Cultural process debated

Cultural plans are generating concerns in Coldstream

Cultural plans are generating concerns in Coldstream.

The district had community development co-ordinator Tannis Nelson, with the Regional District of North Okanagan, share details with council Monday.

“It’s an extensive undertaking that the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee has been working our way through,” said Nelson.

Currently, publicly funded facilities include the Performing Arts Centre, Greater Vernon Museum and Archives, Vernon Public Art Gallery and Vernon Arts Centre.

But the plan is to move away from programming and focus on the buildings.

“We are more interested in providing facilities,” said Nelson.

Five-year agreements are being looked at with an envelope of funds set aside each year for the various organizations to apply for.

“So the arts centre, if you need a new boiler, you can apply for it and that will be weighed against new tile in the bathroom at the museum,” said Nelson as an example.

It is a slightly different approach that moves RDNO away from being responsible for everything.

Currently, in the case of the art gallery, RDNO leases the space for the purposes of an art gallery but Vernon owns the space. Therefore recent leaks are the responsibility of Vernon.

“As the landlord, they step in and take care of it,” said Coldstream Mayor Jim Garlick.

But it is the addition of facilities and/or organizations that has some concerned. And the process more than anything.

Coun. Doug Dirk has been around long enough to recall the problems that would arise during the old model. Which is why he maintains the importance of the current process where unanimous consent is gained from all members.

That includes the possible addition of the Okanagan Science Centre and the building under the cultural plan.

“There needs to be a decision made about who is in and who is out,” said Dirk.

“What happens now if the gymnastics club or any other club comes along?”

Dirk says he doesn’t have a problem with adding anything, as long as it goes through the proper process. He also points out that some of the services currently looked after by RDNO are under-funded.

Coldstream agreed to support maintaining the service levels as they currently sit, without any additions for now.

“The idea is that moving forward we may not be adding organizations at all but rather buildings,” said Nelson.