Maximize the arts, Kelowna mayor says

Mayor Walter Gray says the next city council needs to maximize the contribution of the arts to reap the economic benefit

  • Sep. 8, 2014 10:00 a.m.

The next Kelowna city council should look to maximize the business of the arts, according to the out-going mayor, Walter Gray.

Looking at the Lake Country Art Walk this past weekend—which drew 400 participants—he noted the city has not really capitalized on the sort of economic benefits expanding cultural initiatives offers.

“There are many places in the world where people will go because they’re know for the arts,” he said, suggesting he believes Kelowna should be one too.

The mayor pointed out the Central Okanagan has the perfect geography for a Lake Country-style art walk in the downtown core and has yet to really tap the business potential art events generate. The art walk could run through the cultural district and even culminate in the parkland which will replace the RCMP building, he surmised.

“Before you can arrive at the finish line you have to start,” Gray said by way of encouragement.

He suggested time will leave Kelowna a more pedestrian-friendly city primed for more active participation in this style of event.

According to the latest measurements of how well Kelowna is meeting its Official Community Plan targets, the city is otherwise a very economically active area, effectively fulfilling Gray’s election promise to throw the doors open to business.

Kelowna Capital News