Paul Hillsdon


Paul Hillsdon



Running for

City/Town Council

Party or Slate (if applicable)

Surrey First


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 support any efforts, either City-led or City-facilitated, to build the capacity of our arts and culture sector, including funding opportunities.


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 and culture is a critical element of the vibrancy of our community, an important economic sector, and critical for the development of our children and youth.


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?

I support initiatives that help reduce barriers to accessing arts and culture programming for children and youth, as well as opportunities to highlight the great work already underway in our schools and post-secondary institutions.

Cultural Growth

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

We are committed to building a Performing Arts Centre in Downtown Surrey, a long requested venue from the arts community, as well as further supporting the capacity building of the organizations and agencies within Surrey.

Cultural Spaces

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

Yes, by ensuring that we consider the need for such spaces when building new or expanding our City-owned community facilities.

Cultural Tourism

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

Work more closely with Discover Surrey and the Arts Council of Surrey to highlight our arts and culture assets in tourism initiatives, as well as highlighting them through my own channels as an elected official.

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

By supporting the sector through capacity building, outreach and marketing, flexible zoning such as live-work spaces, and construction of City-owned arts facilities.

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?

The arts community has long requested a destination performing arts centre to showcase our arts sector. Surrey First is committed to delivering this project.


How do you personally engage in the cultural life of the community? (e.g. involvement on committees, attending arts and culture events, etc.)

I love public art, festivals, and musicals and try to engage or attend these as much as I can. As a policy researcher and city planner, I understand how critical this sector is to the vibrancy and economy of a city, and always endeavour to share information about initiatives or best practices around the arts within my own urbanism circle.