Margaret Stacey


Margaret Stacey



Running for

City/Town Council

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?

Our local government invests significantly in arts, culture and heritage, funding Touchstones Gallery, Museum and Archives, the Capitol Theatre, a cultural Development Committee Staff person, sculpture purchase and rental, recently allocated $25000 to a mural festival, supports civic buildings like the Civic Theatre with no rent and exterior improvements, supports some arts organizations with permissive tax exemptions, and allocates its Columbia Basin Trust grants to many arts organizations. Yes I would advocate for more to some of these organizations and initiatives.


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've always done this, earlier in my former 17 year career as the executive director of the Capitol Theatre, and as a City Councillor from 2005-2011. Why? Because these are fundamental identity markers in a community.


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?

Oh yes. In 1988 The Capitol Theatre initiated a summer youth theatre program that still flourishes with over a thousand young people as alumni; film and dance, youth choirs and fine arts are a large component of the learning in our district, both private and public, although some elements have fallen away in the public system. As a former English and Art teacher, I am committed to endorsing and generating programs in the community.

Cultural Growth

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

Already doing it, by funding programs, facilities and operations.

Cultural Spaces

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

The city has done good work in space support for many of our organizations; and I think it remains to support the Civic Theatre in its quest to provide additional spaces to support a second screen and a home-space for a screen-based industry in the Kootenays.

Cultural Tourism

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

Work with our DMO, Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism, the Chamber of Commerce and the Cultural Development Committee and the Nelson and Area Economic Development Committee to promote and enhance the existing offerings and communicate cohesively locally and beyond.

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

Doesn't seem to be a problem for the community. But it would be good if the school district would find a way to entrench its arts and music teachers.

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?

So much of it, and no one central way to find out about it all! Communication has always been a big challenge. The other big challenge is competing activity, such as the mountain and lake attractions, gardening, especially in the summer.


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

Currently I paint seasonal murals at Nelson United Church. I attend concerts and films and dance events and grandchildren's arts events. I'm the treasurer of the biennial Kootenay Festival of the Arts, a venerable adjudicated event established in 1930. I teach art to seniors through Learning in Retirement and through Rotary's Corks and Canvas fundraisers. In the past I have produced many theatre productions and festivals, sat on provincial arts boards like Theatre BC and BCTC.

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.

refer to: for a wide variety of topics, and google re Project Change for the Vancouver Sun " The Art of Giving: an interview with Margaret Stacey "