ProArt distributed a survey to Candidates campaigning in the 2018 Municipal Elections within the Capital Regional District, asking them to respond to the following questions before the October 20, 2018 elections. We also distributed an Overview of the CRD Arts Development Service as provided on their website.
Replies are posted below as they are submitted.
Candidate for: Mayor or Councillor
1. What benefits do the arts bring to our communities?
2. What role do you believe municipal governments should have in supporting the arts?
3. Given that your municipality is either ‘committed to’ or ‘currently not’ investing in the CRD Arts Development Service, do you support your municipality’s decision to contribute to the service? Why?
4. Is there anything else regarding the arts that you would like to communicate to voters?
Responses (Listed by Municipality)
District of Central Saanich
City of Colwood
Township of Esquimalt
District of Highlands
City of Langford
District of Metchosin
District of North Saanich
District of Oak Bay
District of Saanich
Town of Sidney
District of Sooke
City of Victoria
Town of View Royal
District of Central Saanich
Carl Jensen, District of Central Saanich, Candidate for Councillor
- Arts have the ability to enrich a community. Events such as concerts, theatrical performances or gallery tours have the ability to bring a community together in appreciation for an artist’s talents. These events can happen in schools, theatres, studios, churches, community parks or a variety of other venues and they incorporate artists of all levels.
- Municipal governments have the ability to support the arts through financial contributions or the provision of “In kind” services for facilities/venues for the delivery of the arts.
- Over the two terms of Council that I have served, Central Saanich has made contributions towards organizations promoting the arts on the Saanich Peninsula such as The Community Arts Council of the Saanich Peninsula, the Mary Winspear Centre and the Brentwood Bay Community Association. I am open to future opportunities where the District might be able to continue supporting the arts through a variety of strategies.
City of Colwood
Jason Nault, City of Colwood, Candidate for Councillor
- Through entertainment, inspiration, communication and social commentary they make our society more vibrant and creative. They can inspire us to improve ourselves and to make us see things in different ways.
- Municipalities should be supporting local art to the same degree they support local sports.
- No. CRD “services” are a difficult proposition for small communities. We find it impossible to influence where OUR taxpayers money is spent and we have no control over how large the requisition is and no way to opt out of it. I advocate local (Westshore) funding for the arts.
- Westshore has fantastic shared sporting facilities through Juan De Fuca recreation center. We should build into this recreation model support for local performing and visual arts.
Scott MacDonald, City of Colwood, Candidate for Councillor
- Art is as important to our well-being as recreation, libraries and books, and parks and green spaces. It is intrinsic to our culture, and in fact defines our species. There is no society on the planet that does not produce and appreciate art. As a subject it is as important as mathematics and came eons before. Communities with robust access to the arts is healthier (body, mind and outlook), happier, and more open-minded.
- They have a responsibility to provide public art spaces, to foster education in the arts, and facilitate access to a variety of arts experiences. Just as they preserve and keep open green spaces, or support athletic facilities, so too must they with the arts. It definitely shouldn’t be an either or dichotomy—yet somehow there always seems to be skating rinks and baseball diamonds first, and more of them than art spaces, theatres, concerts or expositions.
- Colwood is currently being asked to support the Juan de Fuca Performing Arts Centre project. Given that the CRD is unlikely to build such a desperately needed facility here on the Westshore, and also given the fact we are desperately short of this type of infrastructure, I am in support of that project over spending dollars with the CRD Arts Service.
Furthermore, there is bias in your services statement, where you state the CRD Arts Service provides:
a) “Funding for Significant artistic institutions…” —Yet you are well aware there are few if any “significant artistic institutions and events” in Colwood — which is of course because of the aforementioned infrastructure. Will the CRD confirm a major financial commitment to the development of the JDF Performing Arts Centre during this election?
b) “Equal opportunities for residents from across the region to participate in the arts…”. — with most of the ‘significant venues centralized there is a huge barrier to participation for many CRD residents (travel time, cost of travel, access to transit are just a few.
c) “Unbiased adjudication processes for funding programs…” — Obviously, but you are forgotten in the existing fabric of arts institutions, and available venues there is most certainly and entrenched historical bias, one that is against the interests of Colwood residents.
So the deck is already stacked against Colwood. In principle and on a mostly level playing field, I would support Colwood’s participation in the CRD Arts Service, and I most definitely will if the CRD will commit to fixing the glaring structural imbalances and level the playing field, something which is entrenched into the fabric of a fair and just Canadian society.
- I would like to commend the CRD for their commitment to the arts and I look forward to the CRD’s collaboration with Colwood and other municipalities to rectify their arts facility and institution structural deficits.
Thank you for the opportunity to learn more about the CRD Arts Service and participate in your survey.
Misty Olsen, City of Colwood, Candidate for Councillor
- The arts give our communities an opportunity to express themselves in a way that promotes and stimulates mental wellness, social skills and self confidence. Healthy minds = healthy community.
- I believe that municipalities should be more actively involved in supporting programs that promote and foster mental wellness and creativity. I believe that the arts play a major role in personal recovery and alternative therapies. The arts bring us together.
- Yes, as mentioned above, I believe that the arts help stimulate healthy minds and can also lead to successful rehabilitation from health traumas/mental illness recovery. The arts also instil a strong sense of belonging and inclusion within a community.
- Share your talents and embrace the diverse talents within your community. Take the time to learn about each other, we will all be better for it.
Michael Baxter, City of Colwood, Candidate for Councillor
- In addition to the pleasure that arts provides its audiences and the joy that it brings to those who create the art—whether it be music, dance, theatre, sculpture, poetry, opera, fine arts or so much more—there are many community benefits. The arts are essential to the mental health and wellbeing of residents. They are essential part of growing young minds. And they are part of creating community, whether it is the new friends you make at art class, the shared volunteerism in making a stage performance happen, or the creation of delightful public spaces where people want to gather.
- Municipalities should be a partner in the arts. This is not necessarily a large financial role, although it should be similar encouragement and lead to similar results as that support provided to sports in the community.
- Colwood has chosen not to participate in the CRD Arts service because of other experiences where joining a CRD service leads to escalating tax dollars goes into a service over which our residents have little control. Unless this changes, I do not see joining the service at this time.
- I support the development of a West Shore Arts and Cultural Centre, and look forward to working with community groups to make this a reality. As my wife is currently President of the Juan de Fuca Performing Arts Centre Society I would not be able to work towards this in any capacity as a Council member but only in a private capacity.
Township of Esquimalt
Meagan Brame, Township of Esquimalt, Candidate for Councillor
- Arts brings community together, it brings joy and economic development. For Esquimalt, our arts programs have brought people to our beautiful community and allowed us to show off just what a cool community we are. Arts within the region has created employment for our residents as well. Many of our residents either are artists or work within the industry; at galleries, theatres and performance organizations etc. I find the arts community within the region has brought a variety of events and there is something for everyone, some free, some for fee, some for kids, some for adults and some for all.
- As a community that is part of the CRD Arts Commission, I believe our role is to support and champion art – all aspects of it – within our region, while still supporting our own municipal, grass-roots organizations. Both are important for our health and well-being and our regional and local economic development. I believe it is money well spent.
- I do support Esquimalt staying in the arts commission. That is not necessarily the popular stance with some but I feel there are areas that we need to support and that our residents benefit from, but our community is not in the place to house – Symphony as an example. By being a member municipality we also get a better pool of money for our arts organizations to pull from, not just the funds locally we can support. The CRD Arts Commission has also developed mentoring and partnerships that can be used to help smaller arts groups get on their feet and be more successful, which goes far beyond the dollar value.
- The Arts are as good for the soul as it is for economic development and I believe the Region is lucky to have as much as we do and would always love to see more.
Tim Morrison, Township of Esquimalt, Candidate for Councillor
- Arts and culture are essential parts of any vibrant community. I have had the good fortune to have travelled to over 80 countries on six continents. I have directly experienced a diversity of communities and cultures. The best communities are the ones that support and showcase their local arts and artists. As a two-term Councillor, my vision has been to ensure that Esquimalt is a place to be for celebrating art and culture. We have been fortunate to see the dramatic rise in popularity of our own Township Community Arts Council (TCAC) in recent years, and I have made it my priority to ensure TCAC receive the full support and cooperation of Council for the TCAC’s various community projects. We also have the Esquimalt Farmers Market that combines the benefits of food security with the enjoyment of live music performances. As Council’s liaison to the Farmers Market Board of Directors, I am very committed to ensuring their ongoing success with Council’s support. These important examples have helped build Esquimalt into becoming the place to be. That’s a very significant benefit to our community.
- Together in partnership with federal, provincial and regional governments, municipalities are important sources of funding in supporting the local arts. Through both financial grants as well as in-kind contributions, municipalities can help do our part by ensuring the availability and accessibility of affordable arts and culture for the enjoyment of our community’s residents.
- Yes. We have seen the benefits in the reports back from the CRD Arts Development Service as to how Esquimalt-based artists and organizations have benefited from the financial and organizational support of this service. This funding is ensuring that local arts and culture are able to flourish and provide enjoyment to all our region’s communities.
