School District #43: Coquitlam
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?
Working in local government, specifically in the area of Arts & Culture, I have a keen first-hand understanding of how important it is for Arts, Culture & Heritage to be properly funded and integrated into communities. I firmly believe that when we invest in Arts & Culture, quality of life for residents (and visitors) improves, and we create engaged, vibrant, and healthy communities.
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. I am passionate about supporting the Arts, and will always do my part to champion and promote the growth of Arts, Culture & Heritage programs in SD43 schools. To me, the Arts should be seen as an integral, core part of students' education, not as an extra-curricular "luxury" for those who can afford it.
I understand that not only do the Arts deeply enrich a school's culture in general, but they also serve a critical role in the lives of individual students. I have known many kids over the years who have relied on the Arts in order to feel understood, inspired, and like they are truly a part of their school community. In some cases, Arts programs have been life-saving.
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?
Absolutely. As an SD43 School Trustee, representing Port Moody (the City of the Arts!), I would absolutely commit to ensuring the Arts are part of every student's education. As mentioned in a previous answer, I understand that "not only do the Arts deeply enrich a school's culture in general, but they also serve a critical role in the lives of individual students. I have known many kids over the years who have relied on the Arts in order to feel understood, inspired, and like they are truly a part of their school community."
How will your local government maintain or grow its investment in cultural programs in your community?
The best way to maintain or grow such investment is by having Arts advocates who champion and demonstrate the value of Arts & Culture. Elected or not, I will continue to be a champion of the Arts.
Will you work to ensure access to affordable, sustainable cultural spaces for artists and arts organizations? If so, how?
Yes. If elected to the role of SD43 School Trustee, I would absolutely work to ensure the Arts had a sustainable, physical space in our schools.
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?
As mentioned before, funding is always an issue. I believe that if more people fully experienced and understood the value of the Arts (in schools, as well as in our society), then it could be easier to get the funding we need. Once funding is provided, it should be cyclical: funding creates successful Arts programs, successful Arts programs benefits kids & society... which justifies further funding. If elected, I will work to advocate for continued/more Arts funding.
How do you personally engage in the cultural life of the community? (e.g. involvement on committees, attending arts and culture events, etc.)
Where to begin! I have a longstanding, deep passion for the Arts. First of all, as previously mentioned, I hold a position in local government, in the area of Arts & Culture. From seeking corporate and community partnerships (to support special events, public art, and cultural initiatives), to coordinating successful Culture Days activities, I am passionate about the Arts!
On a personal level, I support the Arts whenever & however I am able. I am an avid theatre and live music fan. Along with attending local theatre productions and live music performances by independent musicians, I enjoy attending Home Routes (www.homeroutes.ca) concerts on a regular basis. As well, whenever I am in a position to do so, I love to purchase visual Art from a living artist.
And finally, writing & performing music is a passion and creative outlet for my spouse and at least one of my kids... I shudder to think where they would be without their music! (I could go on, but I am sure you are getting the idea - I love the Arts!)
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.
Please feel free to visit my modest website and contact me with any questions: www.nancyowens.ca