Dear Mayor and Council Members,
I am writing to you to express my heartfelt disappointment about recent comments made by your CAO, Teresa Sullivan regarding public art in the Sooke town core. When asked about the rock art exchange, Ms. Sullivan insists, “It’s not a look we want in our town.”
The comment has left me wondering who “we” is, as it is certainly not the community that my family chose to become a part of and have grown to admire and love.
When we were choosing where to move, and raise our children, Sooke was only one of many options. We were attracted to Sooke because of it’s unique and vibrant community. It is a community of artists, farmers, activists, and a huge diversity of people passionate about the town they have chosen to call home. It is this uniqueness, this quirkiness, that is being criticized by the district’s CAO.
My children and I walk and bike around Sooke daily. When we spotted those beautiful rocks at the rock exchange, we were elated. They may seem to be just rocks, but they are so much more. Those rocks reminded me what I love about Sooke. People who live here care about their community, and it is a place where the unique and vibrant spirit of its residents is visible when you walk around. We are not a bedroom community, wanting to look like other generic towns. Rather, the artistic nature of the residents of Sooke shines through these random acts of art, and they show what our community has to offer.
My family is part of the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network, and we actively advocate for beautiful, walkable, bikable, sustainable communities. I thought Sooke had a lot of potential. I read the OCP, created through community consultation, I met people who volunteered their time to make Sooke amazing, I got involved with groups intent on making Sooke better, and I hoped that what I saw, others saw too.
I assumed that in a community like Sooke, public input would be invited, and welcome. Unfortunately, many of the decisions that the CAO and council have made since we arrived last fall are disappointing, to say the least. The CAO’s aversion to the rock exchange makes it evident that she does not understand our community, and the many passionate people who make it great.
They aren’t just rocks.
- Have a penny? Nope. But if you have a rock, leave a rock at the Sooke Rock Exchange
- Source of the comment
- The District issues a response: Distrock of Sooke Leaves No Stone Unturned!