Alison Shaw

Electoral Riding

Kelowna-Lake Country

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. A thriving community culture is important to me. I would advocate for both formal arts and culture organizations (e.g. theatre, symphony, museums) and informal arts and culture organizations (e.g. speak easy, salons, art walks, festivals, etc.).

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. BC Arts Council is a significant grant provider in the province.

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?

Yes. It would be an effective strategy to have data on the influence of arts and culture in building community discourse, fostering community engagement, showcasing and providing opportunities for talent.

Cultural Growth

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

Work with local governments to reduce red-tape for accessing public spaces, increasing access to venues, encouraging opportunities for local talent to perform and learn in both formal and informal spaces.

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. I was a volunteer for many years at the In the House Festival in Vancouver. This organization overcame a lack of access to performance venues and a substantial roster of local performance talent and used volunteer yards and homes across the city as venues. This type of creativity enlivened the arts community and was both accessible and affordable. I would work to encourage such creative solutions that can contribute so significantly to the arts community.

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?

Already we have organizations such as Lake Country Art Gallery that promote events such as the incredibly well-attended Lake Country ArtWalk. I would be aiming to work with successful organizations like that already showcase over 300 artists to support, encourage and grow what they are already doing for best practices across the province.

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?

The single most important issues are liveable wages for our artists to be encouraged to thrive and venues to showcase performance, musical, and other artistic talents. Scholarships and grants for artists would be supported in the shorter term. Removing barriers for private and public spaces to host events that showcase talent. In the longer term, the Green Party's interest in a basic income pilot project may expose ways that members of our society will be encouraged to pursue their creative passions and thrive while doing it.

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 am a supporter of the arts. I attend theatre and musical performances. I support art walks and talent showcased at the farmer's market. I love to support local design and seamstress talent. I promote and encourage festivals, markets and acts within my networks. 

I am a Board Member of the Fresh Outlook Foundation, an organization that uses all kinds of modalities to build social, cultural and environmental health within the Okanagan and the rest of BC.

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!

I always joke that I'm the only one in my family that somehow the creative gene skipped me (I'm also the shortest in my family - connection ;). I have always associated creativity with the visual arts, musical inclinations and proclivities toward performance. Studies now tell us that creativity manifests in different ways. I happen to be a creative, systems thinker. As a professional, I identify creative solutions to pressing problems. Exposure to art and culture opens certain neural pathways in the brain that help people develop their own forms of creativity, ranging from problem-solving to specific talent and passion to ticking to their own drum. Activating these pathways is incredibly important, especially in children. I was fortunate in having much exposure as a child and believe that our education system needs better supports for fostering an appreciation of these developmental advantages. I also think we need to do a better job in supporting our creatives into the future. They teach us so much about the world, new perspectives, new approaches, different ways of seeing what it means to be human, and pierce us with the presence of their creative genius. Any opportunity I have to support the nurturing of creativity in our education system and in our communities, I will.