Arts & Culture Centre – Site Selection

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Above: this image features two young girls looking at a painting by Landon Mackenzie, Cormorants (Tagged and Found Dead in Winter), 2019, oil on linen.

Update: September 27, 2021

Replacement of the Arts Facilities Advisory Committee Terms of Reference

Council created the Arts Facilities Advisory Committee in 2019 to consider existing needs (exhibition, performance, storage, workshop/studio, and program spaces) and future needs for facilities to support arts and culture. As a result of this work, a single consolidated replacement facility was proposed.

Community consultation took place in May and June 2021 to present two potential sites and ask the public to select a preferred option. The consultation results indicated a split in community opinion in terms of acceptance of either of the sites. In addition, they raised several questions and concerns about many aspects of the project.

On July 26, 2021, Council directed staff to conduct additional community engagement to address concerns and questions remaining in the community.

Part of that work is to develop a governance model and a fundraising plan to replace the facilities for arts and culture in West Vancouver.

Under the new terms of reference, the 2022 Arts Facilities Advisory Committee will undertake that work. The District is accepting applications for volunteer committee members until October 22, 2021.

Council approved the new terms of reference.

Update: August 3, 2021

On April 21, 2021, Council directed staff to proceed to public consultation to select one of two site options for a consolidated replacement arts and culture facility. The community engagement took place between May 18 and June 16, 2021, and this report presented the engagement and proposed the next steps.

The community consultation presented two potential sites and asked the public to select a preferred option. Respondents were also asked to provide their reasoning for their choice. The consultation results indicated a split in community opinion in terms of acceptance of either of the sites. In addition, they raised several questions and concerns about many aspects of the project.

Council did not select either proposed site. To address the concerns and questions remaining in the community, and to raise awareness of the current condition of municipal arts facilities in West Vancouver, Council resolved that:

  1. the Arts & Culture Center Site Selection - Engagement Summary Report be received for information;
  2. $150,000 of the $270,000 originally allocated from the COVID Safe Restart Grant be expended to develop an additional community-wide engagement program on the next steps for arts and culture facilities in West Vancouver and the development of a governance model and a fundraising plan for the replacement of the facilities for arts and culture in West Vancouver; and
  3. staff report back to Council on the results




Planning for an Arts & Culture Centre in West Vancouver

West Vancouver has a thriving arts and culture community but the existing facilities that support arts and culture are beyond the end of their useful life. In 2018, the community engagement process to develop an Arts and Culture Strategy identified the need to address facility requirements for the arts. This engagement is one step in the ongoing work to seek a solution to those needs, and the results will facilitate future discussions. On this page, you will find comprehensive information about the process leading to this point, the next steps in the planning process, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Creating a new arts and culture facility is a multi-phased project that will take several years of planning before it is realized. We are still in the early stages.

In this phase, we are looking for your input on a site for a potential new arts facility. Please review the details about the two site options below and tell us which one you prefer.



Who will pay for this?

The financing and governance models for an arts and culture centre will be explored in future phases. At this stage, it is undetermined what combination of private funding, federal and provincial funding, and municipal funding will be required. However, funds cannot be raised from the private sector or other levels of government until a site is selected and the next phase of planning is approved.

Operating costs for a new facility would be partially offset by the discontinued operation of three existing residential buildings being used for arts programming, which would require significant maintenance, if not entire demolition and rebuild, to provide for ongoing use.

Once a site is selected, the next phase will be to conduct more detailed facility planning. Once detailed planning is complete, applications for external funding can be made.

Visit the FAQ page for answers to frequently asked questions.




Origin of planning for an arts and culture centre

  • In 2018, the District conducted extensive community engagement to inform the creation of an Arts & Culture Strategy. The strategy lays a foundation for the advancement of arts and culture and sets the stage for detailed planning for enhanced facilities.

  • In 2018, Council created the Arts Facilities Advisory Committee to consider the existing needs of arts and culture activities in West Vancouver and to develop an arts and culture facilities plan.

  • In 2019, the Arts Facilities Advisory Committee worked with Cornerstone Planning Group to create the Arts & Culture Facilities Plan (June 2019). This document identified and quantified West Vancouver's need for exhibition, performance, workshop/studio, programming and storage spaces to support West Vancouver’s current and future arts and culture community for the next 20 years.

  • In 2020, the Arts Facilities Advisory Committee worked with Cornerstone Planning Group to create the Arts Facilities Site Identification Analysis (February 2020). This document identified the most suitable locations for developing a new facility or facilities.

After rigorous data collection, analysis, and forecasting; consultation with local stakeholders, community groups and business leaders; and careful consideration of local aspirations as expressed in the Official Community Plan and Economic Development Plan, the findings revealed that West Vancouver requires a new building of approximately 25,000 square feet to replace its unsuitable facilities and to meet future demand.



We want your input

The Arts Facilities Advisory Committee, with the help of Cornerstone Planning Group, has diligently reviewed more than 20 potential sites for a new facility, and, on April 12, Council advanced the following top two options to the next phase of site selection.

