Urban Forum looks at role of culture and arts in the future of Kelowna's downtown

Speaker Tim Jones is president and CEO of Artscape, an urban development organization that rejuvenates buildings, neighbourhoods and cities through the arts.

Tim Jones, president and CEO of Artscape -- a not-for-profit urban development organization that rejuvenates buildings, neighbourhoods and cities through the arts -- will speak in Kelowna about ways to incorporate culture and the arts in community growth and revitalization.

The presentation, titled Thinking Big About Culture-Led Regeneration, takes place on October 13 at 7 p.m. at the Rotary Centre for the Arts. It is part of the fifth annual Urban Forum for Sustainability, presented by UBC Okanagan and the City of Kelowna in partnership with the Planning Institute of British Columbia and the Economic Development Commission of the Central Okanagan.

"Kelowna is growing and we have a vibrant cultural district," says Bernard Momer, associate professor of geography with UBC Okanagan's Community, Culture and Global Studies unit, and organizer of this year's event. "There is a push to bring more people and activity into downtown Kelowna in creative ways. Tim has a lot of experience in working in downtown areas to increase their diversity and to come up with innovative solutions to include arts and culture within the downtown of a city."

Also taking place as part of the Urban Forum for Sustainability is a lecture by Mark Pickersgill, titled City Planning and the Art of Fostering Creative Communities. Pickersgill, who holds a Master of Arts (Planning) degree from UBC's School of Community and Regional Planning, has worked as a city planner for the City of Delta, the City of Surrey, and served as editor of Streethawk Magazine. Pickersgill's lecture will take place at the UBC Okanagan Sciences building room SCI 337 at 9:30 a.m. on October 13.

The annual forum offers a good opportunity to listen to experts, be part of the discussion, and to ask questions, says Momer.

"Anybody who is interested in the development of the downtown, in the culture of our city or in promoting culture, or anybody from organizations such as the Urban Development Institute, for example, should attend this event," says Momer.

Admission is free to both presentations; no tickets required.

Momer is currently working to develop cultural indicators for sustainable planning in Kelowna through a detailed assessment of the culture and cultural needs of the city.

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