maintenance, which was increased in 2018 from $4,000 to $8,000 annually.

 

Municipal Arts Policy (MAP)

The MAP sets the City’s mandate and program for art and public art and was approved by Council in 1993. The MAP outlined processes for support of the arts in Regina, with advice and much decision-making resting with the Regina Arts Commission. Also called the Arts Advisory Committee, the Regina Arts Commission served as grant adjudicators and an advisory committee to Council. It was suspended in 2014 and officially dissolved in 2018. In the intervening period, Administration has convened an adjudication committee, with multidisciplinary representation from the arts and culture sector, on an annual basis to provide recommendations on Culture Stream funding within the Community Investment Grant Program. Other expert and stakeholder engagement, such as for public art in Confederation Park, the Glockenspiel Restoration project and the Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre, has been conducted on a project-specific basis.

 

The MAP also outlined expectations for regular investment in maintenance and acquisitions for the Civic Art Collection. The investment level identified in the MAP is one per cent of the total capital budgets of eligible projects such as the construction of new buildings, new parks, or new public places, and the major renovation or restoration of existing buildings, parks or public places.

 

The investment target described in the MAP is subjective and difficult to administer within the Citys financial planning process, and for many years capital investment in the collections has occurred on a project-specific basis.

 

Public Art Projects

Some recent investments in public art include:

·         In 2018, Council approved up to $350,000 for the restoration of the Glockenspiel. This decision arose from calls from the community to replace the Glockenspiel after it was removed in 2010 to allow for construction of City Square Plaza. The City engaged with stakeholders and consulted with technical experts in order to develop options for restoration for Councils consideration. The deliberations over the Glockenspiel restoration reinforced the need for a renewed Collections policy that would guide decisions on care and maintenance of unique pieces of cultural heritage.

 

·         Within the renewal of Confederation Park in 2016 and 2017, $230,000 was allocated for public art. In this project artists Jory Cachene and Bruno Hernani worked with high school students to create large art panels representing the missing voices of Confederation. Artist Larissa Kitchimonia was commissioned to create additional panels that include her reflections on traditional beadwork designs.

 

·         In 2015 artist Carly Jaye Smith created art panels commemorating the life of Mary Bonnie Baker for installation at Central Park, at a cost of $2,000.

 

·         Regina Gateway was installed in 2011 at a cost of $150,000 at the corner of Lewvan Drive and Regina Avenue. The artists are Jhyling Lee and Paul Raff.

 

·         Regina Lace was completed in 2009 by Stephen Braithwaite at a total cost of $250,000. It stands in Queen Elizabeth II Square in front of City Hall.

 

Bylaw No. 2002-39: The Heritage Building Material Review Advisory Committee Bylaw

Approved in 2002 and amended in 2011 and 2016, the Heritage Building Material Review Advisory Committee Bylaw was intended to promote conservation of heritage building materials from structures proposed for demolition, in order to allow for their reuse in other projects in the public domain. The bylaw sets out a process that includes establishing an advisory committee to make recommendations on salvage and reuse to the City Manager.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Policy Scope

The new policy provides a contemporary framework for the governance and day to day management of the Civic Art Collection and items of cultural heritage. It sets out high level requirements for care and management of the Citys collections that align with leading practice and provides guidance for engagement of sector expertise and stakeholders in an advisory capacity.

 

The Cultural Plan broadens the scope of collections beyond the Civic Art Collection to include salvage materials, referred to in this report and the Policy as heritage building materials. Heritage building materials are materials from civic buildings, usually reflective of significant architectural themes, styles, and heritage features, that may be considered for salvage and preservation during the demolition process. Bylaw No. 2002-39 currently governs the salvage process but the process has been difficult to administer and sets out more oversight than is necessary to divert materials from the landfill. The Policy addresses heritage building materials within the section Other Cultural Collections and allows Administration to both preserve items and to authorize reuse by the City or another entity.

 

Jurisdictional Review

Jurisdictional review was undertaken, focusing on Saskatoon, Calgary, Victoria, Winnipeg, Burlington, Kingston and Ottawa. The Provincial Capital Commissions public art mandate was also reviewed, specifically in regard to public art within Wascana Park. A summary of findings is attached as Appendix B. Jurisdictional review was focused in the key areas where Administration identified opportunities to adopt leading practices in response to the Cultural Plan and trends within the sector, as follows:


Stakeholder Engagement and Input from the Cultural Sector

All comparison cities had a formalized process for input from the sector, most often a standing committee reporting to Administration or Council and with varying degrees of decision-making authority.

 

The Policy proposes a sector reference group to provide expert advice to Administration on issues that arise through the policy, and project-specific stakeholder engagement for major changes to the collection, such as when new art is installed or existing art is altered, and when evaluating legacy sculpture. In alignment with the Citys Public Engagement Framework, Administration will determine when or if engagement is required and with whom. This approach is aligned with direction within the Cultural Plan and expectations that have previously been set with community on projects like the Glockenspiel restoration.

