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?
No. Our spending has arts and culture lumped together in the budget. I would advocate for separation so we can see how much we are spending in Arts and make improvements. I also feel the city can offer more to Arts & Culture in terms of in-kind services such as marketing, grantwriting and consultation.
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 are the home of the Okanagan School of the Arts yet their building is in need of drastic upgrades. I have already volunteered to serve on the board of the Shatford Center and would love to see an art school, maker space and arts collective come to fruition. This space can serve as a hub and development ground for the entire arts community. A vibrant, connected arts community breathes life into the city.
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?
By collaborating with the local school district, private schools and Penticton Indian Band we can make use of our maker space and arts collaborative and allow all of the children of Penticton to enrich their creative abilities. As a Grade 7/8 teacher, I have witnessed the value of art in my own students firsthand and would love to give them every opportunity to become artists, including an art school with diploma-granting ability.
How will your local government maintain or grow its investment in cultural programs in your community?
Our culture is alive and well, yet part of our community could benefit from a cultural partnership with the city. The Penticton Indian Band shares a boundary with the city of Penticton yet receives fewer services and has less access to resources. I would work to include Okanagan First Nations culture in our community to celebrate their history and create a more inclusive community. Additionally, I would also like to offer more in-kind services to Arts & Culture programs in the community.
Will you work to ensure access to affordable, sustainable cultural spaces for artists and arts organizations? If so, how?
Yes. By creating a maker space and arts collective it gives community members a place to collaborate, innovate and be creative. Its an affordable model, that will be paid for from art school tuition, school district usage and renting out extra space.
How do you propose to improve cultural tourism in your community?
Marketing. I would like to see a single, inclusive website that shares all the information relevant to residents. It would share event schedules and information and also provide free advertisement for non-profit groups.
How do you propose to attract or retain artists and cultural workers in your community?
An art school will keep more high school graduates in town as well as attract other arts-minded youth from surrounding areas and beyond. The creation of an arts collective, maker spaces, building relationships between artists and businesses, and actively marketing the arts and events will all serve to attract and keep artists.
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?
Bringing everyone together and ensuring voices will be heard. An arts collective and board will both serve to remedy this.
How do you personally engage in the cultural life of the community? (e.g. involvement on committees, attending arts and culture events, etc.)
I recently joined the board of directors for the Shatford Center, I attend theatre, concerts, and art shows regularly, run a dodgeball league at the college, and coach basketball and soccer.