Party or Slate (if applicable)
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 do not know specifically how much Richmond has, but I know BC's budget. That being said, I do commit to advocating for an increased investment in culture, arts and heritage as I believe that the arts can unite our community.
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 take an active role in championing the growth of arts, culture and hertiage in Richmond. The reason for this is I believe that arts can break boundaries and in an area like Richmond where the population is so diverse, this is a commonality that we can take advantage of. This is also an opportunity to create more family friendly events (like Toronto's Nuit Blanche) and for us to showcase Richmond proudly.
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 believe that children and arts should come naturally as it is part of their early school curriculum. However, I do believe in providing additional after-school arts programs to help facilitate the stimulation of the right side of the brain. Inspiring our students can be done through extra family friendly events, artist showcases, and free performances in large areas like Minoru or Richmond Centre.
How will your local government maintain or grow its investment in cultural programs in your community?
This is a difficult question to answer if I am not actively part of my local government. I can't speak on behalf of others, but I can say that I believe in inspiring others and the only way we can have our artists inspire the rest of Richmond is to have their art seen. I believe in creating more events centered around the arts to unit our communities and to provide additional family friendly events in our local community.
Will you work to ensure access to affordable, sustainable cultural spaces for artists and arts organizations? If so, how?
I do believe that artists and arts organizations require sustainable spaces, but I also need to be cognisant of where these locations are. Rent/property fees in the centre of Richmond may not be the most feasible spend of money, however, acquiring a larger space outside of the centre could be a better option. Regardless, without seeing what is available or what has been proposed, I cannot clearly define my next steps outside of saying I do want affordable and sustainable access for artists and arts organizations.
How do you propose to improve cultural tourism in your community?
We need to drive awareness to the arts in Richmond, and in order to do so, we need things to showcase. Additional events with proper marketing would be a perfect opportunity to showcase our local artists, gather the residents of Richmond, and to also attract our surround neighbours.
How do you propose to attract or retain artists and cultural workers in your community?
There's a reason why events like the Night Market have been highly successful and I think we can take that formula by adding arts to a one-night event. Food, art, music, all available throughout central Richmond. Additional events throughout the year could also be established, think about a "winter wonderland" type of event where artists showcase winter-based art while the snow is falling in Richmond.
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?
I believe there are other important issues in Richmond that need to be addressed, but arts, culture and heritage is in my top 3. As mentioned above, a strong budget, strong marketing plan, and incremental community events are 3 quick ways to build importance to the arts in Richmond.
How do you personally engage in the cultural life of the community? (e.g. involvement on committees, attending arts and culture events, etc.)
Outside of the free art located throughout Richmond, and Richmond Art Gallery, I have not participated in local events.
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.
Please feel free to see my stances at my website: http://andyofrichmond.wordpress.com