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The Community Arts Council of Vancouver : its place in the organization of balanced leisure-time activities Sweeny, Dorothea Moira

Abstract

Creative art experience has been widely recognized, in recent years, as an important facet of the recreational activity of human beings. In an age where leisure-time has become the right of most people, provision of facilities for its constructive use has assumed increasing significance. As a result, many new developments in recreation have emerged, including growth of group work specialization within the field of social work. Another related supplementation has come in the initiation of a new coordinative movement in the arts, one phase of which is described in the following study of the Community Arts Council of Vancouver. Embodied in the thesis is information obtained from within the Arts Council itself: from its files; from the people directly concerned with its inception and development; and from the writer's personal experience as a staff member. Other material is taken from the publications of the two coordinative movements from which the Arts Council's thinking borrows: those of American Welfare, and the Arts Council of Great Britain; and is tied in with current Canadian trends as shown by the work of the recent Royal Commission on Arts Letters and Sciences. In addition, information both quantitative and qualitative was obtained from a sampling of Arts Council affiliate-groups, through questionnaire and interview methods. The experiences of the war years, both on this continent and in Great Britain, underlined the values of supplementing the sporadic, unrelated activities of spontaneous and autonomous art groups with some organized means of coordinating these activities and providing essential joint services beyond the financial capacities of individual groups. Vancouver was the first city on the continent to attempt such provision on a local level, and did so in direct recognition that arts, the symbolization of man's basic drives, were essential to the common good, thus integral to welfare. In the light of this basic assumption of the movement, it was felt that a study of the growth and development of the prototype of other local Arts Councils on this continent would have reference value within the field of social work.

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