Terri O'Keeffe


Terri O'Keeffe



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?

I don't currently know the entire amount but I'm certainly open to looking at a potential increase.


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, absolutely. It's our arts, culture and heritage that add character, vibrancy and another dimension to 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?

I have been the Education Docent at the Sidney Museum for the last 4 years so I understand the importance of exposing students to arts and culture. Since Education is in the Province's jurisdiction, I'm not sure how a city Councillor could influence the curriculum. However, the Town does provide funding to many local arts and culture groups, so maybe we could act as liaison between those groups and our local schools to encourage more exposure to arts and local culture.

Cultural Growth

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

I'm not sure yet. I believe our Town recently took back control of it's arts and culture funds from the CRD. I'd like to get feedback from the community as to whether this is working and whether there are any gaps.

Cultural Spaces

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

Yes. There are several places in the area for artists, some are private, some public, some free, some with a cost. However there seems to be a shortage of space. The most popular space at Tulista is small and will need to be replaced. I'd like to work with the community (including North and Central Saanich) to do an analysis of their needs, take inventory of what exists and perhaps work on a plan for a new community gallery, that could perhaps also include the museum, a 1st Nations gallery, space for education sessions and demonstrations.

Cultural Tourism

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

I have been encouraging our local museum to incorporate more of our 1st Nations history and culture, and I'll continue doing that. I'd like to take inventory of all arts and culture organizations in the community and perhaps work with our local Business Improvement Area to focus a marketing campaign on that.

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

Affordable housing is one thing I'll be working on. This is something that is impacting the attraction and retention in other sectors of our community. Create an Arts & Culture hub which could include a gallery, the museum, 1st Nations Gallery, demonstrations and teaching areas. I'd also like to hear from the community on any suggestions they may have.

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 we have been missing the opportunity to allow our local 1st Nations to tell more of their history, arts and culture. If I was elected, I would help work towards building better relationships with our 1st Nations and find out how they may want to be included.


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

In the 20 years that I've lived in Sidney I have attended numerous arts and culture events at the Mary Winspear Centre, exhibitions at the Pier Hotel, at Tulista, at McTavish Academy, concerts in Beacon Park etc. At the Sidney Museum I am currently a Board Member, Education Docent, Chair of the Exhibits Committee and Chair of the Outreach & Marketing Committee. I've organized live comedy shows as a fundraiser for Parkland School.

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 passionate about supporting arts, culture and heritage issues. I have a Bachelors Degree in History (and Psychology) and I'm working towards my Diploma in Cultural Resource Management at UVIC.