Zeni Maartman


Zani Maartman



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?

In Nanaimo we have the Nanaimo Cultural Plan finalized in 2014. The Culture Vision Statement for our City is " Nanaimo is a healthy and prosperous community that recognizes the importance of creativity and cultural vitality for quality of life and place." I believe that arts and culture are the heart of a city. Yes, I would advocate to support an investment in arts, culture and heritage. I would like to see one of the key priorities to be a partnership with Snuneymuwx First Nations and the Indigenous Community of Nanaimo to develop First Nation Tourism.


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 be a champion of the arts, culture and heritage. We have theatres ( large and small ) , art galleries, music festivals, including our symphony that plays for the public in our parks during the summer. One of our primary economic drivers is tourism. The benefits of arts and culture are paramount to attracting visitors but it is the benefits to the people of our city, a sense of pride knowing we have a vibrant city that contributes to our health and well-being.

Cultural Growth

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

The City has a committee for cultural and heritage planning. The committee members can be tasked to explore opportunities with various community organizations, collaborating with the ministries to be aware of various grants that may be available for programs and/or projects.

Cultural Spaces

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

Yes. Nanaimo is in the process of rebuilding our downtown. There is a master waterfront plan for an unfinished area in south Nanaimo. I would like to see spaces incorporated into the design for artists, musicians, and other talents so that our waterfront is desirable, interesting creating a vibrant, diverse destination for everyone in Nanaimo and our visitors.

Cultural Tourism

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

We need to build on our history with the Coast Salish people. I would like to see us build stronger relationships with Snuneymuwx First Nations and the Indigenous community and collaborate on how we can support celebrating the history of Nanaimo.

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

Nanaimo remains an affordable city to live and play in compared to many other cities in BC. Our beautiful natural surroundings make Nanaimo a desirable location.

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 council merged some of the city committees including arts and culture. In my opinion, and depending on the expertise of our local artists and culture experts, I would like to see a committee dedicated to arts, culture and heritage on it's own. There is much to accomplish.


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

I visit our numerous art galleries ( large and small ). I have attended events at our Port Theatre. My involvement on city committees has been focused on social issues, however I did participate in the Grants in Aid Committee ( when it existed ) and supported programs/projects in our neighbourhoods.