Heidi Smit Vinois
School District #34: Abbotsford
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?
Yes. When our government started cutting funds to public education, the arts was among the first to go. Arts are an essential part of Education.
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 - supporting initiatives of exploration and story telling through the arts is essential to both preserving and creating our diverse culture and heritage.
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 believe we need to look at public specialty schools in our area and consider that children who attend regular public schools have lost access to art teachers. We also need to pressure our provincial government for adequate funding, while keeping in mind that the arts must be considered an essential element of education.
How will your local government maintain or grow its investment in cultural programs in your community?
I would hope that as a community our city will continue to sponsor local artists in beautifying our city, continue to choose to fund local initiatives like our gallery, especially in their effort to build partnerships with other community groups.
Will you work to ensure access to affordable, sustainable cultural spaces for artists and arts organizations? If so, how?
At the level of school board, we can create partnerships with community organizations that are already supporting young artists to expand our school programs. We can provide access to schools to bring in artist groups to share and inspire our students.
How do you propose to improve cultural tourism in your community?
Not applicable to the job of trustee except perhaps in the world of International Students.
How do you propose to attract or retain artists and cultural workers in your community?
Not applicable to the job of Trustee except perhaps look at our incentives and wage scale in order to attract more art teachers to our District.
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 single most important issue is funding. We do not have funds for essential services, period. I will continue to push for adequate funding in every capacity so our art education does not continue to be kept minimal in our public education system.
How do you personally engage in the cultural life of the community? (e.g. involvement on committees, attending arts and culture events, etc.)
I have been on The Reach Gallery museum education Committee (School District PAC out reach position). I support the school community by attending every function I can, from school plays to exhibits. I enjoy supporting local musical talent by sharing news of events and attending.