- There is a new community vibrancy to being in Esquimalt. Esquimalt is very much the place to be with some wonderful events put on by our community’s amazing volunteers and with the vital support of Esquimalt Council. As a Councillor, I have consistently supported these Esquimalt community groups as I view them as essential aspects of our positive quality of life that greatly deserve financial and organizational support. Each of these events shares an aspect of showcasing our artists and culture. In addition to the long-standing traditions of Buccaneer Days and the Celebration of Lights, we have seen the growing success of our community’s events and vibrancy. This is largely due to the commitment of Esquimalt’s grassroots volunteer groups including the award-winning Esquimalt Farmers’ Market and their frequent venues of local, healthy food and entertainment; the Township Community Arts Council (TCAC) and their many offerings of cultural events & entertainment; and the internationally recognized Esquimalt Rib Fest with some amazing musicians on display. We even have a steady increase in film productions taking place in Esquimalt due, in part, to our amazing, natural seaside setting.
Barb Desjardins, Township of Esquimalt, Candidate for Mayor
- The Arts have significant influence on the health and wellness of a community. The change in community pride, the vibrancy within our community has come within the past 5 years when we have had significant growth within the Arts and Cultural events in Esquimalt. Case in point is the growth and development of Memorial Park Musicfest, Township Community Arts Council events like Bard across the Bridge, Aeriosa, and the Winter classical series. Celebration comes in many ways for a community, but always there will be the Arts community involvement, and they are a draw for these celebrations. Most of these events in Esquimalt are free or by donation which expose and welcome people from all walks of our community to come together in celebration. A music concert in the park becomes a meeting space, a dance gathering and to see young and old, munching on food, dancing chatting, listening makes these events and the Arts high priority for any community. I have mentioned individuals health and wellness but there is also the community benefits through economic development and tourism gain. As events grow the services of the hospitality industry have potential for growth. Everything from hotel accommodation to increased variety of eateries, restaurants, gift and other shops become possible with growth of Arts within our community. I will continue to work with local groups, and the Chamber of commerce to develop our Arts sector and as such, develop the other community economic sectors.
- Municipal governments need to create the support to ensure the Arts in it’s various forms has opportunity to be shared and experienced by the community. Consistent funding and In kind supports through provision of venue, planning and logistic assistance, and community advertising help support local volunteer based Arts groups. This is something I will continue to support for the benefit of our whole community.
- Yes, I support but I have concerns regarding structuring of membership that allows partial commitment to the service for some. I am also concerned about a lack of region wide commitment to the service. Esquimalt wants to provide funding for regional Arts programs, and also ensure a vibrant local Arts program and funding for it. With full membership of the regions communities and one level of membership at CRD, we could better plan for and supports both regional and local arts.
- Voters that have not taken is some form of the Arts opportunities, I highly recommend you try them. There are many forms and many are of no charge. Personal health, community health, benefit from the Arts. And if you are able please consider volunteering for one of the groups in your community. Volunteering has direct medical benefits too!
Stephane Vaudandaine, Township of Esquimalt, Candidate for Councillor
- Arts through events, expositions bring us as a community together. Art is community enabler. It makes the city attractive. It brings also visitors and more fun.
Art is also an expression of us as a society. I do believe in arts to connect together our community.
- I believe that arts need to be on the agenda of council. We should support our local artists and help volunteers to put events together. I also think that we should champion arts educational programs for the community.
- I will have to review what this program is to be able to fully support it. I think we should have a variety of programs: events, education, and artists networking.
I am a strong believer that artists should get together to share their passion.
- I encourage everyone to participate to our art events and support our local artists. We do also have educational art programs at our recreation centre and I encourage everyone to inspire the artist in you!
Lynda Hundleby, Township of Esquimalt, Candidate for Councillor
- · Beauty
· Promotes business (In Esquimalt – Encourages people from other areas to visit and at the same time provide more customers for our coffee shops, eateries, grocery stores, etc)
· Brings people together in a common bond
· Encourages community spirit
· Encourages our young people to take up music as a career
· Encourages adults to play and make music
· Encourages and provides job opportunities to those who excel
· Improves the quality of life for a community’s residents, if they choose to participate
· And for me personally (and others, I know): Joy
· And it’s fun
- I believe that municipal governments should support the arts as much as they are able. This sector is not an inexpensive endeavour and for most people could be out of the range of their household income. Financial support of the arts allows those of more modest means to participate and be able to enjoy music, dance, theatre, paintings, sculpture. And it provides volunteer art groups some assistance and encouragement in doing their fine work. I am pleased that Esquimalt has been able to provide full funding, as Tier one, in support of CRD Arts Development for many years and has also managed to lend some support to our own Township Community Arts Council (TCAC) and others. TCAC is run by volunteers in our community and has brought at no cost to participants, Memorial Park Music Fest for 6 Tuesday evenings in the summertime for several years; the annual Esquimalt Arts Fest, featuring artists who are available to demonstrate, to chat, and to sell their art; Sculpture in the Park (in the past) over a weekend. Also Township Classics at a nominal cost that supports young musicians through scholarships – 6 Sunday evenings in an intimate setting through the fall – these are amazing – brought to us by professional musicians who offer their talents at no charge, at the request of our own, Gwen Thompson, a wonderful and talented violinist in her own right. Also at a nominal cost, Bard Across the Bridge in August, also Aeriosa, an aerial acrobatic dance in August. Music, offered at no charge, lends ambience to those who visit the award-winning Esquimalt Farmers Market once a week from May through to December and the well-known Rib Fest, also supported by Esquimalt, along with other sponsors. At all of these events, residents meet friends and neighbours, increasing our community spirit brought together through art and culture. In the past, the Esquimalt Lantern Festival parade of lanterns would wend its way down the West Bay Walkway and back again. Lack of volunteers has temporarily brought this fun and magical event to a standstill but I am hopeful, it can be resurrected and will once again thrill the young and young-at-heart in the Township. I can’t forget the Esquimalt Celebration of Lights and the musical entertainment after the parade. In addition, the Victoria Operatic Society is provided a property tax exemption by the Township and the Nikkei Society is provided a local grant to help support their annual weekend of art, dance, ikebana, and music which can be enjoyed by all at no charge. In addition the Esquimalt Photography Club (displays at the Recreation Centre and in the Esquimalt branch library) and the Esquimalt ukulele group (lessons and events) through the Recreation Centre programmes enjoy some Township support also.
The Arts are alive and well in Esquimalt – thanks to our many volunteers and the Township and the CRD.
- Yes. For many years, there was no tangible benefit to Esquimalt so my support was waning. However, in recent years, local arts groups have applied for and received some grant funding. Also, I have learned that Esquimalt is home to several musicians and artists supported by the CRD Arts and others, all of which makes me feel better about continuing support.
And on a personal note, I have been a season ticket holder at the Belfry Theatre for over 25 years, hold annual passes to the Robert Bateman Gallery and the Royal BC Museum. And a patron and supporter of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, several of the Royal Theatre special events, the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra, and the Victoria Choral Society.
- Please support the arts – you will be entertained and surrounded by beauty and creativity. Enjoy!
Jacob Helliwell, Township of Esquimalt, Candidate for Councillor
- · Arts and culture are a positive way to foster and grow our vibrant community, including bringing people together for public events, fostering conversations, helping shape our community identity, and celebrating diversity. The arts also have an economic component, providing financial support for local artists and contributing to greater regional tourism activity.
- The Township has a key role to play in supporting the arts in our community, including through the provision of public grants, advocacy, and marketing for local arts events.
- I am generally supportive of this decision. I think it is valuable for communities within the CRD to partner and pool resources to support arts events throughout the region and promote artists across municipal boundaries. I note that the Aeriosa event held at Saxe Point in August was one of many regional events to benefit from the CRD Arts Development Service, and I hope to see more Esquimalt events added to this list in the future.
- As noted above, I think arts and culture provide a significant opportunity to connect our community and attract visitors from around the region and the world to Esquimalt. Going forward, I would be interested in engaging with the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations to explore opportunities to more widely share and celebrate their art and history in our community.
District of Highlands
City of Langford
District of Metchosin
Jenny Millar, District of Metchosin, Candidate for Councillor
- The arts provide bridges between people and cultures. Art helps the brain develop with social interaction. The arts inspire, not only mentally but physically. Arts and education work hand in hand and make for a better student and a more well rounded person.
- Municipalities have an important role in supporting the arts, as well as supporting healthy communities. The Arts are the heart of a healthy society, in my view. Along with other partners both from the public and private sectors we need to promote the arts.
- Yes. I believe that a leveraging of funds and approaches is a good idea in this instance. This partnership helps reach more people and creates better value for dollars spent in this area.
- Life, like art finds a way. I believe it should be celebrated. It is a personal journey, but when you share it with others, they reap the benefits.
District of North Saanich
District of Oak Bay
Cairine Green, District of Oak Bay, Candidate for Councillor
- Community-building, arts and culture education/promotion, sense of community identity, place and belonging, instilling arts and culture as part of our community fabric and showcasing local talent.
- Funding support, integrating arts and cultural programs into policy/decision-making, promoting the arts community through public events, gatherings and activities (e.g. Oak Bay has a strong Arts Alive program, an Arts Laureat and Oak Bay Heritage Foundation/Commission/Archives that embed historic/heritage/cultural significance into our community fabric).
