Kennedy Stewart 

Name

Kennedy Stewart 

Jurisdiction

Vancouver, BC

Running for

Mayor 

Party or Slate (if applicable)

Independent 

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?

I would continue to work on addressing the gaps that have been outlined by the previous Council in their consultation, including lack of affordability as a barrier to accessibility for emerging artists and retaining established artists, promoting underrepresented groups such as 1st Nations and small to medium artists and collectives. I will also build more affordable artist spaces including some work and live 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 provide leadership on these issues. I believe having a vibrant art and cultural scene is critical to the liveability and vibrancy of a city. I will also use my experience negotiating with different levels of government to work collaboratively to ensure more federal and provincial funds.

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?

I agree, as someone who grew up with an artistic family and playing music, that art should be a component in every child’s education. I would work hard to advocate for this with the current provincial government.

I would also expand library services so children and youth can have increased accessibility to the public services, and numerous arts and culture programming and resources at their libraries.

Cultural Growth

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

My platforms includes  direct investment  in arts and culture by addressing affordability and displacement, building creative spaces and creating more grant opportunities.

Most importantly I will build 100,000 ft2 of affordable studio space over the next decade by integrating arts spaces into more public buildings and affordable housing developments and creating new purpose-built spaces.

Cultural Spaces

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

I will look at expanding culture hubs and exhibitions spaces. Building on the success of the Arts Factory and Sun Wah Centre, I will identify spaces suitable for live/work/exhibition space to allow more artists the freedom to create and showcase their work.

Cultural Tourism

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

I will provide more leadership and make arts and culture a higher priority. I want artists to feel valued, retain existing talent and also attract higher profile artists to Vancouver.

We also need to capitalize on the wealth of First Nations and Indigenous arts and culture that is currently underrepresented.

Vancouver also has large immigrant communities and there is wonderful fusion here of Asian culture unlike anywhere in the world. This is another unique aspect of our city that we should work on promoting more.

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

I will expand small- and medium-scale community-based arts groups need more funding and better access to grants. I would expand the funding for these organizations and change the granting process to include individuals and groups of artists, and informal collectives.

I also am looking at reducing policing costs at community events and piloting a project for alcohol consumption in parks and beaches, to hopefully reduce costs for community events and allow alcohol consumption at events. These types of policies will overlap with future arts and cultural events and make permitting for them less costly and more efficient in the future. My hope is that this will allow more fun and diverse events across the city.

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?

With a reputation as “no-fun” city and the housing affordability crisis, I think the biggest problem is keeping our talented artists in our city. Housing is my number one priority so I believe addressing this issue will directly help retain artists who are affected by affordability.

Participation

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

When I came to Vancouver I played in bands. Part of the reason we continued playing music was because we were able to access grants to make music videos and help with expenses, so I understand the importance these opportunities for emerging artists.

I enjoy going out to see the diverse music scene here in Vancouver. I think it’s important that we have the capacity to show off are local talent through all types of events, to help attract tourism and also allow locals the opportunity to enjoy their own city.

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

Feel free to check out my official platform here:

https://www.kennedystewart.ca/vibrantcity