Updates from Culture & Events

City of Nanaimo // May 2021

Space for Community: Understanding the Real Estate Challenges Affecting the Social Purpose Sector in BC

Have you seen Space for Community: Understanding the Real Estate Challenges Affecting the Social Purpose Sector in BC? This new study gathers important information about how communities in BC are being impacted by changes in the real estate market, with a specific focus on the impacts to Social Purpose organizations, which includes Arts & Culture. The impacts of affordability and accessibility of space to the Arts & Culture community can be a determining factor in the sustainability of the sector.

Top challenges:

  • 62% of respondents cite lack affordable space
  • 52% cite land of funding for renovations, (re)development, acquisition of space or operating space
  • 93% report location is important—proximity to clients/audiences, to transit, to other affiliated agencies—it is not as simple as moving to cheaper digs
  • 80 % of artists and community/social services groups indicate cost, security, accessibility, amenities, amount of space, layout of space does not meet needs
  • 58% report need to move, up from 43% in the 2013 RENT LEASE OWN study


Top Solutions/Supports:

  • 53% point to increased supply of affordable spaces owned by not-for-profits, coops, foundations, land trusts and government
  • 47% to raising awareness of the value of the sector and facilities/spaces needed
  • 45% provide/increase facility operating grants; 41% provide/increase capital grants
  • 42% improve municipal land use polices through community supporting policies; easing development, business licensing, permitting fees, regulations and navigating city halls; changing the property tax context to an enabling environment, etc.
  • 75% of respondents either in shared space (35%) or interested (40%)


Opportunities are coming up to learn more about this subject. Check out the Social Purpose Real Estate Collaborative & Real Estate Institute of BC’s newly released Space for Community Final Report. This link will take you to the Social Purpose Real Estate Collaborative’s webpage which features not only the Final Report and Infographic, and other valuable information.

Want to go more in-depth? Join us for a series of Space for Community Webinars.

Wednesday, June 2 (12:00 – 1:00 pm)

Space for Community: Challenges & Opportunities for the Social Purpose Real Estate Sector with Jacquie Gijssen, Social Purpose Real Estate Collaborative and Jennifer Johnstone, Central City Foundation

Wednesday, June 9 (12:00 – 1:00 pm)

Community Serving Spaces: Addressing Displacement and Loss with Lesley Sherlock, City of Richmond and Ada Chan Russell, City of Vancouver

Wednesday, June 16 (12:00 – 1:00 pm)

Lessons & Approaches to Shared Space Development with China Brotsky, not-for-profit leader and co-author of “Shared Space and the New Nonprofit Workplace”


Find more info & register for a webinar

There's still time to apply! City seeks members for Art in Public Spaces Working Group

We're still inviting applications for an Art in Public Spaces Working Group. The newly formed Working Group will consist of five individuals who will be appointed by City Council to serve as knowledgeable volunteers for a two-year term, helping to advance the City’s public art program by offering strategic and technical expertise and championing the role of art and design. Applicants will be considered for their demonstrated knowledge and experience in the expanded field of public art and creative place-making.

To be eligible, applicants must reside or work in Nanaimo. Applications are sought from visual artists, arts administrators, educators, curators and art historians, architects, design professionals, landscape architects, and Indigenous knowledge keepers.

DEADLINE EXTENDED! Find all the details online. The deadline for applications is Monday, May 17, 2021.

View details & apply online

Celebrating the 2021 Culture & Heritage Award Honourees

In April, Mayor Krog was out & about personally delivering awards to our award honorees! Recognized by the City of Nanaimo for demonstrating vision, passion, creativity & leadership in their respective fields, we are proud to celebrate them as the 2021 Culture & Heritage award recipients. Chief Mike Wyse of Snuneymuxw First Nation also joined to honour Eliot, and Aunalee & Sophia of Ay Lelum.

In normal years, these honorees would be celebrated as part of a special ceremony at the Port Theatre. This year due to COVID, things have been done a bit differently, and with a personal touch! As part of a commitment to supporting local artists, potter Bronwyn Arundel was commissioned to design and produce special pots to gift to the recipients. Check out these video profiles that celebrate the achievements of each honore.

Ay Lelum–The Good House of Design has received the 2021 Excellence in Culture Award for their contributions to local, national and international fashion. Run by sisters Aunalee Boyd-Good and Sophia Seward Good, in collaboration with their family; mother Sandra Moorhouse Good, father William Good, and brother Joel Good, this Coast Salish design house is recognized as one of Canada’s leading Indigenous fashion companies. Committed to sustainability and ethical practices, while following cultural protocols, their ready-to-wear line is produced in Vancouver, and their couture garments are made by hand on Snuneymuxw territory. Since 2018, they have presented collections at Vancouver Fashion Week, across North America, and have had their couture pieces featured in Vogue Italia, as well as numerous other publications. Ay Lelum also records their own music in Hul’q’umi’num and English as a part of their artistic and storytelling process.

Christine Whitelaw is celebrated with a 2021 Honour in Culture Award to recognize her passionate volunteer contributions to arts and culture in Nanaimo over many years. She is a leader, a fundraiser and donor, active board member, committee member, and organizer. She has been involved with the Port Theatre, including in the efforts to raise funds for the construction of the building, as well as with the Vancouver Island Symphony, and the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music, serving in various capacities to bring music to our community and support the development of musicians.

Eliot White-Hill has been named 2021 Emerging Cultural Leader in recognition of his inspiring contributions as a published author, storyteller and artist. Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun, is a Coast Salish artist who comes from the White family of Snuneymuxw, the Rice family of Penelakut and with roots in the Nuu-chah-nulth world through the Hamilton family of Hupačasath. He is a graduate of Vancouver Island University, and also works as a Project Coordinator with the Petroglyph Development Group, the economic development arm of the Snuneymuxw Nation. White-Hill has recently worked on projects for Literacy Central Vancouver Island, Tourism Nanaimo, Nanaimo Art Gallery, City of Nanaimo and VIU. In 2020 his art was commissioned for Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond’s Report “In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in BC Health Care.

Marianne Turley is celebrated with a 2021 Honour in Culture Award in recognition of her volunteer contributions to arts and culture in Nanaimo over many years. Turley was a long-time champion of Vancouver Island Symphony as a donor, fundraiser, planner, board member, leader and advocate. Through the Annual Gala, the Symphony of Roses, the Symphony in the Harbour, Turley raised funds and the profile of the Symphony. She founded the Symphony’s Women of Note program and organized events and guest speakers to raise funds to allow students from SD68 to visit the Port Theatre to experience a live concert annually. Turley also served as the Chair of the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, and as a member of the City of Nanaimo’s Culture Committee.

Videos by Kelly Adam Video & Photography

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