Need for Summerland cultural plan identified

Summerland needs meeting spaces and a cultural plan, members of Summerland Cultural Development Committee say.

Summerland has a vibrant, diverse culture, but the community needs meeting spaces and a cultural plan, members of Summerland Cultural Development Committee say.

In September, a meeting to discuss culture in Summerland drew close to 60 people, representing a cross-section of the community, organizers said.

“It was clear Summerlanders are interested in looking at the cultural climate,” said Margaret Holler, one of the event organizers.

She said Summerland offers plenty of cultural opportunities.

“We have so many activities. We have the diversity. We’re a little community that offers something for everyone,” she said.

While the diversity is in place, she said the community needs a long-term cultural plan.

Other organizers of the September meeting agree.

“I truly believe we can become a much more vibrant community,” said Barbara Thorburn.

She added that leadership from the municipality and the chamber of commerce would help to maintain Summerland’s vibrant culture.

David Mallory, another of the event organizers, added that the need now is to find a way to bring together the various groups and cultural activities within the community.

Municipal administrator Tom Day said the municipality has identified a cultural plan as a priority for Summerland.

“The whole cultural side of a community is very important,” he said.

Municipal staff will meet to determine how to get the necessary community input to create the plan.

“We need a proper public process to develop a plan,” Day said.

In addition to creating the plan, Day said he will work to redefine the terms of reference for the Cultural Development Committee.

“The existing terms of reference didn’t match what they had been doing,” he said.

Much of the committee’s work has been in planning and organizing various cultural events for Summerland.

The new terms are needed to reflect this direction.