- As a former Councillor in North Saanich and Oak Bay, I sat on the CRD’s Arts’ Committee and on the Royal/Mac Theatre Society (RMTS). These organizations support and enhance regional arts and culture with the help of the CRD municipal funding model. They help to make arts and cultural programs accessible and affordable to the general public and to build community support for these programs throughout the region.
- I feel that more municipalities should step up to support the CRD arts funding model as members. I realize that this is both a challenge and contentious, given that some municipalities, e.g. Saanich Peninsula communities and smaller municipalities, feel that their focus for funding should be more local. However, the general public throughout the region attends and participates in arts/cultural activities and events in the city core and elsewhere outside their own municipality, therefore, the benefits of the CRD-supported programs are not strictly local.
Esther Paterson, District of Oak Bay, Candidate for Councillor
- Arts represent an investment in our quality of life. Aside from the obvious quality of life benefits that the arts bring to Oak Bay and the CRD, and as noted in your information sheet, there is well researched and well documented economic benefit for municipalities that have a strong arts presence. The ability of the arts to bring people together in constructive interaction in public spaces is one of the great values the arts bring to the community.
- Municipalities should support visual and performing arts in any way viable and possible. Having an Arts Laureate pro-actively supporting the arts program has fostered greater awareness and support for art in the community, and for local artists. Visual and performing arts attract residents and visitors, and with many free venues attendance is open to everyone. Something that should be considered is Community Amenity Contributions from development that specifically targets the arts. We know there are funding shortfalls and ‘space squeeze’ for local arts organizations, CACs may be something to think about.
- As noted in my answer to the first question, I recognize the many positive benefits and the value of a strong arts community in my municipality. I feel this is a great ‘return on investment’ through this service and the grants they provide.
- In my career with James Richardson & Sons, Limited, a family and firm known for their support of the arts in Canada, art was used to enhance workplaces and public areas. I know that a strong arts community is a healthier, happier and stronger community. Supporting visual and performing arts is truly an investment in the community.
Kevin Murdoch, District of Oak Bay, Candidate for Mayor
- The arts bring cultural, economic, and educational benefits to the community. Public art in Oak Bay draws tourists and encourages walking throughout our community. The Canadian College of Performing Arts brings entertainment, jobs, and new residents from across Canada. The Galleries bring locals and tourists alike into Oak Bay’s villages. The literary arts raise literacy, and knowledge of the world and different perspectives. More importantly, the very act of creation is necessary for mental health – for young and old alike.
- Municipal Government should support arts by supporting local arts organizations and facilitating events and activities that support or celebrate the arts. Oak Bay is blessed to have a very active and accomplished artist community that has created events like the Bowker Creek Brush Up and Artist Studio Tours for decades, which we are right to support and encourage. Facilitating the acquisition of public art is also a key role our municipality.
- I do. I would like to see those funds flow back into our community in a number areas. One example is using those funds to host creation activities – events and programs that support the creation of artistic works. This can be visual, performance, musical, or literary works. I was proud to be Chair of the Greater Victoria Public Library and help support the creation of the Local Authors collection, and the many new GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives & Museums) partnerships that have supported both the access to, and creation of, arts and education.
- I have two young children and we make time for creation every day. This can be visual arts, writing, music, or other. I believe strongly that a healthy mind needs to create, and not just consume. This is the power or art: to create healthy minds, to help us see new perspectives, to open up new worlds, to build bridges with shared experiences, and to express ideas in ways they need to be expressed. In fact, even on my campaign website I have a photography page with no political messages at all – just a way to share some beauty and love of community.
Nils Jensen, District of Oak Bay, Candidate for Mayor
- Art provides benefits across a very broad spectrum – economic, social and health to name but three. It provides a setting for community conversations and as Picasso is reported to have said “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Art uplifts our spirits on many levels and brings communities together. Art is essential to the health and vibrancy of a community.
- Municipal government has an essential role in supporting the arts. The role goes beyond mere funding – it includes creating the supportive environment and space for art to flourish.
- I have supported and will continue to support our investment in the CRD Arts Service. I championed the establishment of an Oak Bay Arts Laureate. In 2013 Council appointed Canada’s first Arts Laureate with a broad mandate to create an atmosphere for the development of art in our community. The ArtsAlive program established by our Arts Laureate has proven to be successful beyond anyone’s imagination – by the end of this year Oak Bay will have purchased 8 public art installations. In addition Oak Bay has invested in the regional art scene through its ownership of the Royal Theatre and its contribution of $1 million to build the Dave Dunnett Community Theatre.
- Oak Bay has through its widespread support of the arts become an art leader in the CRD. I pledge to continue that support, build on the successes and redouble my role as a champion of the arts.
Tara Ney, District of Oak Bay, Candidate for Councillor
- The Arts connect us to our souls and one another.
- Municipal governments can lead and support communities to involve all ages to participate in arts, include artists in community events and social celebrations, and fund arts and cultural events with amenity contributions.
- Yes. Artists and the sharing of art does not know municipal borders. We need to work collectively to cultivate artists, attend art performances, and pay for programming.
- Thomas Merton said that “art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” What could be more Important to fostering human well being?
Hazel Braithwaite, District of Oak Bay, Candidate for Councillor
- The main benefit that an increased awareness of arts, culture and heritage in our community brings is that it has truly increased engagement with our residents. People are now talking about Oak Bay as an arts and culture destination which is really exciting.
- Municipal governments should support the arts as they truly do bring the community together. Whether it’s purchasing public art, music in the park or an outdoor art show along Bowker Creek – it all contributes to making our community more dynamic and inviting. We currently have an Arts Laureate and she has been instrumental in promoting the purchasing of pieces of art within our community. We also now have a specific “culture” position within our Parks, Recreation and Culture department and this is really enabling us to grow the culture program each year.
- Yes – I believe investing in the Arts Development Service is important as it not only means we are contributing regionally to the arts, but it also allows our residents to tap into available funding etc.
- Yes – Oak Bay directly contributes approximately $100,000 a year to arts & culture within our municipality. This includes a part-time staff position and the annual contribution to the Public Art Reserve, but does not include the amount we give to the CRD. Art is extremely important to the residents of Oak Bay. In the past few years we have gone from no public art pieces to 5, so we will continue to look for ways to augment our budget for arts and culture in Oak Bay especially through grants etc.
District of Saanich
Benjamin Allan, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor
- Arts are inspiring, they are an integral part of a thriving and dynamic community, its how we express our creativity. It is really important to bring art to the people through events such as Buskers and Jazz Festivals, Moss St Paint In, and many others.
- Provide spaces for creativity to blossom, at recreation centres, parks and other municipally owned properties.
- I do support Saanich’s funding towards the CRD arts development. I see this type of contribution similar to online services like Go Fund Me pages where the larger the number of contributors the smaller each one has to give and yet everyone will be the better it.
- Only that if you haven’t been to see any of the festivals held around the greater Victoria area or haven’t lately it is truly worth it.
Susan Brice, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor
- Benefits accruing to our community through the Arts vary from quality of life to economic. A community that supports the professional arts and community based arts provides the residents with personal enjoyment an an outlet for creativity. The economic return on the arts is significant. Any city that seeks to attract a qualified work force is wise to ensure that there is a strong base of performing arts, cultural festivals, excellent libraries, museums and other opportunities that raise the general arts appreciation of the local population.
- In Saanich we provide , through Cedar Hill Arts Centre programming opportunities for all ages to appreciate art and have first hand experiences in creating art pieces and learning new skills. We require developers to contribute to public art. I am Chair of the Saanich Arts Culture and Heritage Committee and through that work I’m able to fully support the Saanich Archives and promote a wide range of arts opportunities for our residents.
- I fully support the financial investment that Saanich contributes as a full funder of theCRD Arts Development Service. By contributing on a regional basis to the arts we have a stronger and more varied range of arts services than any single municipality could provide. By funding the wide array of arts organizations we are able to make arts experiences available at a more affordable level for all regardless of income.
- On a personal basis I respect and enjoy using the wide array of arts options in the Greater Victoria including theatre, performance and galleries.
Ned Taylor, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor
- As a local artist myself, I understand that arts bring a sense of community and economic vibrancy to Saanich and the entire Greater Victoria region.
- We need to promote and support local arts initiatives and artists within our Municipality. That means investing in programs to support young artists, and creating new pieces of art throughout the community.
- I do. It’s important that we support Arts initiatives across the CRD.
- I have served as a Youth Liason Member of the Saanich Arts, Culture and Heritage Advisory Committee for the past year. I continue to enjoy meeting new artists and learning more about what we can do to support and promote arts in the community.
Zac de Vries, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor
- Art is an unnecessary necessity, without art and culture the world would be a dull run from the maternity ward to the crematorium. Art inspires us, heals us, and educates us. Art is both an expression and an understanding. Art draws attention and offers an escape at the same time. Art creates community. Art is culture, and we aren’t human without it.
- Art is part of the public good and municipalities should support the arts in a way that make our municipality vibrant and livable.
- I support the CRD arts development service because we all live, work and play across the CRD and art is an important part of our day to day lives. Art is good for everyone and we need to work together to support it.
