Hazel Braithwaite

Name

Hazel Braithwaite

Jurisdiction

Oak Bay

Running for

City/Town Council

Party or Slate (if applicable)

N/A

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?

Oak Bay directly contributes approximately $100,000 a year to arts & culture. This includes a part-time staff position and the annual contribution to the Public Art Reserve, but does not include the amount we give to the CRD. Art is extremely important to the residents of Oak Bay. In the past few years we have gone from no public art pieces to 5, so yes we will always look for ways to augment our budget for arts and culture especially through grants etc.

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?

Absolutely! The increased awareness of arts, culture and heritage in our community has truly increased engagement with our residents. People are now talking about Oak Bay as an arts and culture destination which is really exciting.

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?

I do believe arts are a critical component in every child's education. Although at a municipal level we don't have a lot of influence over the curriculum in schools, we can certainly advocate and use our own public art programs to raise awareness within the school system. I know our Arts Laureate has done huge amounts of work with students in the past so perhaps having the school district look at how that was accomplished and implementing a program like that again might be an option.

Cultural Growth

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

We will continue to support our Arts Laureate and promote the purchasing of pieces of art within our community. We now have a specific "culture" position within our Parks, Recreation and Culture department and this is really enabling us to grow the culture program each year.

Cultural Spaces

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

This is definitely something we are working on and we hope to have something in the near future in place.

Cultural Tourism

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

We have implemented an Arts & Culture fortnight into our calendar. It is filled with an art tour of the sculptures we have placed throughout our community, the painted pianos, car shows, music in the park, movie night at Windsor Park, the Bowker Creek brush-up etc. As this event grows, we draw more tourists from all over to come and participate in the activities.

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

Oak Bay is so very fortunate to have a large group of artists and cultural workers living in our community. As a municipality we support and promote the local artists by helping to promote shows etc. and we also contributed one million dollars to the Dave Dunnett Theatre in Oak Bay High School.

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 preservation of our heritage character. We need to find a balance between preserving or heritage and environment but also embracing thoughtful change.

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 currently the Council Liaison for Parks, Recreation & Culture, so am very involved at that level. I attend almost all of the music in the park events and other cultural events that take place not only in Oak Bay, but other municipalities too. My brother-in-law is an artist and so the importance of arts and culture in our community is often a topic of conversation around the dinner table.

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.

As the Council Liaison to Parks, Recreation & Culture for the past 4 years, I have been extremely fortunate to be a part of helping to move our arts and culture program forward. Oak Bay now has 5 pieces of public art and I am very proud of that. I look forward to what our Arts Alive program and our Arts Laureate have in store for us for the next four years!