Friday, December 9, 2016
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Pitt Meadows, BC – The City of Pitt Meadows brought community arts under a Pitt Meadows independent model within its new Parks & Recreation department at Tuesday’s Council meeting this week. Presented with a proposal from the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Arts Council to provide funding for 2017, Council voted to bring arts under the City’s operations, as part of their goal to create more “made in Pitt Meadows” services.

In July of this year, during the transition from the joint Parks & Leisure Services model with Maple Ridge, Council authorized the continuation of arts programming under the Arts Council for one year for $32,202, but deferred the decision on funding Arts Council services until the fall. This week, the Arts Council followed up with a request of $25,000 for 2017 for services including access programs and member group support, of which $7,500 was identified as “hard benefits” supporting Pitt Meadows specific services. The Arts Council notified City staff after the report requesting $7,500 was submitted that the actual cost for providing services was closer to $10,000 for the year.

Since the original funding commitment to Arts Council programming in July, the City has created and hired a new Arts, Culture and Heritage coordinator position, and Tuesday’s decision was made to redirect the $25,000 request for Arts Council services funding to the City’s own efforts toward a Pitt Meadows arts strategy.

“When building our independent parks & recreation services, Council considered some independent services and some partnerships within the new model, on a case-by-case basis,” said Mayor John Becker.

“In this case, Council felt that with our new staff position dedicated to arts, culture and heritage, and the funding needed to support that work, it would support our long term goals to create a complete and liveable community by moving that budget within the City, and be able to offer ‘made in Pitt Meadows’ services specific to our residents’ interests and wants.”

Council was conscious to note that the decision did not reflect on the work of the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Arts Council, but instead was to support their “made in Pitt Meadows” strategy for arts, culture and heritage in the community. Council members expressed gratitude for the quality services provided by the Arts Council and thanked them for their work over the years.

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