- If I am elected the arts will have another ally on Council!
Karen Harper, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor
- The arts are an important and necessary part of a full and meaningful life. They allow us to connect with one another – emotionally, intellectually, fundamentally. They can strip down barriers by challenging us to think differently about our basic beliefs, and they help to create empathetic individuals.
- Municipal government can provide financial support to the arts. And in the Capital Regional District I would like to see all municipalities agree on one central, and iconic Arts Centre for the entire region.
- Yes, I agree that we should contribute. We all -that is everyone in greater Victoria – benefit from the diverse and interesting projects brought forward by the arts groups here. The arts events are frequented by people from all across the region. All communities should contribute.
- Another important way of supporting the arts, and our children, is through the school system. I would encourage everyone to push for an educational budget that properly supports the arts as part of the core curriculum.
Colin Plant, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor
- The Arts provide us an opportunity to express ourselves, learn about our community, celebrate our culture, learn about others, be entertained and become inspired. The Arts also provide a significant economic benefit to our communities and is an example of a green industry that is sustainable and can be enjoyed by all ages.
- I believe municipal governments need to recognize that a connected and vibrant community includes a healthy arts environment that has both financial and infrastructure support.
The Arts ecosystem needs to be viewed as similar to our local and regional parks. We know these parks improve our quality of life and provide our residents opportunities to have a healthy lifestyle. We fund these parks because they provide a public good. The Arts need to be viewed and valued in the same way and with similar financial support because they also make our community stronger.
- 100% yes. Saanich residents create art, enjoy art and benefit from the regional CRD Arts Development Service. It is therefore reasonable that Saanich contributes to the service.
- The past four years has seen the Art Service develop and begin implementation of a bold, new Arts Strategic Plan. I am proud to have been a part of that initiative at the CRD Board and Commission level.
As Chair of the CRD Arts Commission the past three years I have worked hard with others to see the Arts Service mature, flourish and grow. I am pleased to see Sooke and the Southern Gulf Islands join the service during the past year. More work to have non-participating jurisdictions join the service needs to be done and I’m up for the task. It actually inspires me.
While I enjoy all the work of being a CRD Director, my involvement on the CRD Arts Commission has been a highlight for me the past 4 years. I would like to continue this important work of championing the Arts Service and would ask for your support on October 20th.
Thanks to the work that ProArt and its member organizations do in our community.
Nathalie Chambers, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor
- Arts bring beauty and joy to the people of our region, creating opportunity for people to come together, build community and be inspired. Practicing the arts enriches individuals’ sense of wellness and this engagement benefits people throughout the lifespan. A comprehensive arts culture facilitates these opportunities and outcomes.
- Municipal governments should invest in the arts by supporting arts initiatives and events, provide grants and purchasing art pieces for installation within the Municipality.
- Yes absolutely, this is a fundamental element of a well-rounded community; and, as a member of Saanich’s Arts, Culture and Heritage Advisory Committee, I am an advocate for a fulsome arts culture both within Saanich and the CRD.
- Yes, I am particularly interested in further exploring how the arts within the region can contribute to the ongoing process of reconciliation.
Rob Wickson, District of Saanich, Candidate for Mayor
- Arts bring an important balance to our communities. Supporting all artists in their efforts brings rewards that go beyond simply spending money. As a part of the Gorge Tillicum Community Association I worked to build the Gorge Canada Picnic which now includes Gorge on Art as part of our program. We have hired and showcased local musicians and every year we offer an open stage to musicians who may be spending more time rehearsing with friends in their basements a chance to perform. We were the beneficiaries of the Saanich art project called Camosun and most recently we advocated for an art project to be included in the Craigflower Bridge replacement project which was completed a couple for years ago. The GTCA has earmarked some of their budget to future art projects on the Gorge. The benefits cannot always be measured in the usual ways but can be felt in the conversations that build our communities every day.
- In Saanich we have a policy that 1 percent of all capital projects should be contributed to a fund for art projects. I agree with this policy but would like to see more efforts to actually fund new projects.
- Yes, because true art does not need borders restricting opportunities. The theatres downtown really do provide for the whole CRD and should be supported.
- Arts are an integral part of my world (I like to play and perform and my Dad has been drawing and painting for over 80 years) and I cannot imagine a world without art. In the first two Gorge Canada Day Picnics we had the Choi Brothers busking at our Strawberry Tea and both of them are now world renowned violinist. I hope that our support helped them achieve their goals.
Kathleen Burton, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor
- I believe the arts brings communities together. The arts allow for creativity to bloom. They enrich our lives and our well being. For some it can encourage you to go out of your comfort zone and thus fosters personal growth.
- I believe all levels of government should encourage and support the arts.
- Absolutely! The arts are incredibly important both to the artist and the one who appreciates the art being shared with them. The arts brings people and communities together.
- Yes. I have performed as a member of the Victoria Gilbert & Sullivan’s Society, I sing anthems at various sporting events locally and have acted in television & movies. I volunteer my time as a community producer & reporter for SHAW TV. In high school, I attended a school for the arts. Those attending auditioned as singers, dancers, visual artists, actors and musicians to be able to attend Arts Canterbury. I believe more communities and more youth would benefit from having the arts in their lives. I know it benefited me.
Shawn Newby, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor
- I love the Arts, I am an ex-drummer and currently teaching myself piano. The Arts bring communities together and give the individuals that may not engage with sporting activities, such as myself, the opportunity to be social and express their creativity and focus on a passion. The Arts can improve the lifestyles of everyone, from young children just discovering their passion to senior citizens that are wanting to continue pursuing theirs.
- Saanich has always supported the arts. Cedar Hill recreation centre is an example or what the municipality can do to support the arts. I will continue the effort to support the arts and would like to personally see more effort supporting music, possibly hosting a municipal music festival that showcases young local talent.
- Yes, it is very important to support the CRD ADS. For example it provides grants to dozens of initiatives and events such as the Bowker Creek Mural and the Victoria Flamenco Festival just to name a few. We are very fortunate to have this resource.
- I am 100% in support of the Arts and will do what I can to continue the support that Saanich has provided and will work to create new initiatives that will encourage individuals to invest in themselves and their community.
Teale Phelps Bondaroff, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor
- I was raised by two professional artists and art educators; Carole Bondaroff, a printmaker and painter, and Stan Phelps, a painter and mural artist. Growing up, our home, the Heart Studio, hosted art classes for children, teens and adults almost every night of the week. I spent countless evenings in the basement studio learning a wide range of media in paint and the plastic arts.
My parents also exposed my sisters and I, to all manner of art, through travel, museum and gallery visits, and a constant stream of artistic friends. As a result, I learned the value that art has on both the individual, the community and society in general. Art gives us pause to think, reflecting society itself, challenging our preconceptions and the way we look at the world. It also provides people with infinitely diverse forms of creative expression.
I am now a placemaker, volunteering on the board of the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network. I have seen first hand the benefits that art brings to our communities. The arts bring people together, foster community, and contribute to vibrant public places.
- Municipalities have a responsibility to create the conditions under which the arts can thrive in the region. Municipalities should engage residents, neighbourhood associations, developers, and civil society, to create welcoming spaces through public art and placemaking. We should also work towards supporting local artists, one way to do this is ensuring the availability of affordable commercial space so artists can access studio and gallery space.
- Yes, because the CRD Arts Development Service is an important source of arts funding in the region.
- In addition to supporting local professional artists through the aforementioned policies, I am also a big supporter of encouraging artistic expression in everyone. I would like to create a staff position dedicated to community building, as well as more access to microgrants to support placemaking and creative community projects.
Vernon Lord, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor
- We have to pull the simple beauty of the Arts from the financial. Art is life, art brings a calm. To watch a play, listen to Jazz, feel a painting, these things bring a society together. Across all races, sexes, income levels. It brings us all closer. We need more not less art.
The financial benefits are also vast, from our local play houses, art galleries, Jazz houses, music festivals, outdoor markets these and others generate income for artists and merchants and tax revenue for the government coffers.
- Saanich’s role is to support (invest in), advocate (champion the arts) and communicate. The Capital District is unique in that we have many districts in close proximity. Saanich’s role with communication is to provide a platform for the exchange of information between all districts in the area.
- I support investing in the CRD Arts program. An investment in the Arts community is a sound financial investment, returning greater capital than invested.
- Go to a play. Laugh, cry, scream it doesn’t matter, just feel. Feel a play. Witness firsthand how a few people on stage, armed with nothing but well scripted words, simple set, and wonderful acting can bring such emotion. Please.
Fred Haynes, District of Saanich, Candidate for Mayor
- I believe that the arts talk to the soul of the community and are an essential ingredient to a vibrant and sustainable community / region. In Saanich our arts are enriched by our cultural diversity and depth of passion and talent within the region. They are an essential part of any civilization, can bring us together, and quite simply make life more worth living.
- Municipal governments have the role to provide: funding, venues (including parks, boulevards, sidewalks), staff resources as appropriate, partnerships, lobby for senior government’s support and encourage a love of arts and develop people’s skills through educational programs. Parks and Recreation in particular provides classes and galleries. I would like to see Saanich work with artists to display more art in our parks and public spaces. This is already being done to good effect at our municipal hall, but could grow.
