Spreading the love: Art funds budgeted for new construction could be used around Whitehorse

More than $350,000 in public art budgeted for Whitehorse’s proposed new operations building won’t actually have to go inside the building if the city’s new arts policy is approved next week.

More than $350,000 in public art budgeted for Whitehorse’s proposed new operations building won’t actually have to go inside the building if the city’s new arts policy is approved next week.

Councillors got their first look at the proposed new policy at the March 6 council meeting. Last year city staff were asked to review the rules, which haven’t been updated since 2000, ahead of issuing the tender for the construction project.

Under the new policy, municipally-owned buildings and facilities that are “frequented by the general public” would continue to have one per cent of their construction costs set aside for art.

Linda Rapp, the city’s director of community and recreation services, confirmed after the meeting that includes the proposed new $47 million operations building.

In the case of the operations building an estimated $367,000 would be set aside for art. The new building would be part of the biggest construction project the city has ever tackled.

Construction costs exclude the price of site servicing, landscaping, furniture, fixtures and equipment and consulting costs.

The biggest difference in the updated policy is that not all of the money has to be spent on art inside or around the building in question.

While a portion of the cash could be used within the space “in addition, recommendations shall be made for the re-allocation of any remaining balances to projects on other publicly accessible spaces within the boundaries of the City of Whitehorse,” the new rules read.

The one per cent allocation is about on par with policies in other Canadian cities. But the idea of having to spend the whole amount on one building raised concerns among councillors ahead of the review.

The operations building will serve as a home for the city’s transportation, equipment maintenance, engineering, traffic, environmental sustainability, and water and waste services, as well as some human resources staff.

Exactly how the public art money will be spent will likely depend on recommendations from an ad hoc working group that will be created.

It is common for these groups, which include members of the arts community and the general public, to be created when the city is looking at buying art, Rapp told council. This is the first time they will be formally part of city policy.

The new committee will make recommendations for how that money should be spent, but the final decision will be up to city council.

It is difficult to get a sense for how council might vote on the proposed to policy. Very little discussion happened at the March 6 meeting. Three of the seven-member of council, including Coun. Dan Boyd, who proposed the policy review in the first place, were not at the meeting.

A vote is scheduled to take place next week.

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

YukonU president excited about institutions potential

Mike DeGagné took over as Yukon University president July 2

Getting back to the classroom

Plans outlined to return students to class in the fall

UPDATE: Police accused of using excessive force during Whitehorse arrest

Alberta Serious Incident Response Team to investitage allegations of excessive force by the RCMP

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for July 10, 2020

Whitehorse RCMP seek assistance to ID sexual assault suspect

Whitehorse RCMP are warning the public to be “extra vigilant” after receiving… Continue reading

RCMP investigating forcible confinement and sexual assault case

Whitehorse RCMP announced in a press release on July 8 that three… Continue reading

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Air North grounds Ottawa route for the season

Passengers will be given a 24-month travel credit

COMMENTARY: Yukon’s healthy land and forests are essential services

Joe Copper Jack & Katarzyna Nowak Special to the News As essential… Continue reading

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in schedule byelection for chief

The byelection to select the next Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in chief will happen on… Continue reading

Carcross/Tagish First Nation election recount called off

Carcross/Tagish First Nation’s plans to hold a vote recount in a tight… Continue reading

Today’s mailbox: COVID reopening

Letter to the editor published July 3

Most Read