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?
Our residents contribute under $40 per year on Arts and Cultural funding. In 2016, the cultural activities contributed $7.2 billion to BC’s economy. To put that into perspective, that’s 7 times more than the contribution of sports.
Three in four Canadians (75%) attended a performing arts performance by professional artists in 2011.
44% attended a theatrical performance, such as a drama, musical theatre, dinner theatre, comedy;
42% attended a popular musical performance such as pop, rock, jazz, blues, folk, country and western;
20% attended a symphonic or classical music performance;
15% attended a dance performance.
86% of Canadians are accessing performing arts presentations via television, Internet or other media channels. Yet, they are twice as likely to ascribe a high importance to live performing arts attendance than to any media-based consumption.
79% of Canadians say they would miss it if there were no live, professional performing arts available in their community (21% to a moderate extent and 58% to a high extent).
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 use my position on council to encourage our community to continue to develop Arts and Culture. I would also use my position to reach into the community to find partners to start a fundraising pool for a new performing arts center. I believe we need a center but the bulk of the funding needs to come from contributions, not by increasing taxes. The current amount residents pay (less than 35.00 per year) is very reasonable considering the economic spin Arts and Culture has in our community.
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, two of my children have attended Beattie School of The Arts, now Kamloops School of the Arts. Our school system could do more to support the arts and should consider having Art Therapy classes for those youth that are looking for an outlet for emotional difficulties, Art and Music heal and help residents process the intense emotions that accompany being a youth today. Art and Music heals.
How will your local government maintain or grow its investment in cultural programs in your community?
Educating folk on the fact that Arts and Culture is a growing aspect of our communities can help residents understand that funding the Arts has a benefit of the whole community. IN BC $7.2 billion contributed to the BC’s economy came from Arts and Culture in our communities. We pride ourselves as a tournament sports capital of Canada but BC generated 7x more in Arts and Culture. A Performing Arts Centre would be a gem in our city and with the right funding will be embraced by more in our community.
Will you work to ensure access to affordable, sustainable cultural spaces for artists and arts organizations? If so, how?
Yes, I hope to advocate and help the community develop the plan for the Stuart Wood site in downtown Kamloops. With strategic partnerships we could turn this big beautiful building into and Arts and Culture center and a downtown community hall. If educating and arts programs are a key component of the plan we would not have to consider taking the building out of Education Purposes and use it to host Arts and Culture programing in partnership with out First Nations communities. I hear from artists that an artist cooperative would be very well received by artists looking for affordable attainable gallery and studio space.
How do you propose to improve cultural tourism in your community?
Our back alley art has become world renowned. The Landsdown Parkade beautification project is one example of how we can take an eye sore and turn it into something beautiful and a local artist is being used for this project. Hosting events like the Buskers Festival and Art in Park have become Kamloops destination experiences. I think the Music In The Park program is unmatched in Canada. I would support an expanded program once a week with music geared toward the youth, Hip Hop and DJ's. We could have lasers and highlight local talent, maybe even rap battles. Imagine Rap battles and lasers for a late night Music In The Park once a week, or even once a month
How do you propose to attract or retain artists and cultural workers in your community?
Creating programs to support and pay artists helps. Our mural art projects are fabulous and pay artist fairly for their work. Having a performing arts centre would do much to support Arts and Culture in the community. I will push hard to find better ways to fund a project with sponsorships using the model of pruvate donors. Jim Pattison for example just donated 75 Million toward the construction of St Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, There are philanthropists that support the Arts. Perhaps some of out sports celebrities would like to have wing in a Performing Arts Center.
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?
Our lack of a Performing Arts Centre and the loss of live music venues. We just had another venue close in Kamloops. We need to find creative ways to support these businesses that are supporting the arts in our community to create incentives for them to stay open so we have a variety of venues for live music. Perhaps we could look at helping fund a position for an Arts Advocate that worked with entrepreneurs investors and artists to promote and arts and help applicants find Arts and Heritage and Cultural funding. There are a ton of programs and grants available to the Arts but artists find it difficult to do the business side of being an artist.
How do you personally engage in the cultural life of the community? (e.g. involvement on committees, attending arts and culture events, etc.)
Two of my girls have attended or are attending Kamloops School of the Arts. I attend Music In The Park faithfully and am pretty sure i am their biggest fan. Music is part of my wellness routine. I support local artists by purchasing their art for my home, no Walmart prints in my home. I also advocate for a performing arts center. I want to turn the parking lot into a performing arts paradise.
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.
Art and Music save lives and preserving our heritage and celebrating our local culture are very important to me. I invest my personal time and money into the arts and as a councillor for the city of Kamloops I will look at ways to help the community to fund programs in innovative ways that the whole community can support. Most of the resistance for the Performing Arts Centre stemmed from the fact that the funding model was relying on the public purse for too much of the costs. We need to look at this project like others like hospital expansions and larger projects. Donations from wealthy philanthropists are key to getting broader support from the community of folks who cannot see the long term benefits of Arts and Culture. Educating people about the strength and contribution of the arts to our community would help.