Option 1: Ambleside Park – Tennis courts

About this location

This site fronts Marine Drive and 13th Street, resides within Ambleside Park, and is in close proximity to the waterfront. Vehicle access to the site is from 13th Street, while pedestrian and transit access is primarily from Marine Drive.

The property is currently occupied by three (3) tennis courts and approximately 50 parking stalls used by Ambleside Park visitors. The site is lined with heritage-registered Silver maple trees on the western portion (which are expected to be retained).

Highlights and challenges

The Arts Facilities Site Identification Analysis provides more detail about the Ambleside Park Tennis Court option (see pages 49–56) including the site's highlights, challenges, parking options, and more.

View details about Option 1: Ambleside Park Tennis Courts (PDF)

Option 2: Ambleside Park – South Parking Lot

About this location

This site is located on the waterfront, south of the rail line and Spirit Trail. Vehicle access is from Argyle Avenue and pedestrian access is from the Spirit Trail.

The landscaped site currently serves as a parking lot with approximately 100 stalls, as well as occasional use for special events.

Highlights and challenges

The Arts Facilities Site Identification Analysis provides more detail about the Ambleside Park South Parking Lot option (see pages 64–72), including the site's highlights, challenges, parking options, and more.

View details about Option 2: Ambleside Park - South Parking Lot (PDF)





Narrowing down to these two site options

The Arts Facilities Advisory Committee reviewed more than 20 potential sites and has been before Council to present their recommendations twice, on March 9, 2020, and on September 14, 2020. The top recommended sites are both on District-owned land.

During the review process, Council directed staff to engage with private property owners to explore the possibility of incorporating an arts and culture facility into a mixed-use development, at no capital cost to the District.

On April 12, 2021, Council received a staff report which provided information on the estimated requirements (i.e. density) needed to support the inclusion of an arts facility on the 1400 block of Marine Drive (north side) without any capital cost burden to the District. At this meeting, Council directed staff not to include this option in the public consultation process because the density required would be significant.




What happens next?

There are many future phases for this project, and we will engage the community at each stage.

Once a site is selected, we will be able to conduct more detailed facility planning, which is an important step that must take place before we can develop cost projections.

Cost projections are needed in order to apply for external funding, and funding must be confirmed before a decision can be made to proceed with a new arts and culture centre.

A report summarizing the findings from this engagement will be presented to Council on Monday, July 26.

Above: this image features two young girls looking at a painting by Landon Mackenzie, Cormorants (Tagged and Found Dead in Winter), 2019, oil on linen.

Update: September 27, 2021

Replacement of the Arts Facilities Advisory Committee Terms of Reference

Council created the Arts Facilities Advisory Committee in 2019 to consider existing needs (exhibition, performance, storage, workshop/studio, and program spaces) and future needs for facilities to support arts and culture. As a result of this work, a single consolidated replacement facility was proposed.

Community consultation took place in May and June 2021 to present two potential sites and ask the public to select a preferred option. The consultation results indicated a split in community opinion in terms of acceptance of either of the sites. In addition, they raised several questions and concerns about many aspects of the project.

On July 26, 2021, Council directed staff to conduct additional community engagement to address concerns and questions remaining in the community.

Part of that work is to develop a governance model and a fundraising plan to replace the facilities for arts and culture in West Vancouver.

Under the new terms of reference, the 2022 Arts Facilities Advisory Committee will undertake that work. The District is accepting applications for volunteer committee members until October 22, 2021.

Council approved the new terms of reference.

Update: August 3, 2021

On April 21, 2021, Council directed staff to proceed to public consultation to select one of two site options for a consolidated replacement arts and culture facility. The community engagement took place between May 18 and June 16, 2021, and this report presented the engagement and proposed the next steps.

The community consultation presented two potential sites and asked the public to select a preferred option. Respondents were also asked to provide their reasoning for their choice. The consultation results indicated a split in community opinion in terms of acceptance of either of the sites. In addition, they raised several questions and concerns about many aspects of the project.

Council did not select either proposed site. To address the concerns and questions remaining in the community, and to raise awareness of the current condition of municipal arts facilities in West Vancouver, Council resolved that:

  1. the Arts & Culture Center Site Selection - Engagement Summary Report be received for information;
  2. $150,000 of the $270,000 originally allocated from the COVID Safe Restart Grant be expended to develop an additional community-wide engagement program on the next steps for arts and culture facilities in West Vancouver and the development of a governance model and a fundraising plan for the replacement of the facilities for arts and culture in West Vancouver; and
  3. staff report back to Council on the results




Planning for an Arts & Culture Centre in West Vancouver

West Vancouver has a thriving arts and culture community but the existing facilities that support arts and culture are beyond the end of their useful life. In 2018, the community engagement process to develop an Arts and Culture Strategy identified the need to address facility requirements for the arts. This engagement is one step in the ongoing work to seek a solution to those needs, and the results will facilitate future discussions. On this page, you will find comprehensive information about the process leading to this point, the next steps in the planning process, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Creating a new arts and culture facility is a multi-phased project that will take several years of planning before it is realized. We are still in the early stages.

