The Liminality of everyday life - Creatives in the context of the Islands Trust
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The Liminality of everyday life – Creatives in the context of the Islands Trust Creative communities excite and invigorate individuals and may also provide opportunity for some local economies. Although desired, this creative community profile is not to be taken for granted and may not be the right pursuit for all settlement areas. Soon after the millennium certain urban theorists describing the shift of western economies from industrial to knowledge based, prescribed the use of culture-led initiatives focusing on artistic presence as an economic development strategy to attract knowledge-based workers. But such a strategy, using artists as an economic development tool, has proven to be more suitable to large urban regions than smaller, remote communities. In smaller settlements artists have a substantive role, making significant community contributions as opposed to just being part of an attraction strategy. This research investigates the social, cultural and environmental planning context of Gabriola Island, a successful rural creative community, with special attention to the Islands Trust regional planning framework. The co-methodologies involved three years of ethnographic embeddedness relying on phenomenological hermeneutics. These embedded and interpretive methodologies yield very different results from previous studies and assisted in determining if any urban creative community traits shifted to the rural context. Overall findings were captured in three analysis discussions. The Gabriola creative economy depends on a concept I introduce as community vernacular - which encourages creative communities to be built from within. This inquiry also suggests the presence and role of ‘distinct place’, a concept which captures the spirit of the community. The findings in relation to local governance point to a disjunction between the Islands Trust and the lack of planning instruments required to adhere to their ‘preserve and protect’ mandate. The Trust has failed to foster a planning and governance model for its rural communities, where the arts and creative industries can continue to thrive. The Islands Trust planning toolkit, service, scope and approach must be updated with ecological and environmental best practices to fulfill its mandate thereby preserving and protecting distinct place and retaining the creative population. This important relationship between inhabitants and the region’s natural features explains why islanders become islanders. In summary, the embedded and interpretive methodologies contributed to the research by facilitating relationships with creatives in the community and allowing personal observation to experience the liminal nature of the planning and governance system. The theoretical concepts of community vernacular and distinct place will be developed further and ultimately contribute to rural cultural sustainability.
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Jill Yuzwa (2023). The Liminality of everyday life - Creatives in the context of the Islands Trust. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/20146