City of North Vancouver
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?
Annually the City of North Vancouver invests just under $600,000 in the arts. Over the past several years I am proud to have supported an additional $5 Million dollars of capital funding to the new Polygon Gallery and will be providing the NV Museum with an $11 Million community amenity space in addition to the $550, 000 annual operating funding. I would commit to advocating for increased funding.
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?
Absolutely. I am huge supporter of the Arts in our City. Currently as a Councillor I sit on the NV Community Arts Council and the Heritage Advisory Committee. Prior to being an elected official, I co-created the Ridgeway Heritage Committee that championed the preservation and restoration of Ridgeway Elementary School. It is one of the most significant heritage buildings in the City and on the List of Historical Places of Canada. The symbolic link it forms to our city's past is an integral part of building a sense of community. Our City wouldn’t be the vibrant, exciting place it is without the arts and culture we have. They are the fundamental building blocks and provide us with historical perspective, a sense of place, community connections and lifelong learning.
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?
As a mother of 4, and a prior school trustee, I believe a child’s education would not be complete without the inclusion of arts. It helps to enrich children’s lives and enhance their creative thinking skills. If elected, I will commit to the continuation of the numerous programs we have within the City for children of all ages, whether it be through the NVCAC, Presentation Theatre, or the NV Recreation and Culture Commission. Twice annual grants are also available to the community for projects. Our public art collection has over 150 pieces throughout the community and in creating our KidCity Map for elementary students we included a search and find for many of these pieces. Studio in the City is an annual program that provides youth 15-19 with opportunities to apprentice in the arts on various canvases in the City. This is a youth employment program that partners with supporters of the arts. This program will be going into its 12th year in 2019. New this year, Polygon Gallery partnered with the NV School District to offer Gallery School. This elementary school program invites teachers to move students outside of their classrooms for an entire week, and come to the gallery to learn and explore through an artistic and cultural lens.
How will your local government maintain or grow its investment in cultural programs in your community?
Arts, Culture, and Heritage is a core value within the City. It is what makes it a vibrant, exciting place to be and provides us with a sense of place and community connections. This past year council, I am proud to have supported an additional $5000 dollars towards the Cultural Mapping Project that is currently underway. In addition, the City provides grants to a variety of the cultural groups within our City for their festivals such as Caribbean Days, Philippine Days, Nowruz, which provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our diversity, learn from other cultures and stimulate the economy. The City retains many significant examples of historic places that tell the stories of the past, and the Heritage Register is a catalogue of existing heritage resources located within City boundaries. Each year we celebrate Heritage Week by recognizing and honouring residents who have restored, preserved and maintained their heritage homes.
Will you work to ensure access to affordable, sustainable cultural spaces for artists and arts organizations? If so, how?
Yes. The City of North Vancouver over the past several years has invested millions of dollars into cultural amenity spaces such as the Polygon Gallery and the new North Vancouver Museum (currently under construction) that I am proud to have supported. These facilities are stunning additions to the City’s historical Shipyard District.
How do you propose to improve cultural tourism in your community?
The City of North Vancouver with its revitalized historical Shipyard District, which includes the new Polygon Gallery, new museum (2019), along with various other arts and cultural amenities is the City’s primary cultural precinct. With this, the City has a golden opportunity to increase cultural tourism, particularly given our close proximity across the harbour to the cruise ship terminal and Vancouver in general. The Lower Lonsdale BIA, along with various arts organizations and NS Tourism are all working collaboratively to bring this to reality. With the newly completed Spirit Trail in the City, an urban greenway that provides a historical perspective of our community from industry to new urban renewal, along the waterfront through the Squamish Nation to the west, allows for an even greater opportunity for cultural tourism between the City, the Nation and the District of WV.
How do you propose to attract or retain artists and cultural workers in your community?
By making sure that arts and culture remain a core value and that there is rich programming and opportunities that attracts artists to want to come to the City. As most cities in Metro Vancouver, housing is extremely expensive and most likely is unaffordable to many artists. If elected, I would like to explore the feasibility of creating housing for artists on land that is designated for cultural purposes. In addition, the City is always looking at creative, innovative ways to provide affordable housing such as lock off units, live/work spaces, coach houses that could be ideal for artists in the community.
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?
In terms of action, I'd say the creation of a task force comprised of City and NVRC staff, councillors, North Van Arts Council, and key arts organizations such as Presentation House Theatre, Polygon, and Gordon Smith Gallery (artist for kids trust) to address the need and work with the private sector, the LLBIA, and Chamber of Commerce to identify partners who can help with this issue as development moves forward. The City of Vancouver provides and excellent example through the Arts Factory Society that has been instrumental in creating some important artists hubs in Vancouver. I would love to see the City take the lead on this.
How do you personally engage in the cultural life of the community? (e.g. involvement on committees, attending arts and culture events, etc.)
As above, as a Councillor I sit on the Community Arts Council (NVCAC) and Heritage Advisory Committee. I attend the majority of Opening Nights for the Arts and Cultural community; I attend a variety of theatre events throughout the year at a number of our local community theatres. As a jazz enthusiast, this past spring I championed, along with NVCAC, Capilano University and Corrie Weeds a Jazz afternoon at our local Army and Navy Unit. It was a sold out event and we are looking at having it as a regular program over next year.
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.
Our City would not be the vibrant, exciting place it is to live or visit without the addition of the rich arts, culture and heritage we have within the City. If elected as Mayor, I will continue to be a ‘passionate ambassador’ for the arts community.