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?
Currently, the City of Vancouver invests just over $11,000,000 into the arts. I will most definitely advocate for an increase in investment, however, what I see as more immediately needed is for policy and advocacy to change the infrastructure of our city in order that the arts may truly thrive. Our music industry alone generates $700,000,000, what prohibits it and our film industry from expansion and successful performance are needs of artist live-work spaces, affordable performance venues, more after-school programs, 24/7 transit, for the Vancouver Film Commission to create subsidies and incentives to bring film back into our city rather than out in the lower mainland, etc.
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. First and foremost, I myself am an artist. I bring 10 years in our film industry and 7 years of working in Hollywood, California, with Grammy winning artists, musicians, producers, and engineers to the table - an extensive history of working and orchestrating with those who make our music industry even possible. I have experience in bringing together a $100+ million dollar budgeted Provincial Centre combining all aspects from art to health to business. I have writtten propositioned scripts for Warner Bros., written and directed a nation-wide PSA that is the first of its kind, and more. As well, I am currently a lead character on a new kids show for Cartoon Network voicing the role of a little boy; thus, I am currently working and involved. My passion and devotion is unwavering.
Arts and Culture create community, economy, education. It improves mental health for our children and exercises important aspects of our brain. For me, Art is life. It is a language that allows for us to communicate. It is universal. It feeds us. What our city needs is someone who will bring a dedicated commitment to City Council and hold office accountable. We need more efficient lines of communication and strategy and, more than anything, we need care.
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. I grew up singing in our school choir, being a lead on the vocal jazz team, I played alto saxophone in band from grade 8 to 12, I took part in our school play of Fiddler On The Roof and more. All of these activities (including art class) shaped who I am today. My career is being in the film and music industries. As I mentioned earlier, such activities exercise our brain in ways that improve health and excel neurogenesis.
We need to ensure that the arts are a mandatory part of school curriculum as well as implement after-school programming that will also benefit at-risk-youth in bountiful ways.
Will you work to ensure access to affordable, sustainable cultural spaces for artists and arts organizations? If so, how?
Yes. This is highly important and a major contributor to the lack of artistic flourish in our city. We need to create more affordable artist live-work spaces, I will see to our city creating a grandesque musical venue that incorporates studio space and educational space paired with performance and community (restaurants, etc). Our actors and dancers need more affordable studio spaces for classes. I will utilize policy to speed up procedure and progress so our arts and culture may thrive.
How do you propose to improve cultural tourism in your community?
Firstly, Tourism Vancouver does not promote music festivals during peak festival season. Creating a strong artistic presence with Tourism Vancouver is critical. On September 10, the Vancouver Film commission created a partnership with the London Film Commission; such partnerships are necessary in order to generate more foreign involvement, advertising, and attraction.
How do you propose to attract or retain artists and cultural workers in your community?
Addressing affordability, transit hours, and funding for programming is essential. With Film in Vancouver, we need to bring it back into our city rather than artists leaving for Los Angeles.
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?
In my perspective, affordability is the most important issue. As I have mentioned, we need to implement 24/7 transit hours so artists and audiences may work, and attend without limitations. We need to create affordable live-work spaces for artists so they do not have to struggle to simply live and can focus upon 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 am a working voiceover actor, writer, producer, director, and musician in town. I am constantly attending theatre, concerts, and more.