Arts council launching survey

Survey says... tell us all about the arts and culture of Prince George.

The Community Arts Council (CAC) announced Thursday it is launching a citywide survey to get perhaps the best dataset ever assembled on the state of this area's arts scene.

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"The CAC is conducting a survey in order to quantify the inventory of the arts and culture community of Prince George," said the association's executive director Sean Farrell.

"This project is being conducted as part of the CAC's 50th anniversary. The results of the survey will inform planning of the new arts-based community centre, and other efforts to incorporate arts and culture into municipal planning and development."

Farrell said the census is ready and waiting online at princegeorgeculture.com and there is hardly nobody who wouldn't be eligible to answer, since almost everyone creates things even as a hobby. The CAC hopes to hear from the professional artists of the city, the commercial-level creator, but also those who only use the arts as their personal recreation. People who garden are as much a part of that as the sketcher or those who keep journals or noodle around on an instrument in their private time.

"We want to take the temperature of the arts and culture sector. We want to take an inventory," he said. "Our goal with this project is to develop a comprehensive and detailed portrait of arts and culture in Prince George and demonstrate just how widespread it is. We're really trying to be broad in how we characterize arts and cultural pursuits and we hope this will encourage residents to participate in the survey and enable us to capture what they do. We believe that almost everyone in Prince George could participate in this survey, not just those who are 'professional' or make their living as artists."

The survey is being funded by a grant from The City of Prince George.

The municipal staff leader in closest touch with the arts scene in the city is Doug Hofstede, city hall's community services manager. He talked about how this survey is going to be helpful in his office as well as Farrell's.

"They have been our go-to partner more than you probably know," he said appreciatively, adding that this census would be meaningful "to find out empirically what's out there" in the number and kind of arts being practiced.

Farrell said the CAC's upcoming move from their current location to the downtown location picked by the City of Prince George (the corner of Quebec Street and Third Avenue) needed the best collection of information possible, so they know how to formulate the best construction/renovation designs.

The survey's results will also give the CAC and the City of Prince George together the best dialogue for talking about how the region's arts scene should be developed in the future.

The survey is free to fill out, takes less than 15 minutes, and all those who participate can enter to win some master-level pottery by local pottery star Karen Heathman.

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