City of Regina
Saskatchewan CA

OCS Public Report
OCS21-9

Cultural Plan Progress Report 2019-2020

Information

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

Attachments

  1. Printout
  2. Appendix A - Cultural-Plan
  3. Appendix B - Cultural Plan Report (Objectives) (This file has not yet been converted to a viewable format)

Report Body

ISSUE             

 

The purpose of this report is to provide an update on city-wide initiatives that support the implementation of the Regina Cultural Plan (Cultural Plan) undertaken since the last update to Committee in September 2019. Progress on the Cultural Plan is achieved through City policy and programs as well as the efforts of many local organizations, individual artists, cultural workers and volunteers, who work towards Cultural Plan goals: Embrace Cultural Diversity, Strengthen the Artistic and Cultural Community, and Commemorate and Celebrate the City’s Cultural Heritage.  

 

IMPACTS

 

Strategic Impacts

The Cultural Plan (Appendix A) supports achievement of City’s Vision Design Regina: The Official Community Plan 2013-48 (OCP), 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 continue to feed into the implementation of the Cultural Plan approved by Council in 2016.

 


Financial Impacts

The Culture Stream of the Community Investment Grant Program provides support to cultural organizations and programs that align with the Cultural Plan. In 2020 $1.22 million was distributed in Community Partner grants, $318,000 through Annual Activity and New Initiative grants. In 2020 City Council approved a capital program for public art of $150,000 annually. The project to refurbish the Globe Theatre, a major downtown cultural institution and heritage building, received a commitment of $6.6 million in funding over four years.

 

OTHER OPTIONS

 

There are no options relevant to this report.

 

COMMUNICATIONS

 

The Cultural Plan is available on Regina.ca and used by Administration when working with stakeholders to advance City initiatives and priorities. Administration continues to develop strategies that build awareness and promote City art and cultural initiatives. A regular newsletter, City and Culture, is distributed to subscribers and provides information about cultural initiatives led by the City and its partners.

 

Future updates to Council on the Cultural Plan will be provided to Council via a memo and updates on the Cultural Plan will be included on the website.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Defining the City’s Role

The Cultural Plan articulates a vision for cultural development and artistic excellence for all of Regina. Many agencies and individuals contribute to progress on the Cultural Plan and ultimately to the achievement of the plan’s goals. This report and the attached appendices describe highlights of both external agency initiatives and initiatives supported or delivered by the City.

 

Administration has 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 Direct Delivery. Cultural Planning involves working directly with community groups (a selection of which can be found in Appendix B) to deliver activities that play a critical role in achieving progress on the Cultural Plan.

 

Strategic Contributor and Investor

There are numerous City-led and supported initiatives that demonstrate the City’s progress toward implementing the Cultural Plan. Significant contributions and investments in heritage and community groups play a critical role in the City’s Cultural Plan implementation process.

 

Community Investment Grant Program (CIGP)

The Community Investment Grant Program (CIGP) Culture Stream provides both grants and enhanced partnerships between the City and cultural organizations that deliver on the Cultural Plan objectives. A selection of these are outlined in Appendix B of this report.

 

In 2020 $1.22 million was distributed in Community Partner grants and $318,000 through Annual Activity and New Initiative grants in the Culture Stream. Most organizations indicated the need to revise or cancel programs due to the pandemic.

 

Given the challenges of COVID-19, Administration has worked closely with funded groups to execute innovative ways to continue to deliver on the Cultural Plan objectives without completely discontinuing programming. Program expectations have been communicated from Cultural Development Unit and Community Investment Coordinator to funded groups, and programs will continue to be monitored until the pandemic is over. Examples of how organizations have pivoted during COVID-19 can be found in Appendix B.

 

Globe Theatre Redevelopment

The Cultural Plan indicates that support should be directed to performing arts spaces and that opportunities to establish new cultural venues be leveraged. Obtaining federal and provincial funding for the Globe Theatre’s redevelopment of the Prince Edward Building is a major event for Regina and a significant step for the City’s cultural planning process. It is the culmination of years of planning and discussions.

 

Construction is slated to begin in the new year, with major pieces of the development starting in the spring of 2021. The timeline for moving programs back into the building remains the fall of 2023. The City’s investment in the theatre’s redevelopment will total $6.6 million over four years. As the Prince Edward Building is also a designated heritage property and important downtown landmark, this investment also represents a significant contribution towards the conservation of a heritage resource.

 

The renovated theatre will feature an expanded mainstage seating area; state of the art, accessible 250-seat second stage venue available to other arts organizations; plus office, rehearsal and collaborative workspaces also available to the broader community. 

 

Policy & Regulation

A second critical role in the City’s Cultural Planning process involves creating supportive policies and regulations to support cultural sector activity. The Cultural Plan has directed the City to update and renew policy instruments in several areas, including cultural collections and the conservation of heritage properties.

