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?
Funding appears to come from parks and recreation, as well as operation, so it is hard to get an accurate number on what is going directly to arts, culture and heritage. I am committed to pushing for more investment directly into these areas as well as promoting awareness of our local arts.
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. The arts have had a huge impact on me growing up, music has dragged me out of troubled times, art has brought me calm and poetry allowed me to express emotions through prose. Art and culture allow us to look deeper into ourselves and find that self in each other, seeding friendships and cooperation.
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?
Yes, the arts are a crucial part of education and needs to be a critical component all the way through. This includes not only ensuring classes have access to instruments and supplies but also ensuring there are programs outside of school hours available to them if they wish to pursue it further.
How will your local government maintain or grow its investment in cultural programs in your community?
In PoCo we don't do enough to make what little programs we have visible. Not only do we need to increase the budget towards arts and culture programs but we need to ensure people know they exist through adequate marketing.
Will you work to ensure access to affordable, sustainable cultural spaces for artists and arts organizations? If so, how?
Local government can provide areas for the learning, display and sale of art. It should also look to offer fair compensation for murals and cultural works, not offering exposure or experience as the only payment.
How do you propose to improve cultural tourism in your community?
We can use local artists and musicians to fill our streets with vibrant colour and music, and have the history of Port Coquitlam brought to life through guides through the city. This way we can better market our rich and diverse culture while having venues for our local artists.
How do you propose to attract or retain artists and cultural workers in your community?
Marketing for local musicians, plays and festivals needs to be improved as well we need to provide adequate pay for the performers themselves. The arts are continuously undervalued and need to be better rewarded for the labour the artists have put in. Better marketing will bring more tourism which will in turn create a more desirable platform for artists to participate in.
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?
The key issue is one of value. The value the arts bring is so much higher than the monetary reward for pursuing it. Performers and other workers in the arts need to be better rewarded through higher pay and compensation for their work.
How do you personally engage in the cultural life of the community? (e.g. involvement on committees, attending arts and culture events, etc.)
I enjoy attending Golden Spike days out in Port Moody, I go to concerts and comedy shows downtown. In school I performed in jazz festivals, improv and acted in my friends film projects. I am an amateur musician myself and I look forward to being actively involved in encouraging others to fulfill their passion for the arts.