 

Investment, Renewal and Maintenance

The comparison cities have active programs of varying sizes for investment in public art. Staff were also able to review the results of an information sharing exercise coordinated by the Creative Cities Network, where an additional five municipalities provided the level of their annual investment in public art and how those contributions were structured within their budgets.

 

Most municipalities use a reserve structure to be able to save over several budget cycles for major projects (both maintenance and new commissions or purchases). Many also collect contributions from developers and other partners. Some have an explicit target for investment, such as one per cent of the overall capital budget or one per cent of eligible projects. Annual contributions vary from a low end of $35,000 annually at the City of Brantford to multi-million dollar allocations until recently at the City of Calgary.

 

Administration proposes that Council consider establishing a capital program of $150,000 annually through the budget process, beginning in 2020. Investments can be modest and still provide some certainty and the ability to plan for larger acquisition and commission projects, major repairs, and opportunities to participate in projects that require matching funds. Options for projects and approximate order of magnitude are described in Appendix C.

 

Lifecycle Approach

Stewardship of the Civic Art Collection requires that the collection be both renewed and maintained in a manner that is financially sustainable for the City over the long term. In recent years more public collections are adopting a lifecycle approach to monitoring and maintenance of public art assets. This approach acknowledges that collections cannot maintain every item in perpetuity, and that major restoration projects are often at the expense of renewing the collection through accessioning new works.

 

The Policy includes steps within the accession process to set, in consultation with the artist or donor, an expected life span for the piece. This “date of conclusion” is not a firm date for deaccessioning, but rather sets expectations for staff and community members to anticipate a point when a review of safety and risk, relevancy, age, and condition will be initiated. The concept of lifecycle will also begin to be applied to items in the collection whose accession predates this policy, on a case by case basis as needed.

 

Indigenous Representation and Participation

Most western comparison cities include statements in their policies related to inclusion and reflection of Indigenous culture and voices within collections. The Citys Policy is driven by strong direction within the Cultural Plan. Within the Policy purpose are several statements reflecting the importance of Indigenous representation in the collection:

 

-          Increase visibility and opportunity for First Nations and Métis culture and history in public art.

-          Continued and expanded support for local Indigenous artists and truth telling through art and ways of remembering, as an opportunity to promote dialogue and acknowledgement of shared histories.

-          Ensure investments acknowledge the whole story of Regina.

 

These statements are supported by direction throughout the Policy, including direction to target under-represented voices, provide visibility for First Nation and tis culture, history and perspectives, and support for spiritual practices and cultural access to items within the collection.

 

The Policy also addresses the collection of ethnographic materials, with a clear statement that the City is not a collector of ethnographic materials. The City supports the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls for cultural access to these materials when held by other collections, and wherever necessary will encourage partner organizations to initiate and support repatriation processes.

 

Evaluation of Harmful Legacies

Several Canadian cities have begun to wrestle with art and monuments that represent harmful legacies, specifically in furtherance of Reconciliation efforts. The Citys role as a public collector is to be receptive and responsive when items in the collection are identified as representing harm to Indigenous people or other cultural or marginalized communities.

 

Through the Policy the City commits to undertaking review when items within the collection are found to represent harmful legacies and when requested by Regina residents and cultural communities. Using the Policy to guide engagement, a process would include both the sector reference group and specific stakeholder engagement with members of the cultural communities impacted by the legacy. The Policy provides options to respond to the legacy, including adding context and response, which could include counter-monuments or other response pieces, re-interpretation in order to tell a more complete story about the legacy, replacement of the article, or removal. Through the Policy, the review and response to harmful legacies becomes an opportunity to increase understanding and visibility of Reginas diverse histories.

 

RECOMMENDATION IMPLICATIONS

 

Financial Implications

 

Full implementation of the Policy requires regular and ongoing investment. Administration is proposing a capital program of $150,000 annually for consideration in the 2020 budget. Through a capital program Administration has the flexibility to plan over several years for major repairs and commissions. An annual report on use of the funds will be provided to the Community and Protective Services Committee as part of the report on progress on the Cultural Plan.

 

Environmental Implications

 

None with respect to this report.

 

Policy and/or Strategic Implications

 

The proposed Policy is strongly aligned with Regina’s Cultural Plan, which calls for development of a contemporary policy for the Civic Art Collection, salvaged material, public art, murals, mosaics, banners, City archives and other cultural heritage resources. The scope of the new policy includes all art and cultural materials within the Civic Art Collection intended for display both indoors and in outdoor public spaces. It also includes direction for the salvage and reuse of heritage building materials. City of Regina Archives are managed through separate policy tools.

 

Other Implications

 

None with respect to this report.

 

Accessibility Implications

 

None with respect to this report.

 

COMMUNICATIONS

 

This policy responds directly to priorities heard through public engagement in the development


of the Cultural Plan. It establishes a foundation for expert and stakeholder engagement for the future on issues related to the policy.

 

DELEGATED AUTHORITY

 

The recommendations contained within this report require City Council approval.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

PRIORITIES AND PLANNING COMMITTEE

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