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?
I don't know the exact figure, and it would take some analysis to determine. Beyond direct grants, and contributions through the Regional District, plus tax exemptions, that may be a hard number to determine. It is a worthwhile number to pursue, because that you need to know how much you ARE contributing to effectively know how much more you SHOULD BE adding to the investment.
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?
The "Why" question is easy. Art, culture and heritage help define a community, help articulate our basic outlook on life, and show where we came from. While I recognize the importance of arts, culture and heritage, I can't claim to be ACTIVELY supporting all the organizations even in Prince George because there's just so much going on. While I can't help all the diverse goals of each organization, I am a supporter wherever I can.
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?
I think this question is aimed at School Trustee candidates. While I like the idea, my role as a City Councillor will give me no authority to change education policy.
How will your local government maintain or grow its investment in cultural programs in your community?
It was former Prince George City Councillor Don Basserman who successfully argued that arts and culture organizations need predictable, sustainable funding. The resulting Regional District Cultural Services Advisory Committee has been a success with its 5 year plans. That model needs to be looked at to see how it would benefit more organizations.
Will you work to ensure access to affordable, sustainable cultural spaces for artists and arts organizations? If so, how?
This answer is one we need to work on with local, Prince George based organizations. As just one example, the City of Prince George's work at the former BMO building in Prince George with the Prince George and District Community Arts Council is exciting, but spaces like that only work when we work to achieve dialogue from the arts community on what they need and what they want. We look forward to the next steps with that group and others.
How do you propose to improve cultural tourism in your community?
Cultural Tourism works when there is an effective combination of partnerships between business, government and tourism support organizations. Prince George suffers from a scarcity of cultural tourism experiences. We could achieve better results by directing the City's Economic Development team to consider partnerships with marketing expertise (such as UNBC's Continuing Studies Experiential Tourism) coupled with unique experiences and identifying the entrepreneurs who can deliver on those experiences.
How do you propose to attract or retain artists and cultural workers in your community?
Support the Community Arts Council, Theatre Northwest, the symphony and so many others by incorporating their work into more of the celebrations of our community. Celebrate local art by putting it up in Council Chambers as we see in communities across the country. Celebrate local music by showcasing our performers. Celebrate local drama by hosting more festivals in downtown, public venues. In short, we attract and retain artists and cultural workers by making it clear we want them here, and we value them as an integral part of the community.
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?
It is far too easy for the magnitude of the population in Vancouver to overwhelm our efforts. Provincial bodies must be reminded regularly that we exist, that we matter, and that our organizations deserve attention and support. The population difference will only grow from this point forward.
How do you personally engage in the cultural life of the community? (e.g. involvement on committees, attending arts and culture events, etc.)
Attend meetings and events for the CAC, visit the Art Gallery, personally painted an auctioned off a canvas for the Community Foundation, attend music events when possible. Past vice-chair of the Cultural Services Advisory Committee at the Regional District.
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 visit my site at www.garthfrizzell.ca