The Whistler Arts Council is looking for input into its community cultural plan and has posted an online survey as part of that effort.
WAC executive director Doti Niedermayer said a community cultural plan was originally identified in the Whistler 2020 plan and by the arts, cultural and heritage task force.
“The cultural community has wanted it for a long time, but only now have we received funding and go ahead to undertake it,” Niedermayer said. “The purpose of the plan is to identify the environment, bylaws, policies, facilities and resources that we need to create to ensure Whistler has a vibrant and healthy cultural community.”
She said the plan will apply to all segments of the arts and culture community and those audiences who consume culture as well.
“Really a cultural plan is to identify the vision and what are the goals we have as a community for arts and culture and what is working right now,” she said.
Niedermayer said the cultural plan, in addition to identifying a vision, will also set out an action plan to achieve that vision.
“Absolutely everyone who is managing the plan is definitely focused on specific tactics objectives and outcomes,” she said, adding PERC Consultants has been hired to develop the plan.
Currently online is a community survey for residents to fill out. Niedermayer said the survey is fast and simple and she encouraged everybody to take it in order to help the plan identify community goals and needs.
In addition to the survey consultants will be holding targeted focus groups with different segments of the arts and culture community for their feedback, followed by a public open house in January.
The cultural community plan recognizes and is part of efforts to develop cultural tourism.
“It is really important for Whistler because we are a tourist economy and cultural tourism is an sector,” she said. “Cultural tourism is a huge driver for travellers around the world. They travel to cultural destinations and as a tourist destination we have to be aware of the fact we need a vibrant cultural community and also to be a healthy community.
“For Whistler, we are so well established in sports and recreation side of things, really now is time to start focusing on arts and cultural side.”
The survey and focus groups will help WAC have community conversations that can drive development of the plan.