City aims to map cultural aspects of Nanaimo

Inventory of cultural centres and artists planned for Nanaimo

An inventory of Nanaimo’s artistic venues and talent will allow people to see the vast resources the city offers.

The City of Nanaimo’s Parks, Recreation and Culture department wants to identify cultural assets and resources, putting them into a searchable database.

“All the information will be accessible to the public,” said Bob Kuhn, manager of recreation and culture services.

Cultural resources include: faclities and venues, like the Port Theatre and Nanaimo Centre Stage;

Festivals and events, like Marine Festival and the Bathtub races;

Heritage, like the Nanaimo Museum and community archives;

Natural culture, like botannical gardens or parks such as Swy-a-lana lagoon;

Artists, including performers in dance, theatre and music, plus visual artists. Artists will also have access to the database to update their own information as it changes.

Kuhn said they are also considering including technical crew, like sound and light operators, as well as stories. The latter involves a significant amount of work and might not be feasible, he said.

Once the information is gathered, it will be plotted on a map to see where the arts are concentrated as well as areas under-served for programs and facilities.

“We’re working with our IT department to map those resources,” Kuhn said.

Each entry will have contact information, so people who come across groups like Nanaimo Theatre Group will be able to contact the organization directly.

Not only will residents be able to search the map, but so will visiting production companies, which will be able to see the talent and resources available before arriving.

A contractor will gather the raw data on the arts from now until about September, at which time city staff will start meeting with stakeholders to create a new cultural plan for the city. Artists, producers and more can help the project by submitting their own information for inclusion in the database.

The survey is available online at www.survey

monkey.com/s/KL3HYL9. For information, please visit www.nanaimo.ca.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com