David H T Wong

Electoral Riding

Vancouver-Hastings

Party Affiliation

BC Green Party

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. Absolutely. Arts and Culture is the engine of creativity & innovation

Advocacy

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. I've been actively lobbying for better support for decades

Support

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?

Numbers help create the narrative. Support from BC Alliance and others will help demonstrate with data and real evidence of how successful our BC talent has been nationally and internationally. We then follow it up with more info and demonstrable evidence of how arts and culture have successfully led to the incredible innovation and creative sectors-- which translates to real jobs here in BC and elsewhere.

Cultural Growth

In your view, how can our provincial government maintain or grow the cultural sector across British Columbia?

We can grow it by making funding more easy to apply for. Currently, the administrative paper work and deadline dates are quite frustrating and definitely overwhelming. Create more deadline application dates per area (some currently have a once a year date that may happen to occur at an artist’s challenging time). In addition, share the many success stories with knowledge providers, educators and community leaders, and help them craft the message... so we will know of and may all be proud of our own homegrown talents. 

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. Let's plan into our communities, "creative hot house" places that are conducive to creativity — affordable places that share resources, meeting places, performance and public gathering spaces to showcase our talent.

Cultural Tourism

How will you improve cultural tourism in your community? How do you propose to attract and retain artists and cultural workers in your community?

Cultural tourism has been given a new look. It’s no longer just historic nor heritage areas, but spoken word festivals, theatre, music performances, First Nations cultural experiences (history, foods, arts, language). I would work with BC Greens colleagues to help promote, support and increase the number of events —perhaps a major province wide festival — to celebrate our province’s many diverse arts and cultural communities. And include into meaningful ways to encourage the engagement and inclusion our province’s schools into our celebrations through cross ministry support— e.g. industry, education, arts and culture, housing etc. I would love to advocate for programs that would embrace and celebrate our artists. Recognize our best as "living treasures"

Key Issues

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?

Awareness. Funding support and promotion of our province's talent will help with creating more awareness. I will do my best to work with municipal governments to plan into their communities, more facilities to house and showcase the Arts and Culture. (I get quite envious when I visit Montréal and Ottawa with their many museums and art galleries!)

Participation

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 have been involved in the arts and culture for over 4 decades and have helped found a number of organizations including the Asian Canadian Writers Workshop and it’s “offsprings”— Ricepaper magazine (where I was one of the first Art Directors and Editor) and LiterAsian Festival; Chief Dan George Ctr for Indigenous Studies; advocated for Canadian Lit and First Peoples history at the Frankfurt International Book Fair; helped found the Museum of Migration and others. I am also a published author and am proud to share that I have been actively supporting my friends and colleagues in this literature and writing for quite awhile.

Additional Feedback

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!

Yes. I am in total agreement and am most supportive of supporting our province’s arts and cultural communities. 

Arts and culture is what defines who we are as a community and as society. Its strength and diversity of ideas that result in the many, many creative endeavours are hard to measure… but I’ve always known that much of our innovation and creative energy is a productive outcome of arts and culture. And innovation is the engine of our creative industries here in our province. 

My work with coastal First Nations has been recognized and respected through honours and adoptions by FN clans and families across North America. In 2013 I was inducted as an Honorary Witness by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. 

BC Green party colleagues and I recognize the value of, and will advocate for support of our province’s arts and cultural communities.