Shelley Cook

Electoral Riding

Kelowna West

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. John Horgan and the BC New Democrats 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.

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?

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. Currently one of the biggest challenges for retaining artists in our communities is how unaffordable life has become under Christy Clark and the BC Liberal government,while giving billions in tax cuts to the richest British Columbians. They increased Hydro rates, ICBC premiums and ferry fares. They tripled tuition and doubled MSP fees. As our cities grew, they put steep tolls on key commuter bridges and ignored transit users. They did nothing while the price of housing and rent went through the roof. 

John Horgan and the BC NDP will work for all British Columbians and take real action to make life more affordable –like reducing or eliminating fees, tolls and fares, while bringing in $10 a day childcare. 

The BC NDP’s commitment to affordability will help attract and retain BC artists in BC communities.

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.)

As a longstanding resident of Kelowna West, I regularly partake in the many creative and cultural events that happen throughout the Central Okanagan. My favourite include music in the park and art shows/walks. I believe that having a strong creative and cultural foundation is fundamental to the health and well being of communities. 

When I was Executive Director of John Howard Society in Kelowna, I infused art into all aspects of our operation. From murals, to art and music classes for residents, to the inclusion of a public art project (partnership with City of Kelowna, BC Housing and John Howard Society) integrated into the architecture of Cardington Apartments. 

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!

Growing up in Kelowna, some of my fondest childhood memories involved exploring Kelowna’s many cultural and historic treasures. From exploring Father Pandosy’s Mission and Myra Canyon Trestles, to repeated visits to the local museum, these experiences helped to shape me as an individual, and the values that I see as being essential to my work as MLA for Kelowna West.