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Off the Cluff: Public Art Ladders to Nowhere (with Mike Klassen)

Nobody's saying 'no more public art.' But it's fair to ask whether some installations are pointlessly pricey.

A city is more than just roads and infrastructure – it's a cultural hub as well. Public art is part of that commitment to beauty and heritage. But what happens when public art goes out of control?

In the middle of busy Kingsway in east Vancouver, a new 120-foot ladder to nowhere has been built, costing $671,000, and it’s sparking questions about public art, public priorities, and the public purse.

Mike Klassen is a city columnist for the Vancouver Courier newspaper, and recently wrote about the Ladder to Nowhere. Mike joined Rick in studio.

Rick Cluff is an award-winning journalist who hosted the popular CBC Radio Vancouver morning program “The Early Edition” from 1997 until his retirement in April of 2018.

He has conducted more than 50,000 interviews and asked more than half a million questions, of prime ministers, premiers, presidents and some of the world’s biggest sports and entertainment personalities.