Raj Patara


Raj Patara


School District #34: Abbotsford

Running for

School Board

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?



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?

I would, i'm a Jazz and Blues vocalist and without the arts and culture I wouldn't be who i am. Arts, culture and heritage broadened my thoughts and opened my mind to what's out there. The young mind grows and develops at a quicker pace having arts and culture in their life. While allowing a child to think outside the box and be creative. Firm believer of growing the arts in the community.


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 would commit to making the arts a critical component of every child's education. It helps the mind develop, while keeping our children engaged and out of trouble. It develops their little minds to finding a niche in the arts that they can really excel in. I would advocate for futher funding towards curriculum which would include the arts.

Cultural Growth

How will your local government maintain or grow its investment in cultural programs in your community?

There could be more work done by reaching out to the different cultural groups and promoting more cultural events and building bridges with the different cultural groups in our city. We tend to live in silos and breaking down those barriers needs to come from a top down level. Culture in a city is created by those that lead. I would hope to see more happening in that aspect.

Cultural Spaces

Will you work to ensure access to affordable, sustainable cultural spaces for artists and arts organizations? If so, how?

Having a specific space for artists and arts organizations creates a sense of community. This gives many people out in the community a reason to want to frequent a safe place where artists are celebrated without judgement.

Cultural Tourism

How do you propose to improve cultural tourism in your community?

I believe our community needs to start cross cultural education within the community and leaders must emulate those steps to celebrate the different cultural differences here.

How do you propose to attract or retain artists and cultural workers in your community?

I wouldn't have a suggestion as i'm not sure what has been done in the past. But i think speaking to the business owners in the arts and culture sector would need to be brought into this conversation.

Key Issues

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 couldn't comment on this. I would need to look into this.


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 attended events within the community, however i do not sit on an arts committee.