Angela Girard

Name

Angela Girard

Jurisdiction

City of North Vancouver

Running for

City/Town Council

Party or Slate (if applicable)

N/A

Funding

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 North Vancouver spends $500,000 per year on Arts & Culture, through grants which are handled through the North Vancouver Rec Commission. I would advocate for increased spending on Arts and Culture if elected.

Advocacy

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?

The growth of Arts and Culture is critically important in a progressive society. It fosters the evolution of the collective imagination, from which innovation and creativity flow. Arts and Culture derive economic benefits, from festivals, to production houses, to performances. It gives a community an identity, promoting a diversity of spirit. It is my view that encouraging the growth of the Arts and Culture is a labor of love.

Education

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?

Secondary schools in BC have seen an erosion in the Arts over the last 16 years. Now, with funding being restored to the education system, schools may be able to afford more robust Arts programs again. As a councillor, I would work with our School Trustee colleagues to find incentives to return these classes to levels which elevate their importance in our everyday society.

Cultural Growth

How will your local government maintain or grow its investment in cultural programs in your community?

The local government has the capacity to connect the various participants in the Arts and Culture community, which includes providing grants for activities such as our Culture Days, which also gives our “art entrepreneurs” opportunities to find success.

Cultural Spaces

Will you work to ensure access to affordable, sustainable cultural spaces for artists and arts organizations? If so, how?

Yes. It is a delight to experience and learn from our local Arts and Cultural communities. However, these communities are run by people who need to the opportunity to grow and evolve. Protecting and expanding cultural spaces gives our cultural “creators” the opportunity to take risks and innovate.

Cultural Tourism

How do you propose to improve cultural tourism in your community?

I would promote the allocation of resources to advertising within the broader Metro Vancouver and Provincial cultural networks. For instance, the Ukrainian Cultural community held a marvelous production this past spring at Centennial Theatre, even though their organization is based in East Vancouver. Having working connections between our local Metro communities provides great opportunities to bring diverse Arts and Culture to our city.

How do you propose to attract or retain artists and cultural workers in your community?

Our movie industry is a good example of the results of a pro-Arts culture. This includes economic incentives to do business here which builds a reputation for further growth. Also, having high-end technological resources and quality training programs enables our community to attract and retain our Artistic partners.

Key Issues

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?

For me, the single most important issue relating to Arts and Culture is the support of cultural communities in their desire to bring their particular styles to our artistic experience. This means achieving the goals of the North Vancouver Cultural Plan by strengthening the various projects as they progress through their evolution.

Participation

How do you personally engage in the cultural life of the community? (e.g. involvement on committees, attending arts and culture events, etc.)

I am engaged in several areas of our Arts and Cultural life here on the North Shore. My family regularly attends St. Paul’s Indian Catholic Church which is located on the Squamish First Nation territory here in North Van. This provides an opportunity for our family to blend the rich traditions of both the First Nations and Catholic communities. As their youth coordinator, I am initiating our youth into the combined traditions of these two communities. Given that I have a passion for music; I am also an occasional pianist and psalmist at this parish as well.

My daughter is enrolled in several Arts and Cultural programs through our community centers and private instructors. At 6 years old, she is taking, on a weekly basis, piano and violin lessons, and Ukrainian dance. Last spring, we had our daughter enrolled in the Gordon Smith Gallery arts classes, which she thoroughly enjoyed.

Further, our family attends live theatre on an annual basis at both Hendry Hall and The Presentation House, as well as attends at least one VSO performance at Centennial Theater.

Lastly, we have supported local Arts and Cultural businesses with our patronage.

Additional Information

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.

Arts, culture and heritage have great impacts on our society. It brings immeasurable value to us as individuals by enriching our emotional well-being. It also brings value to us collectively, by broadening our deeper understanding of the world and those around us. It has a way of teaching a community about itself, and can help build bridges between people of different cultures and heritage. I believe that in order to promote a healthier and more progressive community, Arts and Culture must be fostered and strengthened through funding from local and senior levels of government, and through private sponsorship.