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?
City of Kelowna invested 5.4% ($108.12M) into Cultural/Active Living Services in 2018. Although funding is the primary goal, in speaking with our arts community I've learned that further support is needed in terms of grant writing programs, shared work spaces and initiatives that foster growth in smaller arts companies. The City can play a key role in teaching organizations how to generate revenues more consistently to lessen the dependency on direct city grants. Arts and culture play a key role in developing the diversity of our city.
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?
Absolutely. As the City of Kelowna continues to grow the needs of diverse, cultural options are needed by those moving from abroad. We've seen large companies recruit from out of market only to have new team members leave the city when they couldn't find deep cultural roots. Fostering growth in the arts promotes diversity and belonging.
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?
In working with local not for profit arts agencies we are able to offer students workshops, tours and activities that open their eyes to the possibilities within arts. Growing up, I was not an academic. My best learnings were found in visual teaching components and kinesthetic options. Offering students these options promotes success in learning.
How will your local government maintain or grow its investment in cultural programs in your community?
As the demands on funding increase our municipality can encourage growth by implementing new revenue generators. For example, a small user fee on ticket prices at city owned venues to be used to build new arts spaces or fund agencies that need support.
Will you work to ensure access to affordable, sustainable cultural spaces for artists and arts organizations? If so, how?
A new arts space in Kelowna will be needed in order to meet the needs of the growing cultural sector. Our community theatre needs to be rebuilt and smaller arts companies need incubators to grow. The best approach will be with a Public-Private Partnership to create a space that is multi-facted in design. Optimally it would include a theatre, shared work spaces for collaboration and even living spaces to encourage residents to be immersed in arts.
How do you propose to improve cultural tourism in your community?
Cultural tourism is increasing in our region as local arts organizations are recognized as national arts companies. We have seen this with Kelowna Ballet and Opera Kelowna. Fostering and supporting companies during their formative years (often requiring top up funding) allows them to grow and reach for national designations. With professional designations companies attract out of market artists and tourists alike.
How do you propose to attract or retain artists and cultural workers in your community?
We must make Kelowna accessible to all income levels. Artists often struggle to find accommodation so it's important to implement our Healthy Housing Strategy so their is efficient housing options. Secondly, creativity breed creativity - we need arts facilities that promote connection and collaboration. Too often we see not for profit agencies compete with each other instead of working together. Creating an environment where arts are brought together in unity will attract and retain new artists.
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?
We're challenged with the space for new arts companies to foster growth. We must focus our vision on creating a multi faceted facility (as mentioned prior) to enable collaboration and growth.
How do you personally engage in the cultural life of the community? (e.g. involvement on committees, attending arts and culture events, etc.)
I personally have attended 10 arts events in the past 12 months from theatre, ballet, opera, piano and visual arts shows - I've remained an active supporter of the arts. Within my business we sponsor Opera Kelowna with in kind services for two productions annually. I believe that giving goes full circle and supporting smaller companies has always been a passion.
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.
I believe that arts, culture and heritage are key aspects to a flourishing, diverse city. The more we can encourage a collective voice among all organizations we will promote healthy growth. It's important that we work together and share visions to help budding organizations succeed.