School District #39: Vancouver
Party or Slate (if applicable)
Do you know how much your local government invests in the arts? Would you commit to advocating for an increase in that cultural investment for arts, culture, and heritage in your community, within the capacity of your elected body?
The City of Vancouver invests more than $12 million dollars each year in Cultural grants. Additionally, the city directly operates a number of theatres, like Orpheum, Queen Elizabeth Theatre and the Playhouse. We have a robust Public Art program that is funded through a combination of capital investment and developer fees. The City supports programs like VivaVancouver which animate our public spaces. Just this past year, the Vision-led Council increased Cultural grants by more than $500M.
If elected, will you take an active role on behalf of your local government in championing the growth of arts, culture and heritage in your community? Why?
Arts, Culture and heritage is a beautiful blend that I believe in. I graduated from the Multicultural Teacher's Education program and there has always been a personal interest in advancing multicultural arts in the school system.
Students with an education rich in the arts have better grade point averages and are three times more likely to get a degree. Will you commit to making the arts a critical component of every child’s education? If so, how?
Vision Vancouver is committed to ensuring arts are a critical component of every child’s education. We are proud to see music and arts education in the B.C curriculum. Vision is committed to advocating for more provincial funding to hire more music specialists and increase capacity for mentorship from other leading teachers in arts education. Indigenous art, culture and heritage being valuable and respected. We are also proud to have artists in residence in some of our schools and will continue to support this valuable program whenever possible.
The Vision Vancouver team is committed to exploring ways for the VSB to rent out its surplus space to not-for-profit organizations including arts organizations on a cost recovery basis.
How will your local government maintain or grow its investment in cultural programs in your community?
Just this past year, the Vision-led Council increased Cultural grants by more than $500M. We are committed to looking at strategic partnerships, expanding the city’s portfolio of creative spaces through a combination of capital-investments and contributions from new developments.
Will you work to ensure access to affordable, sustainable cultural spaces for artists and arts organizations? If so, how?
Yes, Vision will. Providing affordable rental fees to non-profits to help communities access theatre space is one important initiative to retain arts and culture in our communities. One way to do this is to expand the availability of studio spaces by getting amenity agreements in new housing developments and by identify available spaces within city-owned buildings. The Vision team is also working to create and implement new innovative policy and funding models to protect and expand arts spaces in Vancouver. In the last term alone, the Vision-led Council protected St. James Community Square, The Rio Theatre and The Hollywood Theatre.
How do you propose to improve cultural tourism in your community?
Vancouver’s rich cultural background has helped produce a spectrum of artistic expression and a thriving creative community, which includes performing arts, festivals, events, cinema, theatre, visual arts, galleries, music and comedy. The City of Vancouver supports arts and culture through a variety of mechanisms and works in concert with Tourism Vancouver to promote cultural tourism. Vision Vancouver is committed to building on our relationships with the arts and community to expand support based on their needs.
Vision Vancouver initiated work on a Music City Strategy, Creative Strategy and improvements to the Special Events policy, which are all important initiatives for the next council to implement. The Vision 5 is committed to seeing these through.
How do you propose to attract or retain artists and cultural workers in your community?
Providing affordable rental fees to non-profits to help communities access theatre space is one important initiative to retain arts and culture in our communities.
This Vision-led Council initiated support for Emerging Artists through the Creative Spark program.
This Vision-led Council has been advancing arts activity in non-traditional spaces like warehouses. This Vision-led Council has expanded access for artists to studio, production, exhibit and performance space through a number of mechanisms, including access to industrial space through a zoning change.
Zoning for Artists-Live-Work space is an important strategy for attracting and retaining artists we would like to see expanded.
Investments we are making to create 88,000 more affordable housing units in the city, expand public transit and boost quality affordable childcare will also help make Vancouver a more affordable, liveable city for artists and cultural workers, who help make our city great.
What do you feel is the single most important issue relating to arts, culture, and heritage in your community, and what action will you take to address it?
Affordability is the single-most important issue - and it relates to access to space to work, exhibit and live in Vancouver. Vision Vancouver will continue to partner with organizations like BC Artscape to provide space for artists. Vision Vancouver is committed to expanding on the city’s housing strategy to increase the number of new housing units to 88,000 over the next 10 years. We will expand co-ops. We’ll expand housing options for people as we’ve done with duplexes. And we will triple the empty homes tax. We need to keep this affordable housing protector in place, and prevent opponents from taking away $30 million it raises for affordable housing and putting it in the pockets of housing speculators.
How do you personally engage in the cultural life of the community? (e.g. involvement on committees, attending arts and culture events, etc.)
I participate in the Cultural Communities Advisory Committee, My local Neighbourhood House, Food Programs, Neighbourhood Small Grants project, and personal connections of seniors volunteering with the community
If you'd like to provide voters with additional information about your stance on arts, culture, and heritage issues in your community, please use the space below.
Vancouver is home to an extraordinary arts and culture community that is building a vibrant and diverse creative scene in our city. The Vision Vancouver team is excited to see the Creative City Strategy take shape with plans to boost funding support for our artists and new ideas to keep growing our stellar arts and culture community for all Vancouverites to enjoy.
The investments made in building our city by Indigenous arts and culture organizations; LGBTQ2+ artists; accessibility organizations; organizations working in low income communities; the Arts and Culture Policy Council; individual artists; and the many others who comprise our cultural sector contribute so much to life in Vancouver. It can’t stop here. We need to ensure a progressive majority at City Council, School Board and Parks Board to keep Vancouver moving forward.