Editorial: Updating policies must focus on the core of what culture is

YORKTON — Yorkton Council gave the green light to the city to proceed with Phase 3 of a process to refresh Yorkton’s Community Cultural Plan at its regular meeting on Monday.

That the process started in February 2020 continues to move forward is not a surprise. Rarely do you spend two years in a process, you’re about to complete the second phase, and then you throw the rest of the process aside.

In this case, the first two phases were simplified in the sense that they did not cost the City any money. Both phases were funded by grants from SaskCulture.

It is hoped that the third phase will also get a grant from SaskCulture, at least if the City’s application is successful.

But, in this case, the dollar value is higher, and SaskCulture wants to see the municipality truly engage in the process, which usually means investing directly, so Monday’s approval included spending up to $20,000, or 50% of the cost of phase 3.

When the “refresh” is complete, it will be after a fourth phase, the city will have a revamped cultural plan updating the document created in 2009.

If you’re not culturally familiar, don’t be too surprised. Often, these documents are widely used internally as a kind of guideline to which the administration refers to see if the proposals fit within the scope of the plan.

It is also a practical document to which the Board can refer, if only to see if it maintains culture in all of its decisions and expenditures.

Of course, the challenge of the plan itself is to define the culture in a way that is not so comprehensive that everything the City does simply falls under the parameters of the document.

Culture can be anything from sidewalks that provide walking access to parks and theaters, restaurants, businesses selling art supplies, the Godfrey Dean Gallery and the Anne Portnuff Theater.

Spend a while and tangentially you can do just about anything about culture, and with that in mind, it’s hard to gauge whether the city is actually doing a good job of supporting culture, because everything it does has its impact on some level.

That said, many will have a slightly more focused view of culture, around languages, art and dance, those things that we consider important to who we are and where we come from.

There is a difference between Ukrainian and Scottish cultures, and neither are sidewalks.

These are the basic elements of what Yorkton as a community sees as a culture that the city plan should have on its main page, and these basic elements that the city council and administration should ensure that they support in a visible, direct and yes sometimes financial way. manners.

James C. Tibbs