Strategic Cultural Plan

Start: January 2023


Last Updated: December 13, 2023

Project Description:

The plan will help inform a short term, medium term and long term cultural service implementation strategy that will help identify key gaps and opportunities in cultural services, cultural infrastructure, and help guide City processes, support core areas of services, and investment in the City’s cultural services and assets. Staff are leading the project with Nordicity, a consulting firm that specializes in planning for the arts, culture, and heritage sector.

Next Steps

Now that the community engagement phase of the project has been completed, a draft strategy is currently being developed by the consultant.

Final draft recommendations and implementation plan will be then be presented to Council for approval in early 2024.

Stay Informed!

Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback via the community check-in event, online survey, interviews, and community discussions. We have now heard from over 800 community members about what the priorities should be – and want to share what we heard.

A Community Check-In Event was held on November 3rd. Over 40 people attended to:

  • Learn what we heard in terms of priorities for arts and culture in Courtenay. A copy of the full What We Heard Report can be viewed here: What We Heard report [PDF - 1 MB]
  • Share feedback on the vision and preliminary strategic directions
  • Vote on the preferred name for the Strategic Cultural Plan

A copy of the November 3, 2023 presentation can be found here: City of Courtenay Strategic Cultural Plan Community Check In Presentation [PDF - 3 MB]

Sign up for email updates below, join our social media channels (FacebookTwitterInstagram), and stay tuned to find out about opportunities to participate and provide your input! 

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Community Engagement Approach

Aligning with the City’s OCP, 2022 action policies, the Strategic Cultural Plan will be developed through a process of inclusive community consultation through an equity lens.  This approach includes:

  • Respectfully seeking input from equity priority groups including Indigenous and Black community members and People of Colour, youth, LGBTQ2S+ individuals, and unhoused people.
  • Leveraging established relationships with existing community organizations advocating for equity priority groups to ensure that all community members, especially historically underrepresented individuals, have a voice.
  • Engaging organizations representing equity priority groups to act as intermediaries – or bridges – between the research team and underrepresented groups.


Community Engagement Activities Timing
1:1 Interviews with core cultural service providers, arts, culture and heritage interest groups, and equity priority groups

April - May 2023

Arts, Culture and Heritage Sector Focus Group

May 2023

Online Public Survey

June 2023

Engagement With Equity Priority Groups June 2023
Community Event Awareness Activities Summer 2023
Community Check In Fall 2023
Report Winter 2024

Staff and Nordicity hosted a focus group session on May 9, 2023. Thirty eight participants representing various arts and culture sectors attended the two hour session. The discussion sought feedback from the participants on the current state of culture in Courtenay which included strengths, weaknesses or gaps, and opportunities. A graphic recording by Jill Banting summarized the session and can be seen below.

Graphic Recording by Jill Banting from May 9th session

Email for questions or more information on how to participate.

Background Information:

Staff Report: Strategic Cultural Plan Update - What We Heard Report [PDF - 2 MB]

Nordicity's presentation to Council at the September 13, 2023 Council meeting [PDF - 3 MB]

Accessible Cultural Spaces - Specific Needs We Heard About [PDF - 86 KB]

Official Community Plan, 2022 - Arts, Culture, and Heritage page 155

Cultural Services Review, 2019

Project Status:

Phase 2 -  In progress

Phase Timeline Details
1 Early 2023 Research
2 Spring 2023 Engagement
3 Summer 2023 Analysis and Draft Strategy
4 Fall 2023 Community Check-In, Draft Strategy, and Recommendations
5 Winter 2024 Reporting