Grace Tsang

Name

Grace Tsang

Jurisdiction

School District #38: Richmond

Running for

School Board

Party or Slate (if applicable)

Richmond Community Coalition

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?

The City of Richmond set an annual budget in the amount of approximately $100,000 to invest in the arts, while the amount of the Richmond School District varies. This is because over 90% of its funding covers employees’ salaries and benefits. There is not much budget left to support school programs. Yes, I would commit to advocating for an increase the investments for arts, culture, and heritage in my community, within the capacity of my elected School Board.

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, I will take an active role. Dr. Ernest L. Boyer’s quote:“Art is humanity’s most essential, most universal language. It is not a frill, but a necessary part of communication. The quality of civilization can be measured through its music, dance, drama, architecture, visual art, and literature.”

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, I will commit. Here are some suggestions:

- Secondary timetabling could be restructured to help some students participate in the Fine Arts for those who have a scheduling conflict.

- Ensure that the Richmond School Board encourages and funds initiatives to support fine arts programs.

- Advocate for sustainable resources and funding to support the arts by communicating with the Ministry of Education and the Federal Government.

- Encourage fine arts mentoring initiatives that build capacity and skills in students and teachers.

Cultural Growth

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

- Apply for value added grants to support Fine Arts events and programs. Grants may be offered by the three levels of government and no-for-profit societies.

- Work with corporate sponsors to fund school projects.

- Collaborate with specific Fine Arts school(s) when initiative will benefit a long term student goal.(e.g. Violin course at Lee Elementary partnered with Richmond Music School.)

Cultural Spaces

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

- Provide appropriate facilities for the arts to flourish (e.g. a multipurpose room or an open space that is designated for drama, dance or music classes.

- Collaborate with Richmond City Art Gallery where students can display their artworks all year long.

- Collaborate with Richmond shopping centres to showcase students’ artworks during Richmond School District’s Education Week yearly.

- Collaborate with Translink to display students’ artwork(s) at a few Canada Line Sky train stations.

Cultural Tourism

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

- The City of Richmond promotes cultural tourism by having a 2-day of Richmond World Festival at the end of August, featuring 90+ artists on 9 stages and many groups of organizers.

- Collaborate with businesses and non profit organizations to hold/promote cultural events in the community. (e.g. Richmond Night Market and The Tall Ships.)

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

- Provide free or low rental space for artists to market their products. (e.g. Richmond Farmer Market)

- The City of Richmond provides grants for artists to produce their products such as artworks and community gardens.

- Advocate to the BC Government and the Federal Government for initiatives to attract or retain artists and cultural workers in our community.

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?

Unpredictable funding support and promotion from the government to encourage the intrinsic value of fine arts and culture in our community. I will advocate with the BC School Trustees Association for sustainable funding to support fine arts program in our schools.

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 a founding member of Richmond Arts Coalition.

- As a member and Past President (2017-18) of the Richmond Sunset Rotary Club who sponsors the Annual Winter wonderland Concerts at the Richmond City Hall. I have been the program coordinator since 2007 to schedule performances for participants, including school/community bands and performing groups.

- I am the Past Vice President of the Richmond Youth Concert Band, in which both of my adult children were members. I had been a volunteer for this organization from 2004 to 2017.

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.

I am a long time supporter for artistic learning. As a parent whose adult children have benefited from the fine arts programs, I have always been a strong advocate of artistic learning opportunities. I believe that when students engage in the arts, this would foster their growth and development in critical-thinking and creativity. If elected, I will continue advocate to strengthen the arts in such a way that they are relevant for student growth.