By Hannah King
The city is in the process of compiling a cultural resources inventory and producing a cultural map for Nanaimo to be completed this fall.
Cultural mapping is a tool communities across Canada are using to identify community cultural assets and resources on a visual map of a city. It assists in identifying strengths and weaknesses and generate new perspectives.
Mapping is the first step in developing a new plan for Nanaimo which identifies needs and opportunities for investing in future cultural development.
The city is meeting with stakeholders and the public this fall to gather feedback regarding the development of a new cultural plan.
Arts and culture is a powerful catalyst for revitalizing our downtown. Nanaimo’s ‘arts district’ has a high concentration of cultural facilities such as the Port Theatre, art galleries, public plazas, museums, archives, the library and the conference centre. It also has artist studios, public art, cultural organizations and creative cultural industries.
The new cultural plan includes strategies to build on our successes to date through economic prosperity, social equity, cultural vitality and developing community pride of place.
Cultural mapping helps define local culture and demonstrates the breadth and variety of cultural activity in our community. The inventory includes all cultural assets and resources including those not commonly known.
The map shows the distribution of those cultural resources throughout the city and helps identify where the needs, gaps and opportunities are.
The city is also planning to use the cultural inventory database to develop an online cultural portal where all the information can be accessed online.
Users can search by category or keyword to find what they are looking for. It is an invaluable tool for people looking for cultural organizations, facilities, events or festivals, creative industries, history and heritage and local performing or literary artists.
To be included on the map and in the cultural portal, please fill out the online survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/KL3HYL9.
For more information, please contact Bob Kuhn, manager of recreation and culture services at 250-760-1139.
Hannah King is a marketing and communication specialist with Nanaimo parks, recreation and culture.