Major changes are in store for the arts in Squamish, says Jan Durocher.
The Squamish Arts Council (SAC) has a new organizational structure and vision for arts within the community, the new SAC chairperson told Squamish council at its Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday (Nov. 27).
Last November, the council went through a strategy workshop. Recommendations included the addition of an arts council office in the SAC building at Pavilion Park in downtown Squamish. That would allow the gallery to be open during regular hours, Durocher said. It could also double as a ticket outlet for the community’s many events and provide office space for other arts-focused groups, she noted.
“We can help fill the void of these groups’ needs,” Durocher said.
SAC is creating a business plan for the building and needs to hammer out a lease with the district regarding the municipally owned facility, she said.
“There is no lease right now on the property,” Durocher said.
The “passionate” board is looking to grow the arts council. To that end, members plan to reach out to neighbouring arts councils, Durocher said. SAC hopes to join forces with the other groups on initiatives and add some cohesion to events, she said, noting North and West Vancouver have well established art councils from which SAC can draw ideas.
“We really want to connect with all the Sea to Sky arts councils, including Bowen Island and Sechelt,” she said.
Social media will be a key part of the art council’s outreach, SAC vice-chair Zoe Evamy said. The organization launched a new website on Wednesday (Nov. 28), which includes a cultural hotspot page. SAC members also plan to be active on Facebook, Evamy said.
“We now own squamishartscouncil.com, .ca and .org,” she said.
Durocher said she wants to get more organizations involved with SAC initiatives and let people know that the arts play a big role in many aspects of life.
“The biggest thing with arts groups is getting people to understand we are not just painters helping painters,” she said.