Mary-Louise McCausland


Mary-Louise McCausland


Salmon Arm

Running for

City/Town Council

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?

Salmon Arm invests in the Arts in two ways: fee for services contract with such organizations as the Shuswap Arts Council and through the community grants program. Getting an accurate picture on arts funding is difficult as it is lumped in with Recreation in the 2017 Annual report. It appears, though, that the City spends less than 1% on the arts. I think it would be valuable to have an arts, cultural and heritage plan with the idea of increasing resources for the arts.


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 would definitely take an active role in championing the arts. In spite of the small amount of resources that are available to the arts groups there is still an active community. They need improved facilities to flourish. I love the arts, my degree is a BFA from the University of Calgary in drama so the arts is dear to my heart.


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 would advocate for school programs in the arts be reinstated to their original levels before the recent cutbacks. I would also support our arts groups in the provision of arts activities for children.

Cultural Growth

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

There are two ways to do this: provide better facilities and be open to support new programs initiated by the arts and cultural groups.

Cultural Spaces

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

Yes. I would seek to develop partnerships with the private sector and the arts, cultural and heritage groups to develop and implement a plan for improved facilities.

Cultural Tourism

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

We already have some cultural events that occur in the summer such as Roots and Blues Festival, Wednesdays on the Wharf and the Word on the Lake Writers Festival. These are well attended by visitors to the area and well marketed. We are handicapped by the lack of a conference and cultural centre. Once we have one, the door opens for more cultural tourism.

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

We are a small city which makes it difficult to provide the opportunities that Vancouver can provide. Our dance schools have helped young dancers develop so that they can compete for jobs in larger centres. There is also mentoring of young musicians and some of those have met with success. However, we have amazing local artists who have done well here. I don't think the city is at the stage to be a home for a professional dance company or professional theatre.

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 it needs more attention and better facilities. I would work with the community to determine their needs and help them achieve what they require to flourish.


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 on the Board of Directors for the Shuswap Association of Writers and the planning committee for the Word on the Lake Writers' Festival. I write grants for them, run a writing contest and do a fundraising event. I have been a member of the community choir and I enjoy attending the theatre, and music events. I also visit our art gallery.