Barb Desjardins

Name

Barb Desjardins

Jurisdiction

Esquimalt

Running for

Mayor

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?

Absolutely. During my tenure as Mayor, Esquimalt has increased and ensured consistent funding for these types of events.

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?

Yes. Arts, cultural and heritage events increase the social health of our community while also being economic generators. Tourism, community pride, economic development occurs with this and these are my mandate.

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?

Through community events we are including and exposing children and youth to the arts. We have a youth center that also has a focus on the arts. One of the events within our community provides funding and mentor ship for youth in Music and I will continue to support these types of initiatives

Cultural Growth

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

Through local funding that provides consistency for cultural programs to develop, and grow. Staff of Esquimalt provide in kind support for cultural development and growth as well.

Cultural Spaces

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

We have developed space and programs within our Parks and Recreation facility as well as provide some tax exemptions and grant funding. We fund arts and culture locally and regionally.

Cultural Tourism

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

Through ongoing and consistent funding and support by council, local groups have been able to develop and provide multiple free events for our community. These events are supported by the community through attendance, donations, volunteering and the sense of pride in our community through these events has grown significantly. Local businesses also support these groups and events significantly

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

Through consistent funding and council policy.

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?

Volunteer burn-out and lack of volunteers is an area I feel important to monitor. I work to connect new residents to the groups within our community. This gives benefit of bringing people within the community and sustains volunteers. Our municipality works with local cultural groups to provide support through social media and other communications as well and in kind help for events.

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 attend as many of the events as possible even if only for a short time. I believe in setting the example. Also I meet with local groups that provide cultural, arts and heritage events to understand what their needs may be for the future.

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.

Please view my website: mayorbarbdesjardins.weebly.com