SOSArts Workshop – Summary Report

sopac Workshops

Step One Workshop October 26 27 2019 PDF Download

“MANAGING CHANGE is ABOUT GETTING US to WHERE WE WANT TO GO”

Step One Workshop October 26-27 2019

Brief summary - full document download pdf document.

After many years of studies and discussion, the new South Okanagan Performing Arts Centre Society’s Board organized a strategic visioning workshop as the first step to re-thinking the performing arts in the South Okanagan/Similkameen.  On October 26-27, 2019, a cross-section of individuals were invited and while some had to withdraw for family and professional reasons, a representative sample of participants attended representing business, education, visual and performing arts, theatre management and the political realm.

The objective of the workshop was for participants to share their thoughts, hopes and plans for artistic endeavours in the region and how to move forward including the possibility of not moving forward at all, at least in the current configuration.  Participants were asked to think about how to support art in a way in which art would further support the growth of a healthy and vibrant regional culture and community.

A thought-provoking preamble to understanding the arts was provided by the keynote speaker, Duncan McIntosh, a director of theatre, opera and special events around the world.  Afterwards, through a structured process, participants were asked to discuss what would be the ideal situation for the performing Arts in the South Okanagan/Similkameen in ten (10) years. As well as describing the current situation,.  They also addressed what issues, roadblocks, environmental conditions and opportunities needed to be addressed in order to move forward.

By far, the biggest issue facing the Arts identified was the lack of connection in the region.  This needs to be addressed along with the problems of inadequate space and general angst.   People felt that poor marketing contributed to a less than exuberant public perception.  But first and foremost, more energies need to be invested in the whole realm of connection between the many sub-groups.

The futurist thinking is fairly direct and quite realistic: collaboration and engagement are about making sure the primary focus is on people -both within and beyond the formal Arts Community.  The issues of spaces, diversity and festivals are reachable goals, but only after people are seriously brought into the pictures.  This takes priority over funding which suggests that people see the need to get people and processes happening before any strong effort is undertaken to physically build something that requires large fund raising initiatives.

The road from here to there will require leadership in a big way.  This will need to occur within a mindset that addresses marketing and developing an implementation plan.  Once in place, energies should be constructively applied to examining funding processes, collaborative performing and community engagement.

At that point, pride of ownership may come more naturally. SOSArts Step One Workshop Report Page 3

As the final step of the workshop, participants came to a consensus on a common vision statement:

“WE ARE A UNITED VOICE OF THE SOS, BUILDING A VIBRANT ARTS

AND CULTURE COMMUNITY FOR EVERYONE”

The workshop concluded that there is a strong willingness to connect; a strong will to move forward and the idea of disbanding SOPAC was not supported although a re-naming was encouraged.

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