- Yes. Because of the immediate and long-term cultural values to our community.
- A vibrant arts and cultural community is evidence of a thriving, open society. Supporting the arts is a part of supporting self expression and the free exchange of ideas. It is also a part of what connects us, and a connected community is what people need.
Rebecca Mersereau, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor
- Lots! The economic spin-offs from arts are widely recognized. They support jobs directly & indirectly, a growing tourism sector, and contribute to urban renewal by drawing in creative people (both as residents and visitors). A broader spectrum of artistic and other opportunities for residents to partake in also very clearly contributes to a better quality of life in the region. Finally, in my personal experience, the arts contribute to a sense of community and place, by bringing us closer to a diversity of lived experiences and allowing us a chance to reflect on our own.
- I can think of three concrete ways that municipalities can and should support the arts:
• by creating or enabling venues conducive to artistic endeavours (e.g. public venues for music, public art displays as is done at Saanich Hall or at Cedar Hill Recreation Centre where residents can also take lessons);
• by directly supporting the work of people in our artistic community (e.g. through funding the CRD Arts Development Service or Saanich’s Music in the Park events); and,
• by ensuring enabling environments for the arts to become more integrated into everyday life (e.g. waiving permit processes or fees for displays of arts/music in public spaces, establishing public art requirements associated with development approvals).
- Yes, I do for the aforementioned reasons (the ‘spin-off benefits’), all of which transcend municipal boundaries in our region.
- I would love to see more live music venues established in the region. I’m originally from the East Coast where live music is much more commonplace. In additional to the above tangible benefits, it plays a critical role in bringing people together and building community.
Trevor Barry, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor
- Some will argue that community does not exist without the arts. I agree. However, I think in the modern day of youtube (global or at least language-based international arts community) and freemium music everywhere, there is an erosion of local, and even authentic, arts — and if we care about Saanich as a community of “our own” that we have to both “take care of our own” artists (including paying professionals what they are worth), and necessarily “cultivate them” (support school programmes, etc).
- Admittedly, legislative and financial public policy tools are relatively few (compared e.g. to Province, Feds) i.e. lacking at local governments.
Except: public spaces, and that includes (but need not be defined only by) parks and rec centres.
Music in the Park – has almost outgrown its special status: we should have more smaller versions of this all summer long, everywhere, and with other arts being showcased alongside.
Saanich can choose to spend its money (and recover cleverly through business models, marketing, outreach, etc) on local arts as ways to activate public spaces and provide social events.
- Yes. (and I think I cover the “why” above).
Perhaps the premise question would be “is this the optimal framework through and by which to achieve our objectives for arts development etc”? and I honestly don’t have an opinion, if your group does, then I sure hope you can let us (elected) candidates know, so that we can make some evidence-based decisions about it!
Art Pollard, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor
- The heart of a community is a healthy and growing appreciation for the enhancements that the arts in a society bring to it.
This starts when one is young and grows as we age to appreciate the economic, cultural and quality of life in its various forms. Be the dramatic or performing arts, or public speaking or visual arts or music. Art takes many forms and can be appreciated for its diversity and its many forms. I feel communities such as Chemainus are more tightly knit with the beautiful murals that were created. I think we need more of this.
The economic benefits are many and varied as well. Communities are much healthier when they have a thriving arts community. I favour a true centre for the performing arts in Saanich, possibly centred around the revitalized Uptown Douglas Corridor and also a movie studio as well. These are green industries that deserve our support.
- The municipality needs to have a strong role in supporting the Arts. I feel we need to gain new sources of funding to increase our current 1% of the budget for funding the arts. Non profits supporting the arts have a tough funding challenge at the moment and we should look at better ways to improve the situation. I think encouraging public murals at different locations throughout Saanich would provide identification of neighbourhoods and would facilitate a feeling community. There is a lot more we can do to increase the support of local art.
- Definitely…Saanich does help foster an arts culture with the successful Cedar Hill Arts programme. And benefits also from the CRD Arts Development service. I support these initiative across the CRD. There are many opportunities to explore and expand in the future and I am very supportive of initiatives that enhance artistic endeavours.
- The arts enhance our lives and build stronger communities that are vibrant and sustainable. I have been involved in the theatrical arts and extensively involved in public speaking. I have always appreciated such events as Music in the Park, our diverse museums, and Art festivals. I would be a strong advocate for the Arts community if I am elected on October 20.
Town of Sidney
Peter Wainwright, Town of Sidney, Candidate for Councillor
- The arts connect people and promote interaction and engagement of different age groups and cultural backgrounds. The arts promote a connection to our community, where we live and our history. The arts provide recreational opportunities and an outlet to relieve stress. The arts also attract visitors and contribute to our local economy.
- Municipal governments should support arts by supporting facilities such as the Mary Winspear Centre and the bandshell in Beacon Park; providing venues such as the sculpture walk and Sidney Summer Market; and providing support (financial and in kind) to local arts organizations and events such as ArtSea.
- Sidney is withdrawing from the CRD Arts Service in 2019. The decision to withdraw was because the CRD Arts Service was requiring a significant increase in Sidney’s funding contribution without any plan for how these additional funds would be spent. Sidney indicated a willingness to participate on this basis provided that Sidney wasn’t locked in to this service and requested a simple mechanism to withdraw from the service if Sidney felt this was appropriate. CRD was unwilling to agree to this – future withdrawal from the service would only be possible with the consent of the other service participants in the service. In 2019 Sidney may choose to provide a voluntary contribution to the CRD Arts Service as North Saanich currently does, or Sidney may choose to redirect this funding to local arts organizations. I support the decision to withdraw from CRD’s Arts Service.
Sarah Duncan, Town of Sidney, Candidate for Councillor
- The arts are how communities connect with each other through time and space. Theatre, public art installations and music serve functions as simple as providing the entertainment that gives people an excuse to get out together; to being the messages we can share about the common nature of the human condition with others who have different life experiences or languages; to the messages we leave to generations yet to be born. Getting to practice the arts in school, community centre classes or privately lets people engage in their creativity, and self-expression, can be healing for people with trauma, or unlock communication and memory for people with cognitive difficulties due to age or injury. Children who are able to participate in the arts at school tend to do better in other math and science classes as well.
- Municipalities can serve as partners to provide some funding to arts organizations, and host and encourage public art events and displays.
- I believe that as of June 30, 2018, Sidney has actually committed to leaving the CRD Arts Development Service, effective in 2019. The reasoning of the Council was that Sidney-based arts groups seldom received any of the CRD grant money, and that our smaller contribution would result in Sidney being outweighed by larger municipalities in commission decisions. Starting in 2019, the former Step 2 contribution Sidney made of $15,000 will instead go directly to one of our local arts groups, ArtSea. I support our community’s withdrawal from the commission while we pay off our debts from the new emergency building, as that allows us to keep taxes lower, while we directly boost funding to our local arts group. I would support evaluating our position to re-join the Arts Development Service again in the future when we have cleared our debt service, and if our local arts groups believed they would be better positioned to get access to the larger pool of funding.
- Not at this time.
Chad Rintoul, Town of Sidney, Candidate for Councillor
- Access to arts and cultural experiences broaden our personal horizons. They inspire and educate, create opportunities for youth, and provide an economic benefit to communities which foster further development of the Arts.
- Municipal governments can have an active role in supporting the arts, through provision of grants in aid to Art Societies, sponsoring Arts and Cultural events and festivals in their communities, and by promoting the Arts within municipal publications.
- Yes. The CRD Arts Development Service has given back to our community. Sidney is home to an excellent venue, the Mary Winspear Community Cultural Centre, home to the Charlie White Theatre which has benefited from CRD Arts grants.
- I have experience working in the Arts, Cultural and Recreational sectors. I recognize the value of introducing the Arts to youth in our communities and I will look for opportunities to do so if elected to Sidney Council.
Scott Garnett, Town of Sidney, Candidate for Councillor
- Arts bring our communities together by expressing the human condition. They allow for all ages, income levels and differing opinions to come together to enjoy the many facets of the arts. Whether through the visual arts, dance, literature, poetry or performance the arts can evoke memories and emotion like nothing else. They provide a means for healing and finding commonality among us all. The arts are a vehicle to escape the mundane of everyday living.
- Municipal governments should fund and assist the arts through whatever means they have available. I believe there is a need to always maintain funding for the arts in budgetary discussions as this is an area that should never be trivialized in importance. For many years this was an area that was cut deeply at the federal level and this should never be repeated at our local level.
- Sidney council voted to withdraw from the CRD Arts Service in 2019. I was at that particular meeting and agree with the reasons made for that decision. Certainly Sidney can still decide to make a voluntary contribution, however I believe our arts community might be better served by direct contributions from our local government.
- I believe funding for the arts locally should always be maintained as a priority.
District of Sooke
Maja Tait, District of Sooke, Candidate for Mayor
- As the lively arts community in Sooke exemplifies, the arts support a vibrant, engaged, community minded population. The musical, fine arts and literary arts in Sooke are building a rich legacy for our community. The legendary Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra offers world class music in our small town. The annual Blue Grass Festival celebrates music in a beautiful natural setting. The Sooke Fine Arts Show (SFA) is a fantastic local event with a well-deserved international reputation for excellence. Annually, it attracts more than 8,000 art tourists to Sooke and generates over $600,000 for the local economy, encouraging local businesses, services, and providing employment opportunities. The SFA, Philharmonic, and Blue Grass Festival nurture and showcase Sooke’s vibrant arts community and can enhance everyone’s quality of life.
