Oceanside Community Arts Council Strategic Plan 2023-2028

This document outlines the five year strategic plan to which the Board of Directors of Oceanside Community Arts Council (OCAC) commits for the period 2023-2028. The strategic plan evolved from the Board’s experience and from key funders, artists, local and regional residents, arts organizations, community and regional leaders, leaders in the local indigenous communities and local government leaders.

We recognize that a strategic plan is fluid and, as such, regular evaluation of its programs and goals will evolve as the artistic and cultural needs of the community evolve. In order to enhance our ability to understand the challenges of implementing full equity, inclusion and access for all, some of our members have signed on to the “Pathways” pilot program launching in October, 2023.

Who We Are

Oceanside Community Arts Council is a regional community arts organization covering an area on Vancouver Island from Lantzville to Bowser and coincides with School District 69. We have a board of directors, all volunteers, including President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Members at Large. Our main hub, the McMillan Arts Centre, has an Executive Director, a part time Gift Shop manager and an invaluable complement of volunteers who maintain its operations. The OCAC has over 360 registered members drawn from throughout the region. 

As a member of the Designated Priority Group, the Oceanside Community Arts Council is dedicated to positioning the creative arts as central to quality of life in Oceanside on Vancouver Island. Raising the level of awareness of art and culture in Oceanside through collaborations, information, education and public exposure, the OCAC's vision is to elevate and celebrate Oceanside's culture and history, including the rich artistic heritage, traditions and creations of our indigenous communities. We recognize that arts and culture are central to the quality of life and well-being of the Oceanside community. Through engagement and collaboration with local artists and cultural organizations, we provide programs and services in response to community needs. We, also, acknowledge that we live, work, and play on the traditional unceded territory of the Snaw’naw’as and the Qualicum First Nations and, in our efforts to provide equitable access to all members of our diverse community, we engage the local indigenous communities as a welcomed contributor to the arts and culture well-being of Oceanside.  Chief Gord Edwards is an honorary member of the board and speaks at the opening of our exhibitions and events.



Under the guiding principles of equity, diversity, accessibility and reconciliation, our five year strategic plan will respond to the needs and desires of our community through collaboration, partnerships and engagement in providing a vibrant arts and culture environment in Oceanside. 

Core Values

A comprehensive exploration of the Oceanside Community Arts Council's multifaceted commitment to fostering a vibrant, inclusive, and artistically enriched community, this section sets out the key pillars that underpin our mission and drive our efforts:

  • Artistic Development and Achievement underscores our dedication to nurturing artistic talent, offering a platform for artists to thrive, and celebrating their achievements.

  • Indigenous Engagement and Participation reflects our respect for and collaboration with Indigenous communities, acknowledging their unique contributions to our cultural tapestry.

  • Equity, Access, and Diversity lie at the core of our ethos, ensuring that our local arts and culture community is accessible to all, regardless of background or identity.

  • Collaboration and Partnerships showcase our belief in the power of collective action, working alongside like-minded organizations to amplify our impact.

  • Community Engagement and Participation highlights our commitment to involving the community in every artistic endeavour, fostering a sense of belonging.

  • Promotion of Oceanside artists highlights our dedication to showcasing local artists and artisans which strengthening our regional arts scene.

  • Fair and Transparent Governance signifies our unwavering commitment to upholding ethical, accountable, and equitable practices in all our operational endeavours.

Together, these pillars form the foundation of our work, driving us to create a dynamic and inclusive arts environment in the Oceanside community. Each section of the strategic plan providers deeper insights into our initiatives and the incredible individuals who make it all possible. 


OCAC recognizes the importance of coordination with regional and community stakeholders and is committed to working in partnership with them, including:

  • Individuals committed to the value of the Arts

  • Arts organizations

  • Indigenous communities and artists

  • Community groups and businesses

  • Organizations with a regional focus

  • Municipal and regional governments and the Province of BC

  • Marginalized groups including Indigenous, Black, racialized, MAD, disabled and 2SLGBTQ+ communities and volunteers. 

