Public art budgets could be used for gardens, Abbotsford councillor suggests

‘Gardens really are art,’ Coun. Brenda Falk says

Abbotsford could use money allocated for public art to bolster the beauty and number of its gardens, councillor Brenda Falk suggested recently.

The city currently budgets one per cent of the cost of each new facility or piece of infrastructure to go towards public art projects to enhance the building or area.

During a council meeting last month that discussed revisions to how the city selects those projects, Coun. Brenda Falk suggested Abbotsford look beyond traditional forms of art

“I was wondering if we looked at gardens as a form of art, because they really are,” said Falk, who also owns and operates Tanglebank Gardens. “Our community is getting to the size where public gardens need to be considered as part of our arts and cultural inventory, because gardens really are art.”

Falk suggested that drawing on public art budgets could help the city bolster its gardens.

“I know the cost of building and maintaining gardens can be fairly large,” she asked Carmen Gonzalez, the city’s recreation and culture director. “Can this be a way of utilizing funding to build our garden inventory?”

Gonzalez said that depending on the situation, a garden might be a fit.

“Art can be a lot of things,” she said. “Garden art can certainly be one of the amenities that can be considered as part of a public art selection process. Depending on the project it might be really appropriate. In terms of including it as part of the budget, I think that’s something we need to look at.”

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