Your Vision for Arts + Culture
Will you advocate for an increased investment to the BC Arts Council and to maintain or increase the current funding level for arts, culture and heritage in your community?
Yes. I think we should double the funding to the BCAC. I've seen first hand the social and economic value of Arts and Culture and will advocate tirelessly for it.
Will you take an active role on behalf of your community to lobby senior levels of government to increase levels of investment to the BC Arts Council?
Yes. There is a critical need for increased understanding of the importance of the BCAC. I have been a jury member, an advocate and recipient of BCAC funds in multiple disciplines. I am eager to use that experience in furthering support to BCAC.
If you are in favour of increased investment in arts, culture, and heritage for our province and committed to lobbying senior levels of government for increases to the BC Arts Council, would you require additional advocacy support from the BC Alliance for Arts + Culture? If so, how can we help?
While I am reasonably conversant, any information and statistical data is welcome. Feel free to contact me if you would like to pass anything along. firstname.lastname@example.org
In your view, how can our provincial government maintain or grow the cultural sector across British Columbia?
British Columbia is graced with outstanding natural resources, incredible landscapes and talented people. Our cities and communities regularly number among the most liveable in the world. We can use these attributes and the existing strength of our arts and cultural communities to expand the cultural sector to increase social and economic prosperity to all of British Columbia.
By identifying success stories, best practises as it were, we can position more communities for cultural and artistic growth. Investment by the provincial government, both from a capital and operating perspective, is essential to such an initiative. British Columbia has the opportunity to be a world leader on the cultural stage but it requires long-term vision and investment.
I see the cultural sector as being a key pillar in the social, cultural and economic success of our province.
Cultural + Creative Spaces
Will you work to ensure access to affordable, sustainable cultural and creative spaces for artists and arts organizations in British Columbia? If so, how?
Yes. Access to affordable, sustainable cultural and creative spaces is something that should happen throughout the province, in rural as well as urban centres. Cultural hubs provide vibrancy to communities and are central to revitalization efforts of municipalities large and small. This can be accomplished through direct funding, zoning incentives, use of brown-field sites and municipal and provincial lands. Much of the heavy lifting is done at the municipal level so support to municipalities and arts and cultural organizations is key.
I see a growing crisis in cities such as Metro Vancouver and Greater Victoria where artists are being forced out due to the rising cost of living. While this may provide an advantage to smaller, more affordable communities, it will ultimately reduce the creative energy of our cities and the industry as a whole will suffer.
How will you improve cultural tourism in your community? How do you propose to attract and retain artists and cultural workers in your community?
Fundamentally, build a welcoming, livable community that celebrates artists and the arts. Good, reliable product that is authentic to your community is key and that product and it's promotion must be fully integrated into the community and any tourism promotion.
What do you feel to be the single most important issue currently relating to arts, culture and heritage in British Columbia, and what action will you take to address it?
While it is simple to say that the key issue is funding, the reality is that it goes much deeper than that. The key issue is a lack of understanding as to the importance of Arts, Culture and Heritage at the political, bureaucratic and community level. We need more champions who can articulate a clear vision for the importance of the cultural industries in British Columbia.
Education at all levels is essential. Heralding the benefits and role of Arts, Culture and Heritage in the social, cultural and economic success of our communities is the first step in greater success which includes public support, funding and a vibrant, informed audience.
How do you personally engage in the creative and cultural life of your community, and more broadly, the province? (e.g. committees, attending arts and culture events, etc.)
I am an active audience member in the creative and cultural life in my community and others. I have sat on dozens of committees, volunteered thousands of hours and been a member of many boards at various levels. I worked in the museum field for 15 years and have run a small publishing company for 7. I sat on the board of the BC Museums Association and the Association of Book Publishers of BC as well as serving on BCAC juries in community arts and publishing. I volunteer at theatre, music festivals, visual arts events and and other initiatives and my wife and I contribute as we can to the cultural success of our community.
If you would like to provide voters with additional information about your stance on arts, culture and heritage issues in British Columbia, please use the space below. Hint: sharing personal stories or experience about how art, culture and heritage have impacted your life are often the best way to effectively connect with your readers!
As Mayor and City Councillor I have seen first hand how arts, culture and heritage contributed to the transformation of our community. From a community on the ropes in the late 1990's to a thriving social, cultural and economic hub at the present, Fernie worked to build arts and culture as a key part of our identity. Through efforts by many individuals and organizations we are succeeding and one of the indicators of our success is the fact that Fernie grew more than almost any other community in the most recent census. With an increase in population of 18% Fernie is vibrant and attracts investment and people from all over the world.
One of the best things about Fernie's story is that other communities have many of the elements to create similar success. It isn't something that happens overnight, it takes vision, effort and investment.