Niti Sharma

Name

Niti Sharma

Jurisdiction

Richmond

Running for

City/Town Council

Party or Slate (if applicable)

RITE Richmond

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?

I don't have the information about current investments in art by the local government. Yes, I would advocate for increasing investment in the arts because I think art can connect divergent cultures and bring us close as a community. Art is also a means to unwind and heal and can provide perspective on what people value in their landscape.

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 would. I see a lot of cultural isolation between various communities in Richmond and I feel that art would be a great bridge. I also see Richmond`s maritime and agrarian heritage being neglected and being replaced by faceless forms of development. Art could reshape our imagination and change peoples minds, and play a positive role in preserving Richmond`s heritage.

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?

Absolutely. I would advocate and speak out in favour of a greater component of art education in elementary and high schools. I feel that art should not be an elective, but a core subject.

Cultural Growth

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

By valuing and recognizing the contributions of art and culture in our communities, and building public and business support to fund art initiatives in the community, I hope we will be able to maintain and grow the city's support for arts and culture.

Cultural Spaces

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

Yes. I would advocate for new developments in the city to contribute towards local arts programming and building community art spaces.

Cultural Tourism

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

Retaining the maritime and heritage character of Steveston, and organizing year-round events to promote Richmond's agrarian and maritime heritage, would be a good way to attract cultural tourists to the city.

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

We need to provide affordable housing, and affordable places to create art.

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?

The current developer contributions to public art are "in kind" and this makes developer contribution to community art and culture minimal. The city should allow cash contributions into creating local art and building community art spaces.

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 like to attend culture days and have intermittently taken weaving classes in the city. When my son was young, I enjoyed taking him to art, painting and clay classes.