Cultural plan collects opposition from directors

Greater Vernon’s focus on culture is generating some high-profile opposition.

Directors Mary-Jo O’Keefe and Catherine Lord voted against the Greater Vernon cultural plan terms of reference when it came before the Regional District of North Okanagan board Wednesday.

“We did a cultural plan in 2006 (it went unadopted) and it was quite ranging in its implications and I don’t think much has changed and this is not a good use of funds,” said O’Keefe, adding that the new process will delay a decision on constructing new facilities for the museum and the public art gallery.

“Doing another $100,000 plan won’t help us address those issues.”

Lord’s concerns revolve around the steering committee being involved to lead development of the master plan.

“I have a problem with the size of the committee (31 people),” said Lord, who believes the discussion  could become dominated by the specific needs of the organizations represented.

“We’re setting up expectations in the groups included.”

However, a majority of the Greater Vernon directors endorsed the cultural plan concept.

Director Juliette Cunningham says the process is necessary and there is more than the gallery and museum to consider.

“There are other factions in the community involved in the arts that wonder where they fit in,” she said.

“We have a growing and dynamic arts community and they need to be included in the vision. There may be no buy-in from the community because they don’t feel they have a voice.”

Director Mike Macnabb questions the relevancy of the 2006 cultural plan in what is occurring now.

“Forecasting from eight years ago is not forecasting,” he said.

“There are many reasons why the earlier plan failed so let’s move forward.”


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