Raza Mirza

Name

Raza Mirza

Jurisdiction

Vancouver

Running for

City/Town Council

Party or Slate (if applicable)

ProVancouver

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?

No, I do not know how much is spent because Vancouver doesn't issue line item budget anymore. Arts, culture, and heritage makes Vancouver unique, and therefore must be provided the funding required.

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. Arts, culture, and heritage are not only enjoyed by locals but draw millions of visitors to Vancouver every year. This generates millions of dollars for our local economy. It is an investment in communities, which drives art and cultural tourism, and should be increased..

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?

Yes, child should have access to education rich in the arts, specially digital arts. The first step to such program is training educators, but we immediately need to make sure teachers have funds to buy supplies, which many teachers buy out of pocket and PAC funded programs today.

Cultural Growth

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

I'll like to add a new public market, which is geared towards local arts and culture. One of the best example of such market is San Pedro Square Market in San Jose, which transforms as the day goes along. Mornings will be geared towards arts and locally-made, evenings will be geared towards music and locally-crafted beers & food.

Cultural Spaces

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

Yes. I'll advocate for adding a floor of open space on every new retail development along arterial, so we can substantially increase space for artists and cultural organizations. Along with that new public market will provide affordable display space, which can be made more affordable by having different vendor during day and night to provide efficient use of space.

Cultural Tourism

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

We need to create new spaces for local artists and cultural workers, and make sure they are funded and promoted as part of Vancouver tourism industry.

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

Our artists and cultural workers are now leaving Vancouver at a worrying rate, so my first priority is to retain our artists and cultural workers. We must provide both affordable living, working and display space, if we are serious about reversing this trend. Only then we can focus on bring in new one.

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?

Affordable housing. Artists can not afford to live in the city, and locals do not have enough disposable income to spend and support on local art and cultural activities. So my first priority is to address that.

Participation

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

Over the years, my participation has reduced to only cultural events, specially ethic cultural events, as I see this as opportunity to keep my own children connected to Vancouver and my own roots.

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.

We must stop looking at arts, culture, and heritage programs through a one dimensional lens of dollars and cents, and support them as opportunity to connect locals and proudly display Vancouver to the world.