Public Art Policy

Public art has the power to energize and enhance our public spaces, make us think, and transform where we live, work, and play.

It can be several stories high or bring attention to the pavement beneath our feet. It can inspire conversation and help calm our hurried lifestyles. It can also be controversial.

In 2018, Victoria City Council approved a new policy to maintain funding for art in public spaces and expand opportunities for artists and members of the public to participate in the process. The new Art in Public Places Policy was the result of a review of the City's policynthat was refreshed in 2010.  

The new Art in Public Places Policy upholds the intentions of the original 1993 and refreshed 2010 documents, but has clearly articulated goals. The Policy also sets out the funding formula for public art and ensures ongoing resources for funding through the City's Art in Public Places Reserve Fund.

Under the Policy, annual funding for public art totals $150,000; this includes $135,000 for new artworks and $15,000 for the maintenance of existing pieces. The $150,000 represents 1% of qualifying projects in the City's average annual capital plan.

The City can contribute up to 1% of the total construction costs for exceptional, significant civic projects, with the money going to the Art in Public Places Reserve Fund. The funding can be used to incorporate public art into a project's design elements, to create a stand-alone piece onsite, or for public art at another location.

Projects are identified by the inter-departmental staff team that meets regularly to prioritize locations for new artworks. The team also reviews the new Policy every five years to ensure it remains viable and relevant.

   

Art in Public Places Committee

A five-member Art in Public Places Committee provides more opportunities for community participation.

For more information about this committee, please click here.

Art in Public Places Selection Panel 

Composition of a Selection Panel may include, but not necessarily be limited to:

  • Council Liaison to the Art in Public Places Committee (may attend in a non-voting capacity)
  • An Art in Public Places Committee member.
  • An artist.
  • A visual art professional (e.g., a gallery director or curator, or a visual arts faculty member from a post-secondary institution).
  • A community representative.
  • An Indigenous Knowledge Keeper.
  • A member of the Accessibility Working Group
  • An architect.
  • A staff representative from related City Departments.

Guiding Principles

The City of Victoria’s Public Art Policy and program shall:

  • Value the role of artists and creativity in our society.

Respond to the natural, social and built environment of Victoria.

Support artistic excellence, innovation and diversity.

Ensure that accessibility (in terms of both physical and sensory interaction) of projects is considered at the first stage of project conception through to delivery.

Ensure that the Indigenous heritage of this territory is considered at the first stage of project conception through to delivery.

Ensure that once a work is installed on public space, the public shall have free and unobstructed access.

Ensure that the implementation process follows established guidelines and procedures, and is inclusive and transparent to the public.

For more information, please email culture@victoria.ca