Port Coquitlam art plan gets approved

The mural above was painted at the new highrise located next to Lions Park in Port Coquitlam. - TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO
The mural above was painted at the new highrise located next to Lions Park in Port Coquitlam.
— image credit: TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO

A public art policy that will encourage creativity and artistic elements when the city of Port Coquitlam makes development decisions was approved Monday by council.

With the approval, city staff can move forward with a vision statement and guiding principles for the selection and creation of public art in the municipality.

"We will certainly see the benefits of this in the future," Coun. Michael Wright said during Monday's meeting. "It will put Port Moody on notice that the city of the arts is moving further east."

Larry Wheeler, the city's acting director of parks and recreation, told The Tri-City News earlier this month the policy formalizes the city's decision-making process around choosing and paying for public art.

Whether the city is building a bridge, sidewalk or other types of infrastructure, he said, opportunities exist to give projects more artistic flare. Many opportunities are low-cost, Wheeler added, and developers and local businesses are being encouraged to incorporate creative elements into their projects.

Coun. Glenn Pollock, who chairs the healthy community committee, which oversaw the creation of the policy, said the document identifies opportunities for future public art projects.

"It is easy, low-hanging fruit that we can do and this program identifies," he said.

Choosing a piece of public art will consist of several steps. First, an opportunity will be identified, which will be followed by the creation of a project committee. That group will develop terms of reference and determine the artist that will be selected. Municipal approvals will then be sought.

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