POLICING THE CANUCKS
According to the Vancouver Courier (April 6, 2012) the city is prepared to spend more than $1 million on policing costs on the National Hockey League’s playoffs, depending upon whether or not the Vancouver Canucks are involved. Justifiably nervous after last year’s Stanley Cup riot, the city plans a measurable increase in police presence.
Policing for the first game, which happens on Friday, April 13th, is estimated to cost $67,472. Costs for subsequent games, including the Stanley Cup Final, are set at $86,488; $163, 744; and $752,963 respectively. The grand total, billed to Vancouver taxpayers, comes to $1,070, 667.
VANCOUVER’S CULTURAL GRANTS
Meanwhile, the city allocated $2,852,600 in 2011 operating grants to local cultural organizations.
Policing costs: $0.00
While we applaud the City’s total allocation of $7,275,600 in all grant programs—including $3,959,400 to major organizations like the Vancouver Art Gallery ($2,181,00)—we note that grant requests totalled $8,501,779, more likely reflecting actual need.
A more substantial investment in the arts could make a real difference. We believe that cultural tourism has the potential of bringing vast social and economic benefits to Vancouver—without any increase in police costs. This would call for a change in our vision (Vision?) of what makes a city a desirable destination for travellers. Progressive cities (Frankfurt, Valencia, Miami Beach, Seattle, San Francisco, Oslo, e.g.) are promoting arts and culture as reasons for visiting. An ad in The New Yorker (March 26, 2012) says: Explore Oslo, Capital of Culture—Experience a unique combination of art, culture, and the great outdoors in Norway’s celebrated capital.
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For full details on the city’s 2011 cultural grants, see Administrative Report, 2011 Cultural Grants Allocations.