 

Heritage Conservation Program

Administration has initiated a review of the Heritage Building Rehabilitation Program and other policies that support the heritage conservation objectives of the OCP and the Cultural Plan. In scope within the review are new processes to support evaluation and condition assessment and opportunities to expand incentives to be responsive to the conservation requirements of diverse properties. The results of this review will be brought back to Council in October of 2021.

 

As part of the Heritage Inventory implementation that was approved in 2019, 40 properties identified on the Heritage Inventory properties will be evaluated in 2021. Once evaluated, Administration will have the information required to support property owners in designation applications, or to understand where designation might be recommended even without the owner’s consent. Over the past year, Administration has seen an increase in the number of designation applications, with recent examples being the Cameron and Heap Wholesale Grocery Buildings.

 

Administration continues to strengthen relationships with organizations and individuals within the heritage sector locally and nationally, to build internal capacity and ensure that program decisions and analysis are aligned to leading practice.

 

Civic Art & Cultural Collections Policy (CACCP)

Since Council passed the Civic Art and Cultural Collections Policy (CACCP) in 2019, it has provided a much-needed framework for the care of the City’s 350-plus collection pieces. The CACCP has provided guidance to the initiation of a review of the legacy of John A Macdonald as represented by the statue in Victoria Park. Also under the direction of the CACCP, Administration has formed a Sector Reference Group (SRG) to provide guidance on collection renewal and management. The SRG will provide expert advice, specifically in identifying and prioritizing public art projects, maintenance, and the accessioning and deaccessioning of items. A report on the implementation of the CACCP is due to Committee at the end of 2021. 

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Direct Delivery

In addition to policy & regulation and strategic contributor and investor, the City also directly delivers critical components of the City’s Cultural Plan, namely by activating public spaces through placemaking, cultural celebrations and public art. The Cultural Plan further directs Administration to strategically support activities that support the activation of public spaces.

 

Glockenspiel Refurbishment and Installation

A major milestone for City programs over the past year has been the restoration of the City’s Glockenspiel on Pat Fiacco Square. A major component of the reinstallation process was forming a Glockenspiel Program Advisory Committee (GPAC), which engaged musical experts and stakeholders to aid Administration in musical selections process and provide technical support for the installation of the instrument.

 

In addition to the formation of GPAC, Administration contracted a local musician to execute specific and curated song arrangements that can be heard daily at 12 noon and 6 p.m., Monday to Friday, and 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturdays. Engagement with local musicians and key cultural stakeholders played a critical component in the successful activation of the Glockenspiel. Stakeholders such as the Regina German Club, Regina Multicultural Council, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, Heritage Regina and the Regina Downtown Business Improvement District have also played an invaluable role in the completion of the reinstallation. The City will host a Glockenspiel unveiling event in the spring of 2021 to commemorate the importance of this heritage instrument.

 

Civic Art Collection Management and Placemaking

In 2020 Council approved a capital program for public art projects and for the upkeep of the City’s Cultural Collections. Approval of the $150,000 annual Public Art budget plays a critical component in future public projects throughout the city, including upcoming projects in Regent Park and at Wascana Pool. 2020 projects included the restoration of Jack Sures’s Bandicoots!; the accessioning of Victor Cicansky’s Gazebo located at Grow Regina’s Community Gardens; and the displaying of Colonialism Skateboards’ Reconciliation Skateboards at mâmawêyatitân centre. Each public art project enriches its location and allows residents to connect with Regina’s unique heritage and local history. The CAC will continue to play a significant role in improving community awareness of the City’s rich cultural heritage and history.

 

City and Culture Newsletter

In support of the Cultural Plan objective of Improving Awareness and Access to the Arts and Cultural Resources, Administration launched City and Culture newsletter, a publication to share interesting and strategic cultural activities. Building on the positive response from edition one, City and Culture’s second issue (December 2020) highlighted local achievements from within the cultural sector with a primary focus on telling the story of program challenges during the pandemic. The newsletter can be found on Regina.ca and is distributed to over 90 arts organizations and stakeholders. 

 

2SLGBTQLA+ Young Teens Program

The Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre continues to provide high-level cultural programs for the residents of Regina. The Centre plays a critical role in delivering on Regina’s Cultural Plan's multiple objectives, including providing accessible and inclusive programs like 2SLGBTQLA+ Young Teens Program, which supports youth 12-15 who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, transitioning, non-binary, queer, Two-Spirit, Intersex or questioning.

