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?
The City of Vancouver invests over $11M annually through the cultural grants program. The City also invests nearly $5M to support in-kind outdoor advertising. The City also maintains hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of civic collections and has more than 55 city owned cultural spaces. I am committed to supporting stable investments in arts, culture and heritage initiatives. I am also committed to advocating for additional provincial and federal support for arts and culture.
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?
If elected, I am committed to championing the growth of arts, culture and heritage. I firmly believe arts and culture is key to a vibrant, diverse community and also carries economic, educational, and social benefits. Everyone is an artist and we need to find ways to celebrate and showcase our artistic diversity.
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?
Research has shown that schools rich in the arts engage the whole student and promote higher levels of achievement. As a school trustee, I brought forward a motion to the Vancouver School Board advocating for the school district to partner with the City of Vancouver in the establishment of a Materials for the Arts Program modelled after New York’s successful reuse program for the arts. The program is supported by the city’s Department of Education and serves more than 90% of New York schools. Here’s a link to my motion (scroll news section):
I am committed to enabling support for city programs, as well as school board programs through continuing the cultural grants program, as well as encouraging philanthropic partnerships to increase funds for arts and culture programming. Also, I believe we need to increase our marketing efforts so that students, families and schools are aware of the various art and culture programs available through the city.
How will your local government maintain or grow its investment in cultural programs in your community?
I believe the City of Vancouver needs to not only maintain its investment in cultural programs, but also grow them through advocacy, creative philanthropic and business partnerships, and stable, long term funding.
Will you work to ensure access to affordable, sustainable cultural spaces for artists and arts organizations? If so, how?
I am committed to enabling access to affordable, sustainable cultural spaces and arts organizations. I believe we can achieve this through integrated city planning that includes cultural spaces as a priority in developments, not as an afterthought. Also, I believe we can achieve this through philanthropic partnerships that supplement city funding.
I am also committed to exploring ways to increase support for LGBTQ2S+ led arts and culture events, as well as gathering spaces.
How do you propose to improve cultural tourism in your community?
A key to cultural tourism is the Vancouver Art Gallery and its future. I think it is critical that the City works in partnership with Tourism Vancouver and Destination BC to ensure Vancouver is a magnet for the arts. Also, I believe we need to explore how we market Vancouver as an arts/culture destination as it is an enormous contributor to our economy.
How do you propose to attract or retain artists and cultural workers in your community?
Affordable, attainable housing Long term spaces to work Arts education Diverse local economy; support for small business
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?
I believe the single most important issue for Vancouver is stable and long term support for arts, culture and heritage activities. In recent years, cultural events have been cancelled due to lack of funds and so we need to find creative ways to sustain and grow these investments. Also, there is increasing demand for dedicated spaces for arts and culture activities and so these need to be considered as part of city wide planning.
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 raising a young family in Vancouver and we take every opportunity to engage in local arts and culture events across the city. As the Past Chair of the Kettle Society Board, I had the pleasure of helping host our annual Art Against Stigma event as part of the Eastside Arts Crawl. The event boasted over 1000 pieces of art by individuals struggling with mental illness and all the proceeds of the event went back to the artist.
My 22 year old step-daughter is an artist and my 7 year old is a budding artist, spending many school breaks at Arts Umbrella on Granville Island.