- Because of the arts’ multi-faceted benefits to communities, municipalities need to play active roles in supporting the arts. I supported streamlining and simplifying the Community Grants program in 2017, which provides support for new arts initiatives. Letters of support can also be influential and making multipurpose municipal spaces available to the arts can also be helpful. Ongoing municipal advocacy can help sustain successful arts events and support them to give birth to new initiatives. I have seen this locally with the transformation of funding for the Community Fine Arts Council, the Philharmonic, and the Sooke River Bluegrass Festival Society into line items in the annual budget. A second generation of municipally supported arts programs has arrived with the Harmony Project offering musical education and performance opportunities to school children, drawing on the expertise of Sooke Philharmonic musicians.
- Yes, in principle, having a diversity of funding opportunities available is desirable. I support the CRD Arts Development Service. District of Sooke will be applying in 2019 to join with eight municipalities in the CRD to participate in this service.
- Sooke has a beautiful variety of festivals, events, celebrations, local skills and talents. We encourage you to experience what our municipality has to offer in all aspects of the arts. Come visit and volunteer!
Doni Eve, District of Sooke, Candidate for Councillor
- Arts bring benefits to the community at large and individuals in a number of ways.
Community art and festivals build community identity and pride and improve community image. Visible displays of art increase the attractiveness of the area to tourists, businesses and people. Arts spur economic growth in creative industries. Sooke arts organizations provide many opportunities for volunteering, which improves health and increases an individuals’ sense of belonging in the community. Supporting arts education and opportunities improves skills and creative abilities. Participation in festivals and events increases opportunities for enjoyment. Economic opportunities for the community are generated beyond the arts realm when people come to the community for major events.
- Local governments have a role in championing and supporting arts and culture. The District of Sooke does this by providing line items in annual budgets for major events and organizations such as Sooke Fine Arts, Sooke Philharmonic Society and the Sooke Arts Council, and grant funding through the community grants program. A relatively modest amount of funding to arts organizations in Sooke each year is leveraged to create additional value through participation by volunteers. The District can continue to foster good relationships and communications with arts organizations who continue to generate exponential returns to the community. Many municipalities also designate a poet laureate which helps promote and celebrate arts in the community.
- As this is the first year that Sooke will invest in the CRD Arts Development Service, we will need to see what kind of return the community will receive from that investment. I am cautiously optimistic in the hope that Sooke organizations and events get their fair share of available funding.
- Sooke has an abundance of musical, literary, performance and visual artistic talent, demonstrated each year in in festivals and events such as the annual Sooke Fine Arts show, concerts by the Sooke Philharmonic, the annual All Sooke Arts & Craft show (coming in November), Sooke Harbour Players’ performances and Sooke Arts Council’s Art in the Park events. Local galleries and gift shops promote and celebrate Sooke’s visual and literary arts all year long and you can find ongoing displays of painting and photography in several local restaurants and coffee shops. Sooke welcomes visitors who want to explore and discover our wide range of amazing local talent.
Brenda Parkinson, District of Sooke, Candidate for Councillor
- The arts entertain, create learning experiences, allows children to be creative, produces employment and economic development, generates monetary gains and enhances the beauty and quality of life for the residents and guests who live and visit our community.
Sooke has much to offer, from the Sooke Fine Arts Show to the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra, Bluegrass, the Sooke Community Choir, the Sooke Harbour Players (Theatre Group), Sooke Harmony Project and the Amber Academy of Fine Arts and the list goes on.
The Arts create a vibrant community for all residents and visitors.
- The District of Sooke supports Community Arts Programs/Projects through the delivery of grants and line items during the year. The District Arts Committee (Sooke Program of the Arts) is not tax payer funded, it receives funding from Development Cost Charges. Sooke will be participating in the CRD Arts Development Service in 2019. We should be supporting the Arts to the same degree that we support local sports. We need to provide Municipal support to the Arts Council for Provincial Grant funding.
- I am pleased that Council voted in favour of my motion to participate in the CRD Arts Development Service in 2019. I am of the belief that Sooke will benefit by being a member, just as we have benefitted by being a member of the CRD Regional Housing Trust Fund Commission. The CRD Arts allow for Arts and Cultural programs to become accessible and affordable. The CRD Arts will be a way for us to leverage funding for the many arts organizations in Sooke.
- As a Community Champion for the Arts I sit as a Board Member on a number of Art related committees including the Sooke Harmony Project teaching youth the Strings and Drum Line. I am a Board Member of the Amber Academy Youth Fine Arts Society which brings children together to learn music, choir, sewing, dance and theatre. I am also the Chair of the Sooke Program of the Arts. Sooke is a very creative and compassionate community and I wish to thank every artist and instructor in Sooke for bringing such beauty to our town.
Jeff Bateman, District of Sooke, Candidate for Councillor
- Individual artists and such organizations as the Sooke Arts Council, the Sooke Fine Arts Society, our community choirs, the Harmony Project, the Sooke Philharmonic, the Sooke Folk Music Society, Sooke Scribblers and the EMCS Society (which runs Sooke’s one major performance venue, the EMCS Community Theatre) are at the heart of Sooke’s cultural life. These groups allow residents to participate in the arts either directly or as audience members, and the majority of us here do so one way or another. The arts, of course, spark civic pride and substantial economic benefits ($177.3 million in GDP activity in the CRD according to the 2012 Greater Victoria Economic Activity Study).
- The District of Sooke has traditionally backed the arts through its Community Grants program and via automatic line-item funding in support of (to cite a recently approved addition to the annual budget) the Sooke Fine Arts Show. This is modest partial funding that gives organizations a head start as they seek matching grants and funding from other sources. The District’s Sooke Program for the Arts (SPA) committee continues to do an impressive job with various initiatives and projects; in the works this year and next will be painted crosswalks, transit shelter photography, a new community notice board and more public art.
- Approximately $5 per taxpayer per year is a smart investment that gives Sooke the opportunity to augment Community Grants with our fair share of the $2.18 million in annual CRD operating grants for local arts groups. Also available are a range of project, equity and incubator grants, as well as opportunities to add Sooke festivals and arts events to regional advertising and promotional campaigns.
- There was talk in meetings of the Arts & Beautification Committee I attended circa 2013/14 of a local arts education centre and gallery (i.e., a humbler Sooke version of Qualicum’s Old School House Arts Centre). It unfortunately never took flight, but I’m sure the day will come when the community finds a suitable space for such an essential space. Also, as an aside, I’d like to echo others who’ve said the ability to make “art” — to sing, dance, paint and creatively express ourselves in any number of ways — is a human birthright. I was a music industry journalist earlier in my career, and have long relished the genius of others with my eyes, ears and clapping hands. In recent years, however, I have been working to overcome the belief that I have no creative abilities myself. Teachers gave me “art” and “singing” wounds when I was a child by telling me I wasn’t any good at either. To my great pleasure, I have been jumping into “all voices welcome and accepted” song circles where we’re invited to sing for the sheer joy of it. Through patient practice and growing confidence, I’ve discovered that I do, in fact, have a fairly decent voice. I recommend the documentary “The Singing Revolution” and urge everyone to tap into greater health and happiness through creative expression, bum notes and all.
Peter Jonassen, District of Sooke, Candidate for Councillor
- The arts bring many benefits to the community:
For the artist, it brings a sense of belonging and satisfaction.
For the viewer it brings a feeling of warmth and community.
Art is such a great way to express feelings or communication between persons.
- Municipal Governments should support local arts and local arts programs for children.
- Yes I do.
Our community is loaded with artists of all types and it is very hard to make a living as an artist any support goes a long way. Pretty much everyone loves art in some form , it would be hard to imagine a world without art.
- It is a fine line supporting arts and making ends meet for each municipality, each Council and Governing body should contribute to Arts in one way or another but also cannot forsake the actual fiscal restraints of running their District.
Everyone like the Arts but we do need roads and infrastructure in place.
City of Victoria
David Arthur Johnston, City of Victoria, Candidate for Mayor
- I think, quite literally, that art is articulation abbreviated. Fostering a culture that gets off on innovation is going to be a factor in our survival through the days and years ahead. Mayhaps I’d even spearhead a promotion to that end.The internet has raised the average intelligence of the human population so individual purpose is becoming more and more fleeting. Insight and creativity are essential to battle the enslaving anxiety that opens windows for demons. I’ll support, to the best of my ability, any program that suggests maturity and innocence can coexist.
- For what funds are lacking there is always opportunity for people to submit drafts and plans that take into account City-owned space and gear. This is where I see a celebration of gardening as an art form and mayhaps a public dojo.
- Do you think I would be aghast if you told me how much we are committed to invest? If the experts are going to continue to act like they get their own lives we don’t need them. The City will be turning toward nobility and will attract a positive wherever a negative is repulsed. Mechanically, anything we need to learn is on the internet.
