Stephanie Ostler

Name

Stephanie Ostler

Jurisdiction

Vancouver

Running for

City/Town Council

Party or Slate (if applicable)

YES Vancouver

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?

Arts, culture and heritage are at the heart of a city. They are vital to how we experience our city and how we live our lives. We will be doing a core review of city hall to eliminate inefficiencies which will enable us to come up with more money to allocate to what is important to us as well as to eliminate bad spending. And also as we grow we absolutely should allocate more money to arts and culture.

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. It is important to who we are as people, as a community and as a city. It is integral to who we are. And, although it should never be considered for it's contribution to economics exclusive of the benefits we all receive from arts and culture on a daily basis it is a massive contributor to tourism, to head offices relocating to our lovely city, to small businesses thriving, to our citizens enjoying the environment and interacting with one another. It is vital to a city.

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?

Absolutely though I am not running for school board. I have experienced myself how arts have made me a more thoughtful and intelligent person. No child should be deprived of such opportunities.

Cultural Growth

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

We will be looking to leaders in the community as well as studying what has fostered success in cities around the world. We have so many experts and positive examples of what works best and what contributes the most though we shouldn't be afraid of experimentation either. We should utilize the incredible talent we have in our own city.

Cultural Spaces

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

Absolutely. Vancouver has a lack of free public spaces, especially public spaces that can be enjoyed year round. In a city that has become so unaffordable accessible cultural spaces provide people with services, entertainment and enjoyment without adding to their financial burden. It is also an opportunity for our artists to be showcased.

Cultural Tourism

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

The first thing we need to do is build more hotels. We have lost so many hotel rooms people can't afford to come visit our city. We need to create the ability for many more to come. Then we need to create cultural space that are accessible to everyone.

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

The biggest problem artists have in Vancouver right now is a lack of affordable space to live in and to work in. We need to build housing fast. We need to build good housing at affordable rates. We need to get the vacancy rate up to above 3% so we can have healthy competition in the rental market and we need to consider building more alternative housing like live/work spaces that have served artists. We need more art spaces, practice spaces, workshops. We can utilize the empty spaces we have around the city to rent on a monthly basis to artists for well below market commercial rent until they get a full time tenant. We can work with landlords and builders to create affordable opportunities for artists. Events like the Mural Fest and car free day are wonderful opportunities for our artists and the public to come together and we need more events like that.

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 believe it is housing right now. We have a lack of affordable housing and how can an artist take a chance on Vancouver and commit to their work if they are worried about paying incredibly high rent. It isn't ethical, it isn't working and it isn't benefiting Vancouver to be like this.

Participation

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

Every single day. I am an artist. I am a clothing designer. I have a store on Granville Island and a store on main street. I am an executive member of the Granville Island Business and Cultural Association. I see first hand how fostering our artists benefits everyone on a daily, personal and financial basis.

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.

Arts, culture and heritage are 3 of the pillars that every great city is built upon. The importance of arts, in my opinion is hardly up for debate. We must be vigilant of how we foster and finance it and we need to start from the ground up with city wide planning, affordable housing, more hotels and more studio spaces, as a council our job is to make sure our community has the basic tools to to the incredible work they are committed to doing.