People in Saskatoon could see a lot more publicly-funded art, if city council approves a new plan.

It includes earmarking money for art in certain high profile civic construction projects. When the city spends five million dollars or more on a project, one per cent would be spent on art, up to a maximum of half a million dollars.

Kevin Kitchen, the City's community initiatives manager, said it doesn't necessarily mean placing a sculpture beside a building or bridge

"One option is to use that funding to integrate art right into the design, through lighting, and through windows, and through interior design components of the building itself," Kitchen said.

Designated civic capital projects would include new public buildings such as libraries, community centres, and recreation and sport facilities. They would also include neighbourhood parks and village squares, new bridges and bridge replacements, and major street rehabilitation or streetscaping.

A public art reserve for smaller projects is also proposed.  Annual contributions would be phased in over five years, starting with $20,000, and eventually reaching $100,000. The money would be used for art in smaller capital projects, as well as art not tied to a specific project.

Kitchen said the reserve will enable the city to buy art, rather than rely on donations, and to place its acquisitions beyond the downtown area.

"We've heard from residents and from communities that they would like to see more public art in other parts of the city, in the neighbourhoods in Saskatoon, perhaps in city parks," he said.

Council's Planning and Operations committee has given the idea the nod. It now goes to council for a final decision.


Replay the Saskatoon Morning live chat below.