- The path of self-awareness finds conclusion with the conjecture of beginninglessness. Patience be with us.
Jordan Reichert, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor
- The arts are the heartbeat of our neighbourhoods. Whether it is formal performances or community grassroots initiatives, the arts express the stories and creativity of the people that live here. They enrich our own lives and also providing meaningful employment in the community. While supporting the local economy, they also invite cultural tourism and may export Victoria culture to other places in the world.
- I believe that municipal governments should champion the arts and provide funding to support a diversity of arts, culture, and heritage. They also have the opportunity to create public spaces for arts and culture to flourish. They may also be allies as advocates to other levels of government for more funding and support.
- Yes, absolutely. Investing in the arts is an investment in people and community. Not only does it give back economically, it also creates meaningful experiences for people to participate and engage in. A thriving arts scene provides a healthy resilience to the many struggles people face in day-to-day life. Through participation, volunteerism, and community building we live more enriched and empowered lives through strong arts.
- If elected to Victoria city council and as a CRD director, I would be committed to championing the arts in Victoria and across the CRD. I would advocate for more funding for the arts and a regional arts and culture festival to bring a diversity of our artists and communities together to showcase their talent.
Marg Gardiner, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor
- Most of all, arts bring community itself to a neighbourhood or city. Visual arts provide focus, imagination, and creativity. Performing arts show spark and life of a community. The arts contribute to community identity while reflecting community value. The economic benefits are strong, but the most significant contributions are the building and expression of community.
- In the region, many municipalities contribute to the CRD Arts Funding Program. Most municipalities also contribute through their known grant programs or other financial support. Through several one line items Victoria could be said to contribute about $400,000 to the arts.
- Yes, I support contributions, but think the city (Victoria) must press for more equitable support from every municipality for support of core facilities.
- believe the City of Victoria does not have enough in the way of sculpture/outdoor art of lasting nature.
Anna King, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor
- The arts bring a wide variety of benefits to a community; engagement in the arts leads to better mental health and more holistic flourishing. This is, in of itself, a worthy goal, but someone who is functioning well is also going to be more productive and successful in their workplaces, and is likely to be a more engaged citizen. Additionally, a city with a thriving creative class brings in external investment and entrepreneurship and encourages innovation. Engagement in the arts is engagement in a community, and connects residents to cultural values and practices that add meaning to their lives.
- The municipal government should facilitate the arts through providing funding and designated community spaces where residents can create together.
- I support Victoria’s commitment to investing in the CRD Arts Development Service. I think a healthy, thriving arts sector is indicative of a community that is engaged, committed to growth and betterment, and invested in the holistic flourishing of its residents.
- Residents have brought it to my attention that the current opera house and theatre spaces are fully booked and overflowing. As a previous Pacific Opera subscriber; ballet and symphony patron; and live theatre enthusiast, if elected, I will further explore this particular issue and feasibility of additional space for the arts.Shoutout to the organizations I’ve been a patron of in the last 5 years off the top of my head:
Belfry Theatre – Christmas Carol x2
Intrepid Theatre – Fringe!
Kaleidoscope – The Little Prince;
Pacific Opera Victoria – Madame Butterfly, Otello, Midsummer Night’s Dream
Theatre SKAM – Concord Floral, Lots of pop-ups
Victoria Symphony – Symphony Splash (planning to get subscription soon)
Krzysztof Zmuda, City of Victoria, Candidate for Mayor
- You cannot imagine how many special-interest-groups have contacted me about their concerns and challenged me to take their survey! However, in your case, I am well aware of the importance of The Arts, especially since I grew up on the European continent.
- Frankly, my first priority is to solve the immediate problems that the current city council have left with us. So, I will rely on your group to take the lead, and I am receptive to your recommendations that should be made to the Council.
- As as I see it, creative artistic expression is the heartbeat of the community. Everyone depends on you.
- My entire platform of priority issues can be found at https://elect-zmuda.ca. Pass the word!
Gary Alberts, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor
- Arts and culture boosts out city and our economy. It attracts visitors, creates jobs in the art field but also creating jobs in restaurants and hotels.
- Theatres, sculptures, museums are as important to the citizens as parks and schools. The municipalities should continue to offer ongoing support.
- Yes – I support the CRD Arts Development Service. A majority of the Festivals/recipients are in the City of Victoria, but residents throughout the CRD benefit. Taxpayers throughout the region should have some of their taxes used to support these events.
- We have seasons tickets to Langham Court and the Belfry. We are at Langham Court this Saturday seeing Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit”.
Bruce McGuigan, City of Victoria, Candidate for Mayor
- The arts motivate people to live and work in and visit urban centres, and bring meaning, beauty, learning, and multi-cultural appreciation and inspiration to communities. The arts bring people together literally into shared spaces to enjoy memorable and powerfully transformative experiences, and encourage communication and community building. The arts are fundamental to childhood development and learning, can improve the lives of at-risk youth, can engage people with disabilities with their community, as well as bring seniors out of isolation. Having a vibrant arts community also means increased job and training opportunities, so that we don’t lose artists to other urban centres. The arts are also significant contributors to the economy and tourism, but their overall value to communities should not be reduced to economic measures.
All municipal governments support the arts using the following best practices to:
– Create policies to ensure the creation of public art in all municipal and private developments, as well as in the transportation systems, sidewalks and streets.
– Ensure adequate, functional, affordable, and safe facilities for arts and cultural organizations, waiving city taxes for non-profit organizations which own their own facilities and provide public engagement.
– Fostering a municipal government environment that is friendly and supportive to outdoor festival and events.
– Direct appropriate funding to encourage multicultural, accessible and inclusive arts programming including Indigenous arts and culture and persons with disabilities. Art is for everyone!
I fully support the City of Victoria’s participation in the CRD Arts Development Services by provide operating and project funds to local arts groups for the reasons outlined above under Question #1. Also — because Victoria is possibly the most educated, widely read and philanthropic city in the country — it means that our residents value and participate heavily in the arts. We also have one of the highest artist per capita ratios in the country making arts policy and funding a high priority for Victoria.
If elected, I will encourage other municipalities to fully participate in the investing in the CRD Arts Development Services, as the entire region enjoys artistic and cultural resources in Victoria. I am open to exploring other best practices depending on the demand for them by the community, and the identification of appropriate sources of funding, such as:
– The development of a Mayor’s Arts Awards program to raise profile of local artists
– The creation of artist live/work studios
– The establishment of an affordable residence for retired artists (like the Performing Arts Lodge concept in other cities)
These initiatives would present exciting opportunities for engaging consultation with both the arts community and the community at large.
Pam Madoff, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor
- Both the tangible and the intangible. The arts inspire but also bring with them significant economic impact. Dollars invested in the arts are multiplied many times over in terms of their overall economic impact.
- Providing funding, opportunities and venues. Communicating the importance of the arts in our community and how we all benefit from the arts. Leading by example. I also believe that municipal governments should recognize working artists as being a group that should be included in municipal housing strategies. Artists are consistently in the lowest income bracket. I fear that without this assistance Victoria could become a city similar to San Francisco where you can buy art, but you can’t make art.
- Absolutely. The City of Victoria, individually, has a budget for Arts and Culture of approx. $1.4M. In addition, we have a robust Art in Public Places program. We also have a program to support festivals that amounts to $220,000. In addition, via the CRD, we invest almost another $2M in the arts It is important that the City has a strong program, internal to the City, but that it also participates regionally in order to ensure that we create opportunities, rather than barriers, for artists through regional cooperation.
- During challenging economic times, such as those we are experiencing currently specific to the cost of housing and cost of living it can be seen as desirable to cut funding to the arts. I believe that the more trying the times, the more important it is to continue supporting the arts, in all of its facets. Ensuring that all residents have access to arts and culture in all of its forms.
Laurel Collins, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor
- The arts bring communities together, enhance our well-being and sense of belonging, and benefit our local economy. Arts and culture make communities more enjoyable places to live and work, more appealing to visitors, and they also can attract business to our community. A strong cultural sector fosters a more desirable environment for business development and growth. In addition funding to the arts pays off, since the cultural sector contributes 5 times more in taxes than it receives in public funding.
The arts are also essential to providing a well-rounded education for children and students of all ages. Students immersed in the arts have better grades, lower dropout rates and are more likely to get a degree, and this applies across all socio-economic categories. Even as we age, regardless of income level or education, participation in culture is strongly linked with good health and high life satisfaction. In addition the arts can help us develop compassion and awareness around the challenges that our communities face.
- Municipal governments need to champion the growth of arts, culture and heritage. I am committed to making Victoria a more thriving city, which includes promoting and supporting a vibrant arts community.
- I support the CRD Arts Development Service and the provision of grants to not-for-profit organizations. One of the many reasons I support the CRD Arts Development Service is that they fund community arts projects by organization such as AIDS Vancouver Island, The Existence Project, India Canada Cultural Association, The Cridge Centre for the Family, the Victoria Disability Resource Centre, the Victoria Native Friendship Centre, the Victoria Women’s Transition House, and many more. These important projects enrich our community and raise awareness about important issues in our region. In addition, I am excited about the addition of the Equity & Incubator Grants so that we are supporting emerging artists in our community.
