Gerry Taft

Electoral Riding

Columbia River-Revelstoke

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. The BC NDP has committed to doubling the BC Arts Council budget over the next 4 years.

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. We are committed to doubling funding for the BC Arts Council.

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?

The BC NDP have long advocated for the arts, and for the BC Arts Council specifically. As an MLA, I will continue to promote the arts within my communities.

Cultural Growth

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

With the increase in funding for both the BC Arts Council and Creative BC, we will be supporting the growth of the cultural sector. We are also committed to investments in the film and television industry.

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?

I am personally very proud of the new creative space nearing completion in my home community of Invermere. As mayor, it has been an honour to work with the entire community to bring this important community asset into being.

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?

I am happy to come from a region that is working to pursue cultural tourism. But I also understand that it can be difficult to keep artists in our communities when decisions made by the Christy Clark government make life less affordable. I'm proud to represent the NDP; we've put forward real solutions such as $10 a day childcare and eliminating MSP premiums.

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?

I believe that the provincial government needs to be a partner with the arts community, and show a real commitment to arts and culture. I don't believe that to be the case with Christy Clark and the BC Liberals. I promise to be a strong advocate for the arts, culture and heritage for my own communities but also for the arts sector across the province.

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.)

Having a wide range of arts and culture events in rural communities is very important to community life. I'm proud of the work that has been done by arts councils and other groups throughout Columbia River Revelstoke, but I'm certain that more could be accomplished with a government that considers itself a full partner in nurturing creative endeavours.

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!

Check out the new Columbia Valley Multi-Use Centre opening soon in Invermere. Some other great spaces in the region are Centre 64 in Kimberley, Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre, and the Civic Centre in Golden. Great community spaces filled with people enjoying all our towns have to offer.