Craig Hodge

Name

Craig Hodge

Jurisdiction

Coquitlam

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 I supported our Arts Culture and Heritage Strategic plan that calls for an increase in cultural centres, activities, and a heritage centre to be built as part of our 25 year master Parks Rec and Culture Master Plan.

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'm a photographer by profession and a past president of the Coquitlam Heritage Society. I believe that as our population grows, diversifies and our seniors look for more activities in their retirement years we must expand our cultural facilities and the programs they offer.

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?

Eduction is the role of the school board and the ministry of education, however as a city we continue to offer after school and summer programs through our community partners.

Cultural Growth

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

We recently approved an Arts, Culture and Heritage Strategic plan and it outlines the need for investment to meet growth and the funding that will be required to implement it.

Cultural Spaces

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

We have two arts centres and a heritage museum run by societies that deliver arts programs to our residents, and we provide funding for them. In the future all three centres will require more space and staffing to meet the demands of our growing population and the increased cultural diversity of our community

Cultural Tourism

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

We recently built an outdoor amphitheatre and provide funding or several free cultural events each year. Our Kaleidoscope Festival and Canada Day celebrate the arts, and our diverse cultural community. We have a festival liaison person who works with community groups to assist them in planning and hosting festivals.

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

We have an economic and tourism department that is working to expand job opportunities in our city, and we will be expanding our arts centres in the future to provide more teaching and work space.

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?

We need to expand both of our arts centres to provide more programming to meet the demands of our rapidly growing population and our performing arts need more rehearsal space. We must begin planning for a heritage centre and in the mean time- storage space to allow us to acquire and store artifacts is crucial.

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 attend arts, culture and festival events in our city and each year as a council we meet with our arts and culture partners to discuss their budget needs and hear their vision for the future of their programs.

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.

As a past president of the Coquitlam Heritage Society, it has always been my goal to preserve our heritage and build a heritage centre. After being elected to council in 2011, I initiated the city purchase of the oldest building in the city and championed the establishment of a city archive. A heritage centre requires a good collection, built up over years. That is why I worked to save the Riverview Hospital collection, and advocated for the city to provide interim storage space.