Goals and Strategic Priorities

Goal 1: Sustain the McMillan Arts Centre as Oceanside’s Hub of Operations

Recognizing the importance of sustaining and nurturing arts centres in our community, the OCAC's Strategic Plan emphasizes the need to support and enhance the McMillan Arts Centre (MAC) as a vital hub for artistic and cultural expression, engagement and inclusivity. Under the guiding principles of equity, diversity, accessibility, reconciliation, sustainability and creative development, the following initiatives are currently, and will continue to be, pursued over the next five years.


The MAC will continue to showcase and celebrate local artists and curate:

  • Monthly exhibitions in three galleries

  • Digital Gallery with rotating shows

  • Major Installations every two years during summer months 


The MAC will continue to provide and expand its classes and workshops throughout the year

  • School for the Creative Arts

  • Art Bites

  • Art Gems

  • Digital Literacy

  • Artists’ Workshops 


  • The MAC has local artists painting or creating weekly on location at the MAC who are willing to talk about their work to guests who come to view the galleries 


The MAC provides space for outside groups to rent for:

  • Performances and Classes

  • Musical, yoga, storytelling etc. 


  • The MAC has a vibrant gift shop where local artists and Artisans’ artwork and jewelry, cards and crafts etc. are available year round 


The MAC will host:

  • Artist receptions

  • Special installations

  • BC Cultural Days and community events throughout the year

  • Small Halls Oceanside 2024



The MAC provides programs for children in the summer and continues to reach out to the local schools

  • Creative Kids art programs

  • Collaboration with local schools


  • Complete and maintain the community Art Garden adjacent to the MAC building as a key component of children’s summer programs

  • Encourage visitations to all peoples or our diverse community for collaboration, learning together and celebrations 


  • Continue to expand the role of the MAC as the box office for ticketed musical and festival events in Oceanside including Beachfest, Rock the Park and Oceanside Classical Concerts


Goal 2: Lead through Collaboration and Partnerships

"Lead through Collaboration and Partnerships" represents our steadfast belief in the transformative power of unity. We recognize that by working hand in hand with like-minded organizations, we can achieve far-reaching impacts. Through collaborative endeavours and strategic partnerships, OCAC seeks to enrich our cultural landscape, broaden resources, and amplify influence.

  • Create an advisory panel of stakeholders representing the communities in Oceanside

  • Engage indigenous stakeholders to increase participation in the OCAC

  • Identify and Engage with Marginalized Groups

  • Expand OCAC presence in Oceanside communities by establishing partnerships with businesses for purposes such as art galleries

  • Encourage local governments and businesses to include the arts in planning and development

  • Support and strengthen local arts groups participation in OCAC initiatives

  • Continue growing our existing relationships with the Bayside Inn and Resort, Tigh Na Mara and the Craig Bay Heritage Museum 

Goal 3: Provide Communications and Promotions

"Provide Communications and Promotions" is focused on celebrating the vibrant tapestry of arts, culture, and heritage within the Oceanside Community Arts Council. In this section, OCAC highlights a commitment to effectively sharing the stories, creations, and accomplishments of our local artists and cultural initiatives. Through various communication channels and promotional strategies, OCAC strives to connect our community with the rich world of arts This includes a showcase of talent, events, and artistic endeavours that embody the heart and soul of our cultural community.

  • Expand the OCAC website development as a marketing tool for the arts and Oceanside artists, artisans and musicians

  • Continue to develop and deliver regional arts initiatives and events at venues throughout Oceanside such BC Culture Days, Seniors Arts Programs, Summer School for the Arts and Small Halls Oceanside

  • Elevate the level of artistic achievement through the development and delivery of educational programs, seminars and videos 

Goal 4: Engage the Oceanside Community

"Engage the Oceanside Community" is focussed on connecting and fostering a sense of belonging, by encouraging active involvement within our vibrant community. OCAC will create avenues for individuals from diverse backgrounds to connect with the arts, culture, and heritage that define our region. Through inclusive programs, events, and initiatives, OCAC will nurture meaningful dialogues and strengthen the bonds that weave our community together.

