EDITORIAL: Cultural plan a good start

Committee members don’t hide the fact that the plan could finally pave the way for a new art gallery and museum to be addressed

There’s a new long-term cultural plan for Greater Vernon and that appears to be good news for some cultural amenities.

In fact, Greater Vernon Advisory Committee members don’t hide the fact that the plan could finally pave the way for a new art gallery and museum to be addressed.

“They will be front and centre in the implementation of the plan. They can’t be ignored,” said director Bob Fleming.

And that is fair comment given that the current art gallery and museum buildings are inadequate and put the public’s cultural assets at risk. There is also the reality that both organizations have been ignored for years as other initiatives, such as a new track and field, have progressed.

However, the new cultural plan should not be misconstrued as a blank cheque when it comes to taxpayers’ dollars.

As part of the cultural plan, there is criteria-based decision-making process for services. One would hope that means what is being proposed will be reviewed carefully before going to the public.

Does it make sense to construct a stand-along art gallery across from Cenotaph Park and expand the existing museum, or could efficiencies be gained by constructing a facility that contains both the museum and gallery? Should locations, such as the city-owned Coldstream Hotel parking lot, be reconsidered?

Obviously, the development of a long-term cultural plan is good news and hopefully means the community will be allowed to thrive through such activities.

But the plan also identifies a process to ensure public interests, including financial, are front and centre.