Debora Soutar

Name

Debora Soutar

Jurisdiction

Chilliwack

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?

I am aware of Chilliwack's investment in the arts. I would support a redistribution of the existing budget to increase funding for arts, culture and heritage.

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?

I will definitely take an active role in advocating for the growth of arts, culture and heritage in my community. Our city already has important heritage features that need to be protected. Arts and culture enrich everyone's lives.

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 agree the arts are a critical component of every child's education. I would support efforts to make the arts available for every child, regardless of economic status. The arts need to be part of school and everyday life.

Cultural Growth

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

My local government has the capacity to redistribute some budget amounts to grow our investment in cultural programs in Chilliwack.

Cultural Spaces

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

Chilliwack already subsidizes cultural spaces for artists and arts organizations. I support these subsidies and would encourage expansion of this initiative.

Cultural Tourism

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

Chilliwack has a history of hosting cultural festivals, which attract visitors from all over the region. I support the expansion of cultural festivals with a local flavour.

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

Artists need affordable working space and supportive audiences. We can help by partnering with other organizations to secure affordable working space and showcasing local artists at every opportunity.

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?

There is a shortage of appropriate, affordable spaces for artists. I support ongoing efforts to bring arts & culture groups together to share space and ideas. Chilliwack has some wonderful heritage buildings that need to be protected. Local government can take a more proactive role in identifying these properties and advocating for their protection.

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 have been signing in a church choir for the past thirty years. I attend local musical performances, art exhibits, and museum exhibits as often as I can.

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 understand arts, culture and heritage need to be appropriately funded. We know that communities with a rich arts & culture scene attract visitors from outside the community, and, more importantly enrich the lives of the citizens. Young people benefit from exposure to arts & culture and need to be encouraged to develop their talents.