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?
I don’t have exact numbers but if the residents vote for a new cultural centre that alone will invest approx. $40 million into our local community for arts, culture and heritage. I believe advocating for residents is a key part of the work of a city councilor.
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. Arts, culture and heritage are necessary if Vernon is going to create a sense of community. The arts, culture and heritage programming bring people together. People of all ages, nationalities, from all areas of our community and income levels need access to these areas as they give people the opportunity to either appreciate arts, culture and heritage or to get involved personally.
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. As an educator I have seen first hand the impact the arts, culture and heritage can make on students. The new cultural centre will be the focal point for education in our community. It can provide spaces to learn about the arts, take classes, research local history/arts, create their own art, provide exhibition space and even sell their work. I can see a wide variety of programming added to our current programming of events like our art gallery’s exhibitions of SD#22 students work, the art rental program etc. This programming could include such things as music, poetry, author’s readings, weavers and spinners, pottery, painters, carvers etc. All could share studio space, networking opportunities, exhibition space and the store space.
How will your local government maintain or grow its investment in cultural programs in your community?
Increasing accessibility is a great way to grow investment. A new cultural centre in our downtown core will allow us to better to put on more events and integrate the arts, culture and heritage into existing events.
Will you work to ensure access to affordable, sustainable cultural spaces for artists and arts organizations? If so, how?
Yes. We can continue popular events like civic sounds, riot on the roof and events at the Caetani residence as well as organizing other events. The cultural centre will have a performance space and areas for individuals and organizations to utilize.
How do you propose to improve cultural tourism in your community?
The new cultural centre will allow us to package all the amazing “Activate Life” activities that Vernon Tourism is already promoting so that visitors are able to also experience arts, culture and heritage while they visit. For example we could include in packages tickets to the Mid Summer’s Eve of the Arts with dinner and stay at Sparkling Hill, or a dinner and concert combined with a next day winery tour, we could start a winery concert series similar to what Mission Hill winery does perhaps combining it with admittance to a local art show before the concert. Supporting street music downtown would make our downtown livelier. We can partner with local First Nations to offer programming such as a pow wow, art workshops, etc. We can package the already popular Creative Chaos with dinner, a winery tour or concert. As a city we can combine and cross promote our rail trail with dinner and a concert or art show or museum exhibit. These are just a few ways we can utilize our local amenities to improve and promote cultural tourism.
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?
By the community passing the cultural centre referendum we will then be able to offer space to exhibit and space to create which is key in retaining and attracting artists and cultural workers. As well the more opportunities we host the more attractive the community becomes for those workers.
How do you personally engage in the cultural life of the community? (e.g. involvement on committees, attending arts and culture events, etc.)
I have been involved in plays and concerts, I have run clubs for youth such as a guitar club, I attend music in justice park and at city hall (civic sounds), I have gone to comedy shows and artists at the performing art centre and have taken a number of classes such as soapmaking, acrylic painting, block print making, and acting/directing/editing for movies workshops.
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.
I believe that a strong artistic community means a vibrant and diverse community.