 

Buffalo Peoples Arts Institute Gathering

As part of Administration’s initiative to build stronger cultural connections, the NBCAC hosted the Buffalo Peoples Arts Institute’s Treaty 4 Gathering via Facebook, which was broadcast live from the Centre’s courtyard under the new COVID-19 protocols. This virtual event brought community members, educators, homeschoolers, students and elders together to exchange knowledge about the traditional practice of Buffalo hide preparation. The workshop attracted widespread viewership from Treaty 4 Territory and provided a unique opportunity for the City to partner with an important Indigenous arts organization.

 

Defining Success: Cultural Plan Indicators

Administration continues to develop a measurement program to supplement progress reports with meaningful data from community grant and stakeholder input. Program indicators rely on feedback from Community Investment Grant Program (CIGP)-funded groups and data from external sources. A selection of these key programs and activities can be found in Appendix B, along with the corresponding Cultural Plan objectives. Based on the availability of data, the following objectives were selected as a focus for measurement.

a) Strengthening the Indigenous Community’s Cultural Presence in Regina

b) Supporting Artists and the Arts

c) Addressing the Cultural Needs of Newcomers

d) Building Community Through Partnerships and Collaboration

e) Demonstrating Leadership Through the Management of the Heritage Conservation Program

f) Conserving Cultural Heritage Resources

g) Ensuring New Development Contributes to Sense of Place

 

In the coming year Administration will work with funded organizations to begin collecting data through existing reporting mechanisms.

 

Municipal Benchmarking Network Results

The City’s participation in the Municipal Benchmarking Network (MBN) also provides insight into how the City compares to other jurisdictions with respect to investments made in the cultural sector through the CIGP. In 2019, Regina was consistent with the median for most cultural measures across the country dispersed through the culture grant stream. Due to consistent year over year funding levels in the Culture stream of the CIGP, Regina is showing a slight decrease in per capita funding levels. However the MBN data does not include one-time or capital funding initiatives outside of the grant program such as the $6.6 million commitment to Globe Theatre. Administration will continue to monitor this indicator and the pressure on the CIGP to understand the impact on fulfilling the goals of the Cultural Plan.

 

The Year Ahead

Administration’s focus will be directed towards numerous public projects and initiatives throughout 2021-22.

 

Public Art Expansion

The Branch is focused on many public and functional art projects to be initiated in 2021, including at the new Wascana Pool and the redeveloped Regent Park. Administration will present findings from the first phase of the review of the harmful legacy represented by the Sir John A. Macdonald statue in Victoria Park.

 

Cultural Spaces Analysis

In 2021 the Branch will initiate a Cultural Spaces Study and Demand Analysis to better understand Regina's physical cultural infrastructure and its impact on achieving the goals of the Cultural Plan. This initiative strongly aligns with the goal of Strengthening the Artistic and Cultural Community and the objectives of Building Community Through Partnerships and Collaboration, Improving Awareness and Access to the Arts and Cultural Resources and Supporting the Growth of Regina’s ‘Cultural Industries’.

 

Cultural Plan Challenges

 

COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on the cultural sector and has presented numerous challenges to the execution of Cultural Plan objectives, including limiting the scope and effectiveness of CIGP-funded groups to deliver their mandates. Organizations and individual artists have been required to cancel, postpone, adapt and pivot their programs and initiatives. Administration is in regular contact with CIGP-funded organizations that have experienced significant impacts to programs and revenues. Where possible, groups are encouraged to provide information on how they have adapted , including moving programming to virtual venues (for example, Cathedral Village Arts Festival 2020).

 

Regina residents are well-served by their arts organizations, artists and cultural workers, who exhibited sustained commitment and dedication to producing new works throughout the challenges of the pandemic. From virtual classes, events and installations to drive-in concerts and virtual sales, the sector has exemplified a spirit of innovation, adaptability, and creativity through this challenging period. Financial challenges and employment uncertainty, already a challenge in the sector, have been exacerbated. Many organizations are developing permanent online programs are developing new business models to try to address loss of ticket revenue.  Over the coming months Administration will continue to monitor the impacts of the pandemic and recovery efforts on the sector, in collaboration with other funders and partners.

 

DECISION HISTORY

 

Since its approval in 2016, the Regina Cultural Plan has provided a program and policy framework 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 result from many agencies and individuals working together towards the goals articulated in the Cultural Plan.

 

·         In 2016, Council endorsed the Regina Cultural Plan (Appendix A) in report CR16-56 and approved the motion for Administration to report back to Committee annually on the progress and implementation of the Plan.

·         In 2018, Community and Protective Services received report CPS18-13 which provided an annual update on the Regina Cultural Plan

·         In 2019, Community and Protective Services received report CPS19-14 which provided an annual update on the Regina Cultural Plan

·         In 2019, Council approved the recommendation in report CR19-110 adopting the Public Art and Cultural Collections Policy.

·         Administration also included a capital funding proposal for acquisition and maintenance of the City’s civic art and cultural collections within the 2020 budget process.

 

Respectfully submitted,              Respectfully submitted,

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