Developers Will Pay More For Public Art In Vancouver Starting Next Year

Developers in Vancouver, Canada will owe more to the City’s public art collection starting next year.

Currently, private developers who benefit from a rezoning for their projects must contribute $1.81 per square foot towards public art; they can choose to either build art onsite, or pay into a public art fund, per City policy. These rates were determined in 2008, when I was in high school, we were staring down the barrel of the Recession, and people were listening to Flo Rida.

The Vancouver City Council voted to hike developer contributions yesterday, in an attempt to keep up with rising construction costs since that time (based on this report from the Vancouver general manager of Community Services.) Starting next September, developers will pay $1.98 per square foot for public art on rezoned projects.

Regular adjustments to developer pay rates are built into the public art policy. The fixed, per-square-foot policy differs from typical “percent for art” rules in other cities, which tie public art funding directly to project costs. According to the General Manager’s report, this structure was established “at the request of the development industry.”

The extra 17 cents that the Council agreed to last night represent a 1.5 percent increase in public art rates since the last one went into effect.

“I’m really happy about the public-art fund going up based on the fact that it hasn’t caught up with costs,” Councillor Heather Deal told the Georgia Straight.”It seems like a small amount, but it will add a robust amount of money into the public-art program.”

Featured Image: “The Drop,” Inges Idee artist group, 2009. Source: