Derek Dang

Name

Derek Dang

Jurisdiction

Richmond

Running for

City/Town Council

Party or Slate (if applicable)

Richmond First

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. No.

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, because arts and culture chronicles where our society is at a specific time in history. It also allows us to provoke thought and conversation.

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?

Working with the School Board, I hope that we can wholly support a curriculum that encourages the arts whether in artistic or performance disciplines.

Cultural Growth

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

We have set up grants and encouraged public art projects. Additionally, we have invested in our programming of Art related classes.

Cultural Spaces

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

This has been a initiative in the City of Richmond and we will continue to support and encourage the use of our Cultural Centre for programs that benefit our youth and anyone else who is interested in the arts.

Cultural Tourism

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

We have partnered with the other levels of government in historical projects like the Gulf of Georgia cannery which is a national historical site. City owned projects like the Steveston tram is a City owned artifact. We have partnered with Tourism Richmond to encourage the cataloging and promotion of places of interest like London Farm. We have a dedicated department for Cultural Tourism. I will continue to support the funding for events like the recently held World Festival at Minoru Park. This is an event that has expanded from a one day event to a 2 day event. It celebrates the City and its diversity in culture and population.

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

We have programs specific to culture and the encouragement of Culture. We have a writer in residence that is sustained annually. We partner to bring art to the City such as biennale program. With the many social issues that we now look after in addition to the projects that are in our jurisdiction, arts and culture work is sometimes given a short funding package. However, we do have the idea that arts are important to a healthy community. In fact, in planning one of our new neighbourhoods, we are encouraging an arts hub where artists will have dedicated work spaces to practice their artwork.

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?

Simply put, we have to continue encouraging arts, culture and heritage to the best of our limited financial resources. Arts is very subjective, what appeals to people doesn't necessarily reflect a broad spectrum of the population. Essentially, we have to find the financial support for projects. The arts strategy is dependent of development and it seems that is the primary funding source. Once development slows down, we have to have another source that is sustainable for further expansion arts, culture and heritage. A dedicated arts and culture fund has to keep the good work moving forward.

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'm a lifetime member of the Richmond Arts Coalition. I am the Council liaison on the Richmond Heritage Commission.

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.

Arts, Culture and Heritage issues are very key components of a well rounded community. It makes the community a more interesting place to visit and civic pride is a benefit to the City's inhabitants. Heritage is important to allow people to see what the community has to offer in the past and to see what the prominent economic and social advantages the City had to offer people in the past.