This year’s Miss Castlegar participants introduced themselves to city council at the May 16 meeting. (Betsy Kline/Castlegar News)

Council Briefs: Castlegar council makes anti-discrimination declaration

Council renews cultural agreements, hears gallery challenge and meets Miss Castlegar participants.

Castlegar city council passed an anti-racism/anti-discrimination declaration at Monday’s council meeting.

The declaration states: “We, Castlegar City Council, declare our active opposition to racism and discrimination and our support for programs and initiatives promoting diversity and inclusivity in our community. We strive to uphold values such as those expressed in the British Columbia Human Rights Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act and contribute to their further development.

“We also support the education of the public and ourselves about the current presence and forms of discrimination and what can be done to erode or eradicate them. Our population is very diverse and includes immigrants, refugees, and other newcomers to Canada; aboriginal people; persons with disabilities; youth; elders; LGBTQ2S communities; people of different genders; visible and other minorities; and people of faith and spirituality; as well as Canadians who do not identify with any such designations. We consider social and cultural diversity to be an asset to, and an indicator of , a healthy society and hope to guide the whole society to become more welcoming and inclusive of all people. Together we’re better!”

Coun. Deb McIntosh brought forward the declaration as a notice of motion at the May 1 council meeting and council voted unanimously to accept the declaration.

Gallery issues creative challenge

Kootenay Gallery of Art curator Maggie Shirley and executive gallery Val Field talked to council about the gallery’s latest project — 150+ Creative Acts — to celebrate Canada’s upcoming birthday. Shirley pointed out that they named it 150+ to acknowledge that Canada’s history goes back a lot more than 150 years.

The gallery has issued a creative community challenge. The idea is that between June 16 and July 29, community members will think about what they already do that could be classified as a creative act. The second portion is a challenge to try something new that “tickles your creative fancy.”

“The thing I am trying to get across is that creativity is not just about painting or writing or traditional arts,” said Shirley. “It is about anything really — fly-tying, coding an app, making a website or baking a pie.”

The gallery then asks that people keep a record of their creative acts and send them in so that a tally can be kept. For every 150 acts that are recorded, a symbolic birthday candle will be lit somewhere in Castlegar.

Other features of the project include an art exhibition at the gallery and travelling creative workshops.

The launch for the project will be May 26 at 10 a.m. at Spirit Square in front of City Hall.

Cultural agreements

Council approved funding agreements with the Castlegar and District Heritage Society, the Kootenay Doukhobor Historical Society and the Kootenay Gallery of Art, History and Science for a three year period expiring Dec. 31, 2019.

Annual funding for each of the societies was increased by five per cent to $43,470. Each society will also receive $7,000 in 2017 for capital improvements.

Coun. Deb McIntosh recused herself from the discussion and vote as she is an employee of the Heritage Society, which operates the Castlegar Station Museum and Zuckerburg Island.

As part of the funding agreements, the city requires that museums and tourist attractions be open to the public for a minimum of 1,000 hours during the period of April 1 to Oct. 31 each year. The societies are also required to provide annual financial statements, report their previous years activities and present plans for proposed programs, events and improvements during the coming year, provide the city with a schedule of their meetings and AGM and copies of all meeting minutes. They are also required to provide the city with a list of their board of directors.

Once the society has completed the capital improvement work they have received funding for, they must provide the city with copies of all receipts detailing and confirming the expenditures.