  • Continue to facilitate alliances with local Indigenous communities and arts groups

  • Expand the Summer arts program at the MAC to other community venues

  • Engage in arts education and outreach to schools, community centres, seniors’ centres and others

  • Continue to operate “Aging Artfully” for residents in five Oceanside seniors’ residents aiming to expand to three more facilities in the next five years with volunteer support of local artists

  • Increase the number of classes in our seniors’ art program at the MAC for those living in their own homes

  • Provide guidance and support to community art projects such as Culture Days, community murals, music concerts, dance and neighbourhood projects

  • Encourage volunteer and mentorship programs making connections and contributing to the growth and development of the art community within Oceanside such as the BC Culture Days in Bowser

  • Small Halls Oceanside 2024 project

  • Reach out to all communities in the Oceanside area and create collaborative arts programs

  • Encourage OCAC Membership 

Goal 5: Engage the indigenous Community

"Engage the Indigenous Community" stands as a cornerstone in OCAC's strategic goals, reflecting OCAC's commitment to building bridges and nurturing truly meaningful relationships with Oceanside’s Indigenous communities and individuals. In this section, OCAC's initiatives are designed to create spaces for collaboration, mutual learning, and the celebration of Indigenous arts and culture. Through partnerships, events, and educational endeavours, OCAC strives to foster an environment where Indigenous voices, traditions, and contributions are not only acknowledged but also cherished.

  • Provide opportunity for Indigenous exhibitions and performances

  • Continue growing our existing relationships with First Nation artists (Tony Fuller, Mike Bellis, Ice Bear)

  • Continue inviting and welcoming Indigenous Elders and leaders to participate in our opening ceremonies and receptions

  • Formally invite First Nation members to join OCAC’s Board of Directors, in addition to Chief Gord Edwards

  • Participate in the BC Arts Council Pathways project 

Goal 6: Provide Opportunities For and Engage Marginalized Groups

"Provide opportunities for and engage Marginalized Groups" is a pivotal section in the Oceanside Community Arts Council Strategic Plan. We are dedicated to fostering an inclusive arts community where every voice is heard and valued. To achieve this, we actively seek out opportunities to collaborate with marginalized groups, including racial and ethnic minorities, the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, women and gender minorities, Indigenous communities, immigrants and refugees, religious and ethnic minorities, elderly individuals, those with low socioeconomic status, and language minorities. Through tailored programs, partnerships, and accessible initiatives, we aim to create a vibrant and equitable arts environment that reflects the diverse tapestry of our community. Together, we strive to ensure that art truly knows no boundaries, and that all members of our community can participate in and benefit from the transformative power of the arts.

  • Collaborate with local government and key groups to identify our marginalized community

  • Establish an Advisory committee to the Board of Directors

  • Generate projects and initiatives as opportunities present

  • Conduct an OCAC appraisal of projects and present findings to the Board

  • Continue to partner with disabilities organization to ensure that the MAC remains accessible

  • Attend the Pathways program 

Goal 7: Provide Strong and Fair Governance

"Provide Strong and Fair Governance" is a fundamental pillar of OCAC's strategic vision, and embodies OCAC's commitment to upholding ethical, transparent and equitable practices in all aspects of our organization. OCAC will continue to ensure a solid foundation for strong and fair governance where decisions are made with integrity and accountability, reflecting the values of our diverse community. This will ensure that OCAC continues to operate in a manner that is fair, inclusive, and responsive to the needs of all of our members and stakeholders.

  • Develop and maintain a board of directors recruitment policy that reflects the core values of the OCAC for inclusion and diversity and the participation of volunteers

  • Implement business and financial plans that are public and transparent

  • Develop, implement and maintain human resources plans including volunteers, staff and contractors

  • Develop and implement a strategy to promote the value of OCAC membership building on the success of our website

  • Monitor the performance and the effectiveness of our Strategic Plan and allow for modification as and when appropriate

  • Develop and implement policies and procedures that guide our operations in compliance with relevant laws and regulations and plan for continuous review to ensure high standards of integrity and accountability.

  • Develop recruitment and succession planning for board members, committees and volunteers to ensure continuity and implementation of our Strategic Objectives

  • Review the OCAC Administrative and Operations Manual and update where and when appropriate

  • Encourage members attendance and participation at AGM and monthly board meetings

  • Publish and circulate AGM and board meeting minutes

  • Update and modify the strategic plan as required.