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. The BC Greens would look at funding across ministries such as health, education and economic development to integrate expanded arts funding effectively into our plan to foster healthy, sustainable communities.
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?
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, we need to recognize the vital role that the arts and culture sector has not only to our economy but to the overall health and wellbeing of British Columbians. We need to invest in the art and culture with the same veracity that we would any sector of our economy that promotes sustainable job growth and lifestyles.
In your view, how can our provincial government maintain or grow the cultural sector across British Columbia?
We need to do a better job of highlighting our arts and culture sector to the world and increase investment that fosters job growth while supporting artists. Much of this starts with shifting our outlook to view artists as a necessary part of the economy and of our communities.
Recognizing that jobs and growth in the arts and culture sector need to be supported in the same way that we support other areas of our economy. By maintaining a vibrant cultural community in British Columbia we not only increase the wellbeing and health of our own population, but we enhance our image as a lucrative and richly diverse province that will attract further growth and development.
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?
We must first preserve what we’ve already got. As affordability is a huge issue across the province, the BC Greens plan to cool the housing market to increasing affordability. I consider this to be the first step to ensuring we can maintain sustainable cultural growth. Local Vancouver creative staples, such as the Beaumont Studios, have been pushed out of their spaces due to dramatic property value linked tax increases. Affordable housing and affordable rent also means vibrant and accessible community space, so to this end, I am proud to support the BC Greens Affordable Housing plan.
How will you improve cultural tourism in your community? How do you propose to attract and retain artists and cultural workers in your community?
We must continue to establish Vancouver as a world class city and BC as a world class province. People should look to us for our rich cultural resources and arts. That begins by fostering this sector with sustainable investment in key areas. We should look to the industries currently contributing to our cultural landscape, such as the vibrant film industry in Vancouver, and grow these by maintaining incentives and skilled workers. We should also do a better job of highlighting communities that are underserved, such as many indigenous voices in the arts, that may then become a greater draw for cultural tourism through their specific and unique cultural connection to BC. We also need to make it clear that BC values individuals who live and work in our communities with initiatives such as the BC Greens increase to the foreign buyers tax, to incentivize individuals to put down roots in BC and contribute to our sense of community and cultural growth.
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?
Affordability and as a direct consequence, representation. If we can’t afford to live here, so how can we afford to foster a vibrant arts and culture community? How do we address affordability to allow people to be able to live and work in the places that they want to. This is related to marginalization and representation in the arts. We must create initiatives to ensure that things such as economics are not a barrier to the arts. Ensure that people with diverse backgrounds and a multitude of voices are able to express themselves across art forms. We are not a homogenous culture so how do we recognize and invest in this as a province? The BC Greens income security platform outlines numerous initiatives to ensure that all British Columbians can feel healthy and safe and fully participate in their communities knowing that their livelihoods are secure.
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’m an artist and a media producer by trade. I have worked in the arts and culture sector since graduating university which has exposed me to all types of art from established and traditional to emerging and avant garde. When I was studying for my Master’s degree at UBC my peers in the theatre department were all emerging artists who have continued to grow their craft after university. This allows me a great opportunity to take in amazing new work across disciplines. In addition to attending creative shows and events, I make every effort to continue to create work with local Vancouver artists. I created a webseries about William Shakespeare as a modern day university student, called Blank Verse, and I was one of the producers on the world’s first transgender sitcom, The Switch. I am currently working as a production coordinator in a local animation studio and I hope to continue to make, create and participate in the cultural life of Vancouver for many years to come.