Cultural Planning

North Vancouver is one of Canada's most active, healthy, and creative communities and its residents value a healthy lifestyle achieved through recreation and culture.  This is evidenced by the more than three million visits to community recreation facilities each year, a strong public art program and thriving arts and cultural organizations, programs and events. 

In 2014, the City and District of North Vancouver consolidated the Office of Cultural Affairs and North Vancouver Recreation Commission into the new North Vancouver Recreation & Culture Commission (NVRC). The consolidation brought together municipal cultural expertise under one organization to enhance arts and cultural programming and services in North Vancouver and achieve improvements and efficiencies in service delivery. The bylaws to establish the consolidation and change the name of the Commission were adopted by the City and District Councils on June 23, 2014. 

NVRC’s role on behalf of the City and District of North Vancouver  includes the provision of recreation and arts programs, the administration of public art and grants programs, community events and the operation of Centennial Theatre. 

North Vancouver Cultural Plan (2002)

In 2002 following an extended planning and consultation process, the City and District adopted the North Vancouver Cultural Plan.

Phase One of the 2002 Plan articulated a vision for North Vancouver as a community that understands and values the arts and cultural activities; it also proposed a detailed collection of strategic directions, outcomes and priority actions intended to realize the vision.

Phase Two of the 2002 Plan provided a detailed Delivery & Management Plan.

2002 Cultural Plan, Phase One - Goals & Strategies

2002 Cultural Plan, Phase Two - Delivery & Management Plan

Cultural Planning in North Vancouver - A Brief History

In 1988 Councils for the City and District of North Vancouver, together with the District of West Vancouver, adopted the first Cultural Plan for the North Shore.

This first plan, the impacts of which are in many ways still being felt today, presented an exhaustive range of strategies: to upgrade and dedicate facilities for cultural performances and exhibition; to revitalize neighbourhood centres around cultural themes; to integrate public art into the built infra-structure of the community; and to embed arts and culture into the three municipalities’ official community plans.

The plan also offered a decision-making framework of guiding principles and policy objectives to shape how cultural planning should happen. And, finally, the North Shore Arts Commission was formed to serve as an arms-length agency for the three municipalities, specifically as the regional delivery agency for the Cultural Plan.

Looking back with the full benefit of hindsight, although the 1988 plan realized a number of successes in local terms and while it still informs some of the “big picture” thinking around arts and cultural needs for the North Shore in a general sense, the coordination of planning priorities and support services across all three North Shore municipalities proved problematic and the list of recommended strategies too broad to implement successfully. In 1996, while a number of the recommendations remained valid, West Vancouver pulled out of the tri-municipal agreement.

In the late 1990’s, with West Vancouver no longer at the table, the Arts Commission re-structured as a bi-municipal agency (the Arts & Culture Commission of North Vancouver), and began work on a second Cultural Plan—focussed this time only on the City and District of North Vancouver.

In 2002 following an extended planning and consultation process, the City and District adopted the North Vancouver Cultural Plan. Phase One of the 2002 Plan (Goals and Strategies) articulated a vision for North Vancouver as a community that understands and values the arts and cultural activities; it also proposed a detailed collection of strategic directions, outcomes and priority actions intended to realize the vision. In an attempt to address some of the implementation issues that had undermined the 1988 plan, Phase Two of the 2002 Plan provided a detailed Delivery & Management Plan.

Lower Lonsdale Cultural Facilities Study

October 2010 - The Lower Lonsdale Cultural Facilities Study is a comprehensive planning study to relocate three of the community's most important arts, heritage and cultural facilities in North Vancouver.

The Lower Lonsdale Cultural Facilities Study was prepared for the City of North Vancouver by the consultant team of Proscenium Architecture & Interiors together with Lydia Marston-Blaauw (Cultural Consultant).  In its most basic terms, the 'Study' provides a flexible, broad-based planning framework to guide the City's future planning and decision-making in respect of three key issues:

  1. The use, restoration or redevelopment of the Presentation House Arts Centre site, and the buildings that currently occupy it.
  2. Relocation of the key arts and heritage organizations currently based in the Presentation House Arts Centre (the North Vancouver Museum and Archives, Presentation House Gallery and Presentation House Theatre).
  3. The potential for Lower Lonsdale to act as a cultural precinct that will contribute to the liveability and economic vitality of the City.

The Lower Lonsdale Cultural Facilities Study is available in .pdf format.  Please Note: file sizes vary between 2.3 MB and 8.6 MB - download times may vary!

2010 REPORT - PT. 00, COVER, EXEC. SUMMARY
Cover Page, Table of Contents, Preface, Executive Summary

2010 REPORT - PT. 01, CONTEXT ANALYSIS
Chapter One, Lower Lonsdale: Existing Context Analysis (Demographics, Regional Town Centre, Alignment with Civic Plans/Policy)

2010 REPORT - PT. 02, PH TENANTS
Chapter Two, Presentation House Tenants (Market Conditions, Needs Assessment, Program Assesssments, Sites of Interest, Possible Partnerships)

2010 REPORT - PT. 03, PH SITE & STRUCTURES
Chapter Three, Presentation House Structures and Site (Building Assessment, Adaptive Re-Use, Site Analysis)

2010 REPORT - PT. 04, CULTURAL PRECINCT
Chapter Four, Lower Lonsdale: The Making of a Cultural Neighbourhood (Needs Assessment, Service Gaps, Studio Space, Cultural resource Ecology, Patterns of Use, Enhancing Public Domain)

2010 REPORT - PT. 05, IMPLEMENTATION
Chapter Five, Implementation (Strategies, Timelines, Conclusions)

2010 REPORT - PT. 06, APPENDICES
Appendices (Operating Implications, Capital Cost Estimates, Equipment Provisions)

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