Bill Manners

Name

Bill Manners

Jurisdiction

Nanaimo

Running for

City/Town Council

Party or Slate (if applicable)

N/A

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?

Yes, the amount for arts needs to be increased to reflect population. Nanaimo is a culturally diverse city with artisans from end to end and between.

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?

I have already worked with promoting the historical content of our city in a Facebook page dedicated to the heritage of the City of Nanaimo. You know you're from Nanaimo when has over 15,000 members and focuses solely on historical content. The art and culture is under the watchful eye of many friends who are local artists and our existing Art in the Park program is an exciting part of temporary art. I want some of those works to become more permanent fixtures in our city.

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?

Our education falls to the local school boards and I know several candidates who would support that type of program and I expect them to do so upon their success in this campaign. I would surely encourage all members of the next school board to continue to a make art a cornerstone of education.

Cultural Growth

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

The growth of our cultural programs can be increased through awareness and that is one reason I have been a member of the Community Engagement Task Force in Nanaimo. Encouraging the next council to work with staff and the residents in conversation to continue the existing investments in our cities cultural growth. We need the enthusiasm of the community to help us get to the next level.

Cultural Spaces

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

We already have some successful venues and the city's investments in buildings to house such spaces will continue and not be a budget cut item.

Cultural Tourism

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

Cultural Tourism is a project that the next council will have to move on, as we have not had a tourism component run by the City for the last few years. It was put under the management of Vancouver Island Tourism and we need to develop a program to bring it back within our city management.

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

Our existing cultural map helps but it needs to continue to grow. Staff in the city need to find ways to increase the number of artists. It is hoped that the development of 1 Port Drive as a 'Granville Island atmosphere', which will help attract folks who are artisans to Nanaimo.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?

1 Port Drive and it's development from a Industrial site to a tourism draw in the form of a marketplace with blacksmiths, engravers, first nations artists, weavers and other groups of artists working as non-profits and their growth in the community. We need a place for our residents to go and see a collection of the pride of artists that already reside in our community along with new arrivals and visitors to our small Island in the Pacific.

Participation

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

I am currently involved with the Community Engagement Task Force in Nanaimo. I have many friends who are artists in the community and I strongly support all of the great work they have done over the many years they have been expressing themselves as friends first.