Public art projects that inspire and connect the community backed by arts committee

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Wildlife signage in Sunnidale Park, mural panels at Eastview Arena, and anti-harassment and safety posters in downtown bus shelters are projects that have been approved or are under review by the Barrie Public Arts Committee (BPAC).
The committee, struck in 2012, and comprising two City councillors and volunteer members, is mandated to acquire public art that inspires and connects the community in public spaces, says a memo to council from Stephanie Schlichter, economic and creative development director.
A goal of the committee “is to enhance the community’s sense of ownership and value by commissioning works that are site-specific and encouraging awareness of collective heritages, neighbourhood identities and the value of creativity and creative processes in urban living.” Each member of council has a budget such projects. Ward 2’s Keenan Aylwin, Ward 1’s Claire Reipma, and Ward 4’s Barry Ward each brought projects forward for the committee’s approval. They are:
Ward 4: The project involves artist-designed wildlife signage that will be installed at the new Hope Garden being developed in Sunnidale Park. The project will add a public art and educational element to the garden, and encourage families and passersby to engage in and learn about the plants and animals that exist within and around it. 
Ward 2: This one relates to a community-engaged public art project in downtown Barrie that focused on anti-harassment and safety in the downtown. A combination of art and campaign, the proposed artwork installation sites include posters in the transit shelters. It will proceed once an approval is received. 
Ward 1: A community-engaged art working group is working with Riepma regarding his plan to beautify the exterior of Eastview Arena with mural panels. Students from the Georgian College’s School of Design and Visual Art will design and paint the aluminum panels, that have a projected lifespan of two to five years. This one is also awaiting approval.
The committee, writes, Schlichter, “provides expert community input on the City of Barrie’s public art policies and procedures, gives guidance and advice to City departments from the earliest stages of public art projects proposed for City-owned lands, and makes recommendations regarding donations to the City.”

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