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 know how much we have invested but I do know that our local gov has supported the Sooke Fine Arts Show in grant money. Yes, I would advocate as a community member and where applicable as a school board trustee. I see arts, culture and heritage as essential for the health of the community as well as a vehicle for economic growth through tourism.
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. We live in a small town so arts, culture and heritage are a means for connecting with all members of our community. In addition, if elected as a Trustee I firmly believe it is important to reach the interests of all learners. Education becomes relevant and welcoming when it is fun and interesting and arts and culture can assume that role seamlessly.
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?
Of course! It is the Trustee's job to advocate to the BC government for the needs of the local community. As a life long local in Sooke I am proud to say there have been some great initiatives that have encouraged youth engagement in the arts and I have seen what it has done for our community. I will continue to support the amazing individuals who have done this great work and promote further development in this arena.
How will your local government maintain or grow its investment in cultural programs in your community?
What better place to invest in cultural programs then with our youth. As a Trustee we have a great opportunity to invest in our children's education. I want to know that when my oldest child, who is three, reaches school age she will be entering an education system rich with arts and culture. In addition, my professional background includes curriculum design with a focus on inclusion and culture.
Will you work to ensure access to affordable, sustainable cultural spaces for artists and arts organizations? If so, how?
I know that the Edward Milne Community Society has been actively engaging in doing this very work and I would continue to support this initiative. My hat is off to the work of these individuals so my job would be to listen and support these wonderful people.
How do you propose to improve cultural tourism in your community?
Well, I have a post-bac in immigration consulting so perhaps there would be a different perspective around thinking outside of the box when it comes to increasing tourism.
How do you propose to attract or retain artists and cultural workers in your community?
I have over 10 years of experience as an employment facilitator and job developer. If there is one thing I am confident I understand that would be anything to do with the employment sector. If elected, this perspective will be at the table when looking at preparing students for employment. Given that I firmly support arts and culture and I have a background in job creation, I have a unique perspective for an action plan.
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?
In regards to culture and heritage, I think we are in a hopeful time when it comes to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action; however, we have so much work ahead of us. My goal is to ensure that our schools are a relevant and welcoming space for all students. My background and education in curriculum design in support of the TRC will be of value in navigating this transformation.
How do you personally engage in the cultural life of the community? (e.g. involvement on committees, attending arts and culture events, etc.)
Well I am just coming out of Mat leave with a 1 and 3 year old so i had to take a break from my volunteer work. Before I had my kids I had extensive community volunteer experience including Marine Search and Rescue, Sooke District Grants Committee, Sooke Fine Arts and Edward Milne Community Society. Now that my kids are a little older, I am feeling ready again to get back into the game :)
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.
If voters want to learn more about me, please visit my website https://allisonwatson.ca/