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?
West kelowna, incorporated in 2007, supports cultural investment through implementation of several different foundational documents such as the Official Community Plan which is the embodiment of the long-term vision for the community ,the Cultural Development Plan, the Parks and Recreation Master Plan and the Westbank Centre Revitalization Plan. So, I cannot give an amount because we support our cultural community in different ways.
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?
Yes, I do and will. One example- I was a trustee and then Chair of the Okanagan Regional Library for many years, appointed by West Kelowna City Council This library encourages many forms of expression in its 29 branches through maker spaces, displays and education. Recently, as part of Culture Days, I helped make a piece of art for our local Westbank Library. West Kelowna is unique in some ways. We are a neighbour of Westbank First nation, and the Westbank Library is the closest branch to their lands, so we are very fortunate to have participation by indigenous artists. The library offers many resources that welcome and nurture culture in our community.
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?
I cant really answer this one as it is the responsibility of the local school board,. The point is valid. I know that my own children profited from such an education. I helped found a stringed instrument music program in the public school system and a youth string orchestra in Quebec. . Many children who participated excelled in other areas. As well, in Saint Catharines Ontario, music was a big part of the scholl curriculum.
How will your local government maintain or grow its investment in cultural programs in your community?
Our local government offers more programs each year. Participation gets higher each year in our main event, "Westside Culture Days" and is shared with Westbank First Nation. We also have Music in the Park, and the Global Musicfest. We have just participated with S.W.A.C. on Westside Culture Days held last weekend.
Will you work to ensure access to affordable, sustainable cultural spaces for artists and arts organizations? If so, how?
We are 10 years old as a city, and do not yet have sufficient land or an adequate City Hall. When we get that facility I will work towards that goal. At this time we rely on the library, our First nation friends and some of our local businesses for space.
How do you propose to improve cultural tourism in your community?
Culture knows no boundaries. Through the Westside Board of Trade and our own economic development plans, we encourage cultural tourism here. We have a spectacular physical setting, a rich agricultural heritage and a mixed rural urban identity as well as a strong First Nation as a neighbour. Our tourism welcome centre is located inside the Westbank Museum, Various events such as the Culture Days encourage visitors.
How do you propose to attract or retain artists and cultural workers in your community?
The best way is through advocacy and communication between all of us. The Cultural development Master Plan has shown the way.
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?
Communication. I would like to see people in our city become active as its culture continues to develop and not merely spectators. The is a rich and diverse pool of talent that expresses the soul of the community. I would like to see a Cultural Roundtable come into existence.
How do you personally engage in the cultural life of the community? (e.g. involvement on committees, attending arts and culture events, etc.)
As stated previously, I participate in community activities, attend events and encourage artistic development and expression.
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.