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?
My community doesn't spend enough. For the past two years, we have been completing an Arts and Culture Strategy, which will chart the path forward. Now, we can start implementing this Strategy, which will take a significant financial investment.
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 believe that arts, culture and heritage play a valuable role in defining, forming and enlivening every community. My wife is a professional artist and I fully understand how the arts, culture and heritage much be championed. I have done so in the past and I will continue to do so.
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 will do what I can as a member of Council but this is largely within the purview of the local school board. I would certainly support after school arts programs in the community, at our library, arts facilities, community centres, etc. One way in which Council can support the arts in education is to assist non-profit arts organizations in the community. Another way we can assist is to support the creation and maintenance of municipal arts facilities, like the Silk Purse.
How will your local government maintain or grow its investment in cultural programs in your community?
See above. Through the Arts and Culture Strategy, West Vancouver is fully committed to supporting cultural organizations in the community. We also provide cultural programming at our Library, the Community Centres, and our Kay Meek theatre.
Will you work to ensure access to affordable, sustainable cultural spaces for artists and arts organizations? If so, how?
See above. Now that we have finalized our Arts and Culture Strategy, the next step is to determine what arts and cultural spaces are required and, more specifically, what facilities need to be revitalized and what new facilities are needed. Research on this issue will be done by a group of citizens and staff and then be brought to Council for approval and implementation.
How do you propose to improve cultural tourism in your community?
We need to improve our relations with the local Squamish First Nation and partner with them to feature our Squamish heritage in a way that draws tourists. We also need to improve our arts facilities, so that we can better showcase local artists, and our museum, so we can share our heritage.
How do you propose to attract or retain artists and cultural workers in your community?
We need to provide housing that is affordable for artists and cultural workers. We should consider the possibility of live/work spaces for artists on District property, such as the Klee Wyck lands. We need to foster facilities in which these people can work and create. And we need to provide reliable transportation so that these people can come to our community from elsewhere.
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?
Prior to the finalization of the Arts and Culture Strategy, I would have said the biggest issue is that we didn't have an overarching plan. Now that this Strategy is finalized, the priority must be to see it implemented in a successful and timely fashion. I have and will continue to push for such implementation, including completing work on our arts and culture facilities.
How do you personally engage in the cultural life of the community? (e.g. involvement on committees, attending arts and culture events, etc.)
My partner is a professional artist so I live with the arts every day (eventhough I have no discernible talent). I listen to music at the Kay Meek theatre and the Music Box, I attend the Memorial Library regularly, I go to various cultural events at the community centres and I'm regularly dragged off to the pottery studio at Gleneagles Community Centre, so that I can throw some wobbly bowls.