Giving Public Art A Boost


On May 31, 2016, the City of Vancouver unanimously adopted a motion that recommends significantly expanding the City’s Public Art Program through a “public art boost”. Read the full Council motion [PDF] below.


MOVER: Councillor Deal

SECONDER: Mayor Robertson


  1. Vancouver has a successful public and community art program which has resulted in over 400 pieces of public art and community art installations of various forms throughout the City over the past 25 years;
  2. Vancouver is well situated to expand the profile of public art in the city, with opportunities for public art such as numerous blank walls and public spaces;
  3. Many local organizations, Business Improvement Areas in particular, are interested in expanding the amount of murals and other public and community art in their areas;
  4. The City recently adjusted funding options for developers in an effort to increase funding for public art on civic, park, and private property through a process managed by the City;
  5. Vancouver’s public and community art should provide more opportunities to integrate local First Nations artwork in the public realm and reflect the multicultural nature and changing demographics of the City;
  6. There are identified barriers to public art installations, including murals, which can and should be addressed;
  7. Other cities such as San Francisco have examples of robust public art programs with high profiles and numerous opportunities for local artists.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Council direct staff to create a “public art boost” with the following efforts: 

  • Quick starts to be brought back to Council as soon as possible and no later than the end of July. These should include:
    • Identification of barriers to public art and suggestions of what steps are necessary to remove them;
    • Identification of projects already in process which can be enabled to be installed during the Summer of 2016;
  • Opportunities to use the Innovation Fund to leverage community partners to enable significant new public art projects for 2016 and 2017;
  • Consultation with cultural and business communities, other organizations and interested residents on expansion of public and community art opportunities and projects;
  • A robust plan to ensure existing public art is maintained;
  • A public awareness campaign about Vancouver’s public art.


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