Shirley Wilson


Shirley Wilson



Running for

School Board

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?

Two questions here. One - our local government has a small budget for the arts, providing a home for the Arts Council as well as funding the Reach Gallery and Museum - a civic facility. No public art funding is provided. Two - I would (and have) advocated for more cultural dollars both in our schools and in our public.


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, I would, and have, taken an active role in championing the growth of arts, culture, and heritage in your community. I believe we need these in our community to encourage public engagement creating a better, more positive community.


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! My own children, between the two, play 11 instruments. My daughter is an award winning photographer - a passion supported by a dedicated teacher in her high school. It is difficult in the daily school timetable to make arts mandatory. Instead, we integrate the arts into education. We have two Integrated Arts schools serving k-12. The revised curriculum offers further integration opportunities for students, which I fully support.

Cultural Growth

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

I am unsure of what our local Mayor and Council will do, but the Abbotsford Board of Education will continue to support the passions and educational motivation of students in our schools. We consider the attributes of teachers we hire into our district, and endeavour to ensure talented trained staff are in our schools.

Cultural Spaces

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

Within the school district, we encourage schools visit our local arts and heritage facilities. We provide schools the discretion they need to meet the educational outcomes for our students. Most of our schools have an artist in residence, music, art, and drama programs. We have the most Fine Arts Scholarships in the province. We need to ensure this is available in all schools.

Cultural Tourism

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

We make it possible for all schools to access field trips to local cultural facilities. Information is provided to parents, as well.

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

We continue to support trained talented staff, and support schools for artists in residence.

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 community apathy for arts and heritage in Abbotsford. It is not a matter of 'build it and they will come'. It is important to share the passion. Much happens in our community but in pockets. As a leader I will continue to advocate for and attend local events. Spread the word.


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

Attending venues, events, exhibits, and activities. I share my experiences on social media.

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 am fully supportive of arts, culture and heritage in Abbotsford. I think as a community we need to do more, provide more, attend more, and expand more. We need to cultivate the interests of the apathetic as to grow greater interest locally for local artisans. I think we are headed the right direction, recognizing the small pockets of talent across the community. I believe our own individual leadership in supporting the arts, heritage and culture will assist in creating a viable presence in the broader community. Not just talk, but doing.