Chris Munkacsi

Name

Chris Munkacsi

Jurisdiction

Esquimalt

Running for

City/Town Council

Party or Slate (if applicable)

N/A

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?

Esquimalt invests and has a strong arts, cultural and heritage focus. I welcome new and existing events that contribute to the vibrancy of our community. I encourage participation and growth in the Arts, Culture and Heritage events.

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?

I look forward to playing an active role on behalf of Esquimalt's community to championing growth in arts, culture and heritage regardless of whether I am elected or not.

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?

I am committed to keeping the Arts in schools and the education system. They are a critical component of education. With a daughter in the school system and actively engaged in the Arts I look forward to ways to encouraging that not only for her, but for other children in the educational system.

Cultural Growth

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

Esquimalt has grown its investment in cultural programs, this year we had a Shakespeare Festival, Farmers Market in which many foods and different types of music were on display. We have a vibrant food scene here from Quebecois, Korean and Japanese Restaurants. We have grown our relationship with the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations. I would like to promote more encouragement and recognition of the variety of different cultures in Esquimalt.

Cultural Spaces

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

The Esquimalt Rec Centre has a number of different programs and space for cultural spaces. In the development of new medium density spaces I would like to encourage community gathering spaces and small retail operations on the first floors of these buildings. There have been a number of live / work spaces which have been successfully developed in other areas of Victoria such as Dragon Alley. I would like to see spaces like that included in new developments.

Cultural Tourism

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

I would like Esquimalt to stay the course. We have worked in this community to build a number of events and festivals which add to the culture of the region. I have also written on my Facebook, Twitter and Webpages about my support of the restoration of a Japanese Tea Room in Gorge Park. This would be a positive path forward, a recognition of our heritage and history as the tea room existed there until the early 1940s, but was destroyed by wartime anti-Japanese sentiment. I believe this would offer a unique difference from the other tea rooms in Victoria and bring another aspect of the tea culture to Victoria. We are the best place in North America for tea and bringing a Japanese tea facility to Gorge Park would be a cultural tourism draw to the area.

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

Esquimalt is already a community which draws, attracts and retains cultural workers. Our community is diverse and I would like to work to continue to grow it.

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?

I think the single most important issue relating to arts culture and heritage in my community is to continue to have the events we have had, to work as a municipality and community to continue to grow it and not to lose the events we have begun. I would love to see a lantern festival come back to West Bay and Gorge Swimfest return to Gorge Park.

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 am an active participant of as many local community events in my community as I can be. I get out to the Esquimalt Farmers Market as frequently as I can and shop there, I participate in Buckaneer Days, Ribfest, go to the Hootenannies, Artist in the Park events, and the local arts events.