In this phase, we are looking for your input on a site for a potential new arts facility. Please review the details about the two site options below and tell us which one you prefer.



Who will pay for this?

The financing and governance models for an arts and culture centre will be explored in future phases. At this stage, it is undetermined what combination of private funding, federal and provincial funding, and municipal funding will be required. However, funds cannot be raised from the private sector or other levels of government until a site is selected and the next phase of planning is approved.

Operating costs for a new facility would be partially offset by the discontinued operation of three existing residential buildings being used for arts programming, which would require significant maintenance, if not entire demolition and rebuild, to provide for ongoing use.

Once a site is selected, the next phase will be to conduct more detailed facility planning. Once detailed planning is complete, applications for external funding can be made.

Visit the FAQ page for answers to frequently asked questions.




Origin of planning for an arts and culture centre

  • In 2018, the District conducted extensive community engagement to inform the creation of an Arts & Culture Strategy. The strategy lays a foundation for the advancement of arts and culture and sets the stage for detailed planning for enhanced facilities.

  • In 2018, Council created the Arts Facilities Advisory Committee to consider the existing needs of arts and culture activities in West Vancouver and to develop an arts and culture facilities plan.

  • In 2019, the Arts Facilities Advisory Committee worked with Cornerstone Planning Group to create the Arts & Culture Facilities Plan (June 2019). This document identified and quantified West Vancouver's need for exhibition, performance, workshop/studio, programming and storage spaces to support West Vancouver’s current and future arts and culture community for the next 20 years.

  • In 2020, the Arts Facilities Advisory Committee worked with Cornerstone Planning Group to create the Arts Facilities Site Identification Analysis (February 2020). This document identified the most suitable locations for developing a new facility or facilities.

After rigorous data collection, analysis, and forecasting; consultation with local stakeholders, community groups and business leaders; and careful consideration of local aspirations as expressed in the Official Community Plan and Economic Development Plan, the findings revealed that West Vancouver requires a new building of approximately 25,000 square feet to replace its unsuitable facilities and to meet future demand.



We want your input

The Arts Facilities Advisory Committee, with the help of Cornerstone Planning Group, has diligently reviewed more than 20 potential sites for a new facility, and, on April 12, Council advanced the following top two options to the next phase of site selection.

Option 1: Ambleside Park – Tennis courts

About this location

This site fronts Marine Drive and 13th Street, resides within Ambleside Park, and is in close proximity to the waterfront. Vehicle access to the site is from 13th Street, while pedestrian and transit access is primarily from Marine Drive.

The property is currently occupied by three (3) tennis courts and approximately 50 parking stalls used by Ambleside Park visitors. The site is lined with heritage-registered Silver maple trees on the western portion (which are expected to be retained).

Highlights and challenges

The Arts Facilities Site Identification Analysis provides more detail about the Ambleside Park Tennis Court option (see pages 49–56) including the site's highlights, challenges, parking options, and more.

View details about Option 1: Ambleside Park Tennis Courts (PDF)

Option 2: Ambleside Park – South Parking Lot

About this location

This site is located on the waterfront, south of the rail line and Spirit Trail. Vehicle access is from Argyle Avenue and pedestrian access is from the Spirit Trail.

The landscaped site currently serves as a parking lot with approximately 100 stalls, as well as occasional use for special events.

Highlights and challenges

The Arts Facilities Site Identification Analysis provides more detail about the Ambleside Park South Parking Lot option (see pages 64–72), including the site's highlights, challenges, parking options, and more.

View details about Option 2: Ambleside Park - South Parking Lot (PDF)





Narrowing down to these two site options

The Arts Facilities Advisory Committee reviewed more than 20 potential sites and has been before Council to present their recommendations twice, on March 9, 2020, and on September 14, 2020. The top recommended sites are both on District-owned land.

During the review process, Council directed staff to engage with private property owners to explore the possibility of incorporating an arts and culture facility into a mixed-use development, at no capital cost to the District.

On April 12, 2021, Council received a staff report which provided information on the estimated requirements (i.e. density) needed to support the inclusion of an arts facility on the 1400 block of Marine Drive (north side) without any capital cost burden to the District. At this meeting, Council directed staff not to include this option in the public consultation process because the density required would be significant.




What happens next?

There are many future phases for this project, and we will engage the community at each stage.

Once a site is selected, we will be able to conduct more detailed facility planning, which is an important step that must take place before we can develop cost projections.

Cost projections are needed in order to apply for external funding, and funding must be confirmed before a decision can be made to proceed with a new arts and culture centre.

A report summarizing the findings from this engagement will be presented to Council on Monday, July 26.

Page last updated: 07 October 2021, 11:53