Public art policy approved: Abbotsford to invest one per cent of all capital projects to art

An official public art policy has been created for the city of Abbotsford.

Council gave approval on Monday to a plan that will contribute one per cent, per year, on all new capital facilities projects, to public art, with a contribution cap of $300,000 per project.

“As Abbotsford continues to grow, it is extremely important that we create opportunities for people that come to our city to understand and explore our heritage and our culture,” said Mayor George Peary.

While council approved the policy, Coun. Simon Gibson said funding may be better used elsewhere.

"The timing is not good for this ... it's not a top priority for me," said Gibson.

He said he understands the value of public art, but wants the policy "put on hold."

Gibson and Coun. Moe Gill voted against the policy.

According to Peary, the city has committed to take a leadership role with the commitment to public art at the new west-Abbotsford Fire Hall, the new branch library at Abbotsford Collegiate and the two new interchange projects.

Residents can expect to see the first piece of public art emerge as a part of Abbotsford’s new McCallum Interchange by the end of this week.

Public art is defined as any work of art that is created by an artist specifically to be located in a public space, usually outside and accessible to all. Abbotsford’s public art policy encompasses a variety of opportunities including public and private-sector artist commissions, community art initiatives, and donations of art work from residents.

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