George Heyman

Electoral Riding

Vancouver-Fairview

Party Affiliation

BC NDP

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’m proud to run with a John Horgan and BC New Democrat team who have committed to doubling the BC Arts Council budget over the next four years. We’ve long been strong advocates of the Arts Council and the work it does. As a member of the legislature finance committee I received many submissions for increased funding and was frustrated that Christy Clark's Finance minister regularly ignored the cultural and economic contributions of BC artists and the Arts Council.

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. A BC NDP government would double funding for the BC Arts Council over four years.

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?

I would welcome ongoing advocacy support, and specifically information updates on the status and needs of BC arts and artists from the BC Alliance. New Democrats have long advocated for the arts, and for the BC Arts Council specifically. New Democrat MLAs would continue to be strong champions for the arts.

Cultural Growth

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

The BC NDP has committed to investing in creative spaces, increasing funding for the BC Arts Council and Creative BC. These commitments, along with our investments in the film and television industry will set the table for strong growth in BC’s arts and culture sector.

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?

The BC NDP has committed to creating an arts infrastructure fund. The creation of this fund will allow a BC NDP government to partner with the federal government and municipal government to deliver investments in creative and cultural spaces.

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?

A BC NDP government will work with artists and cultural workers to ensure that BC’s rich arts and culture offerings aren’t neglected in our tourism promotion efforts. Coupled with BC Liberal under-valuing of the cultural and economic contributions of the arts, the general un-affordability of life in BC under the BC Liberal government adds to the challenge of retaining artists in our communities is how unaffordable life has become under Christy Clark and the BC Liberal government. All while giving tax cuts to the richest British Columbians, increasing Hydro rates, ICBC premiums and ferry fares. 

A strong and vibrant arts community valued, supported and promoted by the provincial government will keep artists in all disciplines here in BC and encourage cultural tourism.

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 issue relating to arts, culture and heritage in BC is the lack of government partnership and commitment to the arts. For the last 16 years Christy Clark and the BC Liberals have refused to work with other levels of government to nurture, celebrate and promote our arts and culture industry in BC. A BC NDP government would end this neglect and become active participants in the promotion of arts, culture and heritage in BC communities.

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 regularly attended jazz and symphony concerts, art exhibits, and live theatre at festivals like PuSH and Fringe, and local theatre productions since my teenage years.

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!

At the end of 2016 I completed a 4 year term on the board of a new Vancouver theatre company (the Elbow), 2 years as president. When president of the BCGEU we supported various arts events. I have been active in the arts community personally as a published and performance poet, and editor and publisher of 2 small writing magazines. My involvement in the arts at every level has helped strengthen me, increase my understanding and empathy, and enhance my creative thinking.