Phyllis Tang

Name

Phyllis Tang

Jurisdiction

Vancouver

Running for

City/Town Council 

Party or Slate (if applicable)

YesVancouver

Funding

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?

It’s not about funding, it’s how we fund.  And more importantly, how much City costs increase in comparison to grants.   

The reality is that the arts community needs space, a reliable and flexible permit process and lower fees in order to thrive.  

Right now, we get that wrong, and we need to work with the community to cut the red tape and fees and put into action a plan that creates space.  

 

Advocacy

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 will definitely take an active role on behalf of the local government to champion the growth of arts, culture, and heritage. Mounting research indicates that a robust investment in the arts contributes significantly to the economy, to education, to healthcare, to social services and more. Creativity helps us to understand ourselves and the world around us, and is essential to an innovative, prosperous and inclusive community. Growing up with the exposure of choral, piano, voice, and music theory lessons, I have personally experienced how different genres of art have helped to hone my critical thinking skills, which have helped me to excel in business and scientific disciplines in addition to musical fields. 

It's time to change the systems that have ignored our creative potential and move towards the future with hope. 

Education

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, absolutely! If elected, I will encourage the City to invest in building more community centers that will offer unique arts programming for students of all ages. In addition, I will work closely with School Trustees and different non-profit organizations to pioneer different after-school arts programs, so that students who enroll into these after-school programs will have further exposure to creative activities and programs. Since City Council cannot directly influence the content of the BC school curriculum, the above proposals would be the best way to connect arts programming with current students.  

Cultural Growth

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

In order to increase the number of cultural programs being offered, the City will invest in building more community centers that will offer unique arts programming for students of all ages. The City will support split assessments so that arts and commercial spaces will not be taxed as luxury condos and commercial properties, but as job space. Lowering these costs will allow different arts organizations to have resources to expand and grow their palette of cultural programs.   

Cultural Spaces

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

Yes, absolutely. The City will support split assessments so that arts and commercial spaces will not be taxed as luxury condos and commercial properties, but as job space. Lowering these costs will allow different arts organizations to have resources to expand and grow their palette of cultural programs. Lowering these taxes will ensure that access to artistic and cultural spaces will be affordable.    

 

Cultural Tourism

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

The City will work with Metro Vancouver and related parties to ensure that there will be access to late-night skytrain after 1:15 am on weekends and selected evenings, so that any visitors who arrive at YVR after 12:00 am will still be able to travel to the City of Vancouver from the International Airport to enjoy different cultural and artistic activities. Late night access to skytrain will also allow cultural activities attendees and staff members to be able to travel home after various artistic and cultural programs are hosted (such as night time concerts, plays, film festivals, and more). 

The City will cut down the red tape and any unnecessary permit approval processes, so that permits related to serving food, beverages, and alcohol, and performance in parks, festivals, and public spaces can be approved at a much quicker rate. This will make the planning of cultural event logistics much more manageable for large event organizers.

The City will build a new/remodel a state-of-the-art cultural and artistic venue in Chinatown to stage different first class performances. The venue and preeminent performances will improve cultural tourism and attract many visitors to Chinatown, which in turn will add value to nearby small businesses, especially businesses in the food and beverages industry. The larger flow of visitors to Chinatown will make the area more safe overall. 

The City will develop a plan to consider all elements of cultural tourism, including indigenous artistic expression, ethnic diversity, environmental concerns, permit approval process times (food, beverages, and alcohol), and more. 

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

The City will reduce the cost passed onto event organizers of large public events and ensure that we are creating a range of large events and celebrating community.  

The City will adopt the music BC strategy and place a "Music Officer" in the City Managers office so that there will be an active strategy to develop and attract a strong music industry (cultural workers to stay in Vancouver), from performance to production.  

The City will support split assessments so that arts and commercial spaces will not be taxed as luxury condos and commercial properties, but as job space. This will give different artists a greater monetary budget to work with within their realm of different artistic engagements. 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?

The reality is that the arts community needs affordable space for collaborative work and productions, a reliable and flexible permit process system, and lower fees in order to thrive.  

Right now, we get that wrong, and we need to work with the community to cut the red tape and fees and implement an action plan that creates more affordable work and sound-proof performance space.  

We will increase the efficiency of permit approval processes, so that the supply of work space can be readily available to the arts and culture community. 

Participation

How do you personally engage in the cultural life of the community? (e.g. involvement on committees, attending arts and culture events, etc.)

Currently, I am being considered as a Board Member Candidate at Beaumont Studios. I am the Listserv Manager of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Music Graduate Associate of the York Center for Asian Research, and formerly, have been a 2-year Student Representative of the UBC School of Music and the Faculty of Arts. I am a Choral Director and Facilitator for the Seniors Choir at the UBC Learning Exchange and for the Living Word Baptist Church. 

Over the past decade, I have also participated in live concerts, plays, ballets, theatre works, and more, including attending the TaiwanFest, the Vancouver Asian Film Festival, the Vancouver International Film Festival, various concerts at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and Orpheum, watching films at the Rio Theatre, The Center for the Performing Arts, the International Village, and more. Moreover, I have been a guest pianist for the Golden Key International Honour Society’s New Member Recognition Event at the Frederic Wood Theatre and the Irving K. Barber Learning Center for over 5 years. 

The following information further divulges my participation in other artistic and cultural activities: Having been the Alto Section Leader of the UBC Choral Union, Phyllis has also performed with the UBC Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Bach Choir, the UBC Balinese Gamelan, the UBC Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the UBC Jazz Ensemble, and the Cantico Choir Society of BC at the Michael J. Fox Theatre. Phyllis was a guest pianist for a BC Children’s Hospital fundraiser and co-facilitated two “Sing and Learn” classes at the UBC Learning Exchange in Chinatown to help seniors improve their English communication and vocal skills. Notably, Phyllis has also performed on the Chinese horizontal flute, dizi, with the UBC Asian Ensemble and the BC Chinese Orchestra at the Chan Center for the Performing Arts to fundraise for the Society for Clinical Preventive Health Care in Vancouver. Having been a two-year Student Representative of the UBC School of Music and the Faculty of Arts, Phyllis also holds an ARCT in Music Theory with first-class honours, a Diploma in Accounting, and possesses a strong background in Operations Management and Urban Land Economics.

Phyllis’s main campaign focus is to promote Vancouver as a key international music, arts, and cultural hub and to advocate for our local cultural communities and heritage. When she is not leading choir, playing the piano, guitar, violin, and the Chinese flute, she daydreams about being a pop star. 

Additional Information

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.

The City will institute a "Night Mayor" position to ensure there is a healthy and safe night life culture.

 

 

“I believe strongly in creating vibrant arts, music and cultural communities in order to uplift Vancouver into a key international civilized cultural hub. We now have an opportunity to showcase the amazing talent that exists in our city. The arts have not been respected or promoted over the past decade, and I want to be the guiding force to make this change a reality. I hope to leverage my Business & Music expertise to help artists thrive in Vancouver by providing an adequate supply of affordable housing to all.”