by David Venn | July 25, 2019 | from Kelowna Cap News

The City of Kelowna seeks to create a community that embraces and celebrates diversity, offers a variety of high-quality arts, culture and heritage and fosters innovation while attracting people to its workforce.

The 2020-25 draft of Kelowna’s Cultural Plan is now published and city planners are asking for residents’ feedback on its principles, key themes, goals and draft strategies to ensure community participation is part of the process.

“We’ve been asking the community all along,” Christine McWillis, cultural services manager for the City of Kelowna said. “This is all about what the community has said.”

The process, McWillis said, started a year ago and was created based off the views and feedback of Kelowna citizens that participate in the arts and culture sector. The plan was released on Friday, July 19.

The draft strategies are divided into five categories: strategic investments, spaces, vitality, capacity and connections.

Each topic has one to three goals that create the category’s structure and each goal revolves around ways to get the community more engaged in the arts and culture sector.

Some of these goals include how to increase funding opportunities, how Kelowna can spark interest in history of the Okanagan lands and honour the culture of Indigenous people and expand the role of youth in the creative sector.

“It gives the community a direction,” she said, noting it guides how the city invests in the arts, culture and heritage sector.

The brief survey is open until Aug. 5, and participants can enter to win a gift basket and theatre tickets to an upcoming show.

“We’ve been talking with a ton of people,” McWillis said. “A lot of people are very positive (about the plan).”

Kelowna’s first Cultural Plan (2012-17) was launched in 2012 to encourage and integrate local culture within all neighbourhoods of Kelowna.

As one of the important aspects of the city’s attractiveness, Kelowna “take(s) culture seriously and strive to weave it into all aspects of civic planning and life in Kelowna.”

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