This year, VANL-CARFAC made five recommendations to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for the up-coming 2014-15 budget:
Public Art is considered to be a key component to the attractiveness and identity of a province and its municipalities. It demonstrates the character of communities, and we know that investment in the arts strengthens local economies. Indeed, support for the arts is a reflection of a progressive province. It increases public awareness and appreciation of the arts and stimulates the growth of the arts and arts-related business. It encourages the use of public areas and it stimulates public art in private developments through example.
The dedication of 1% of the budget of all capital works projects towards public art commissions is a show of commitment to enhance the daily lives of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. By making a commitment to infuse more visual art into public spaces, the province would help lead the way toward a more enriched way of life for all of its citizens.
Applicable projects would include new building construction, major additions to existing buildings, park development projects, and new engineering structures like bridges. Art is not simply something to be experienced within the confines of a gallery. Public art projects could be as varied as sculpture, memorials, fountains, site-specific art, special lighting, special landscaping (land art), architectural components, murals, community art, and electronic art such as media boards. The policies for 1% for public art which have been adopted in several provinces and many cities across Canada provide a useful blueprint for the implementation of this important public program.
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