Residents can expect to see more artwork appearing in public spaces around Chatham-Kent in the near future.
During its first meeting of the new term on Monday, Chatham-Kent Council voted unanimously in favour of adopting its first-ever Public Art Policy that creates a framework for procuring and caring for public art displays.
Mayor Darrin Canniff said there are many larger communities in Ontario that already have their own public art policy.
“If people have ideas [of art] they’d like to see in the community, reach out,” he said. “That’s what we want to see in this process now. Let’s start thinking about public art, some cool things we can start putting out to make our community more vibrant.”
Council also voted in favour of creating a Public Art Reserve to ensure reliable funding for the ongoing commissioning, maintenance, and care of public artworks.
A surplus of $32,826, related to the divestment of the Blenheim Heritage House, will be transferred to the Public Art Reserve. As well, an annual allocation of $40,000 will be made from the Tek Savvy bridge sponsorship fund in 2024 and 2025.
Chatham-Kent administration will also be reporting back to council in March with additional public input opportunities relating to the Public Art Policy.
Going forward, Canniff said he expects to see further discussion from council on the possibility of offering public art grants to local artists.
“If you’re a local artist and want to do something, there will be grants to apply for,” he said.