- I have been a long time supporter and promoter of arts and culture in our community. I was the creative director for The Art of Movements in 2012. This free community event brought together performances and workshops to explore how dance can contribute to social movements, how politics, activism, and social justice can bring richness to dance, and how these two kinds of movement can come together to contribute to our communities. I was previously a board member of the Township Community Arts Council, which puts on and promotes arts and cultural events in the Township of Esquimalt and which received funding from the CRD Arts Development Service. I have also previously worked as the Executive Director of the Victoria Multi-Cultural Society, providing space and organizing arts events in Victoria. In addition, my research on nonviolence and social activism uses art-based methodologies. I am committed to promoting the arts in our community as art and culture bring communities together, enhance our well-being, as well as benefit our local economy.
William Tate, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor
- Arts are what separates humans from other animals. It is our culture, our identity. It is expressed in a variety of forms–music, dance, theatre, etc.
Supporting arts is supporting human evolution. It pleases us, makes us better understand who we are. Enough said, it deserves support.
- Municipal governments control money. Money which can and should be spent in a good part to support art activity in the community. It is important to the quality of life in the community, and also contributes money back into the community, along with the art.
- As said above, it is an essential part of our lives, our identity, our happiness. Enough said.
- I have participated and enjoyed the arts throughout my life. I love the theatre, the magic, and have participated as an actor and as crew. I play piano and guitar, and enjoy many types of music. Victoria has a great art scene. It will be exciting expanding it even further!
Sean Leitenberg, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor
- The arts bring community and people together. Increase happiness and quality of life. They help fill the gap now missing from our educational system.
- Making available the community space and help with funding through grants.
- Yes I support the funding and feel it is necessary given the decline in our educational system towards the arts.
- I would like to bring a music program called band wagon to Victoria. It is an after school program where children have the ability to learn about music through an interactive electronic music collaboration between music teachers and the community. Kids love it and it brings music and fun into the lives of children.
Delmar Martay, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor
- Awesomeness, Koolness and supercalifragilisticexpialidociousness!
- Help communities be artistic with each other.
- Art is Smart!
- Music helped with opportunities to travel and enrich my life. It can be for everyone. 😀
Alexander Schmid, City of Victoria, Candidate for Mayor
- The arts give us cultural enrichment in many forms besides the visual, like in ballet, opera, symphony and museums that teach us about our own culture and that of others in the world.
- The municipal governments can and should support the arts in various ways. In my platform (www.alexanderschmid.ca) I propose to provide free entrance tickets to people who are less fortunate, particularly families with children, so they can attend events like those I mentioned above.
- Yes, I strongly support the decision that our municipality should contribute to this service. As I have stated, cultural enrichment is important, because it will promote a more vibrant and healthy community in the long run.
- Not all art is suitable to a given locale. I believe that art in public places is for the enjoyment of all people, and as mayor I would therefore ensure that the people would have a say on which project is to be selected from the submitted proposals. There are a few examples in the city of Victoria that have not met with general approval.
RyMo, City of Victoria, Candidate for Mayor
- Art provides communities with identity through exploration and expression. Discovering who we are, allows us to best navigate what we need. It is not so much a matter of benefit as much as necessity.
- The arts should be integrated into municipal communication policy – as both a medium to convey information, and invitations for exploration.
- The CRD Arts Development Service presents very positive, but without a proper analysis with board members, successful grant applicants, and unsuccessful grant applicants – I am unable to comment. Where do stakeholders feel there are redundancies , short comings (under funding), and how can we best meet the ethos of the the CRD Arts Development Service?
I would not alter funding to an established relationship between Victoria and its contribution to the CRD Arts Development Service, until all parties feel there is a consensus on where the process is heading in the future and what is needed for support.
- Art is the very nature of how we communicate. It is not a “something” that can be extracted from the success and health of a city. Cities are most successful when acting as collaborative epicenters. Therefore, an investment into the emerging, and established arts is an investment into the wealth of the knowledge holders, craft makers, and planners of the future. If we want to look to the past, delve into our present, or dream of the future, we do so through the arts.
Lisa Helps, City of Victoria, Candidate for Mayor
- Arts bring innumerable benefits to our communities. First and foremost, creative, artistic expression is part of what makes us human and what creates community. Artistic expression has the ability to draw people together, to bridge differences, to build understanding, to protest the status quo and to create and imagine new realities. Arts and culture is also a significant economic generator.
- I believe that planning, convening and funding are key roles that municipal governments should have in support the arts.
In this past term of Council we worked with the community to create the City’s first ever Arts and Culture Master Plan called, “Create Victoria.” This is a five-year plan that lays out all the ways that the City can support the local arts and culture activities in Victoria. A key recommendation of Create Victoria – and important to our local arts and culture community – is to establish a “Creative Hub” which will be an affordable, programmed space for artists, performers, and creatives from the tech sector. My commitment is to continue the work we’ve already been doing on this project and to secure philanthropic, Provincial, and Federal funding to turn the 30,000 square-foot Bastion Square Courthouse in the heart of our downtown into the Bastion Square Creative Hub.
In addition to this future plan, the City currently has a number of budgets for arts and culture totalling approximately $1.4 million – this is for events, festivals, banners, public art and more. In addition to this, the Festival Investment Grant budget is $222,000. The City’s budget for our two library locations totals approx. $5.4 million. Heritage grants (including the $420,000 for building incentive grants through the Victoria Civic Heritage Trust) total approximately $753,000. The City also contributes to the CRD arts programs including Arts grants, $922,000, the Royal Theatre $218,000, and the McPherson Theatre $750,000. In total, on an annual basis the City spends $10.64 million on arts, culture and learning.
- Yes absolutely. When you read through the successful grant recipients the answer as to why is obvious. By pooling our resources as a region, we are able to support artists and creators and bring more events and opportunities to our residents as a collective than we would as individual municipalities. And the beauty of the CRD Arts Development Service is that a wide range of programs and events are funded, from “polite to punk” (a great phrase that was coined during the Create Victoria process) to equity and inclusion activities that simply would not happen without the CRD service. Arts and culture know no borders.
- I’ve been hosting what we call “Kitchen Table Talks” around the City since July, these are small gatherings of neighbours in people’s homes so I can learn more about the issues and people’s hopes for the future of our city. At each gathering, I begin by asking people to share with the group one thing that they love about Victoria and one thing that needs work. Over and over, from kitchen table to kitchen table I hear a similar sentiment expressed, “I love living in a small city that has a big city arts and culture scene.” So what I would like to say to all the artists out there, who are also voters, is a deep heartfelt thank you for all you do to make Victoria punch way above our weight in terms of arts and culture. And I would also like to say that Victorians notice and deeply appreciate your work.
Rose Henry, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor
- Art builds community by bringing people together from all walks of life . Young or old, different nationalities are able to come together.
- I think the local governments should help create and maintain more art space by working with the local artists.
- I am not sure how to respond to this question at this time, I would need to learn more about what the city has done as well as what this organization has tried.
- Art comes in many different forms and plays a major role in our daily lives. Things like cooking, advertisements fashions etc…Art goes hand in hand with music food and culture.
Charlayne Thornton-Joe, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor
- Arts bring exponential benefits to a community. Some benefits are not easily measurable such as a barometer of community wellness, the creation of a vibrant and diverse form of community expression, and similar more subtle benefits. More obvious benefits include economic benefits to artists, stimuli to the community, and a more rich experience for all.
- Municipal governments play a role in several ways: financial support; stimulating growth and development for current and future artists; providing funding and space or venues (to name a few).
- I absolutely support the City of Victoria’s continued investment in the CRD Arts Development Service and wish that every municipality in the Region would also do so. Without this funding, so many of the great events could not happen in our Region and these events bring vitality, create jobs and volunteer opportunities and greatly contributes to a healthy community.
- The recent Vital Signs gave the Region a B+ mentioning that the things that we have to celebrate are that we have a vibrant arts and culture community with diverse offerings and that we have a strong festival scene, but the areas that we need to improve are that we need more offerings of affordable arts and cultural activities, we need increased funding to support arts and culture, and we need to create more festivals and community celebrations. We need to continue to have members on Councils that support the arts at the table and in their personal lives. I am always happy to answer more specific questions and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org at any time.
Jesse Jimenez, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor
- I believe that artists are the true leaders of every society. They provide vision for the future. They are also the conscience of every members of the society. They provide an education and understanding that people will discern to a culture that they are offering. Their product of labor communicates to all our senses and takes us to a journey of failure, success, happiness, sorrow, enlightenment, confusion, discontent, hope, etc. Take the artists of a group, community or society and you take that vision and direction for that entity. Their presence predicts the longevity of the society. If they are in the society actively producing, then the society is thriving and prospering. If they seize or squash to produce, then the society shrinks and ceases to exist.
- I believe municipal governments should have an active and direct support for the arts. They are directly and closely affect by the arts, because the contributions of the artists are presented to the city first. So, the creative benefits are experienced by the residents or community members first. The municipal government has to foster the growth of the artist in order for the artist to reach the pinnacle of his abilities and communicate his creative talents and skills to guide members of society to the path of the conceive vision of prosperity and endurance. The municipal government should seek help from the provincial and federal governments during the fostering period as this is not a task that can be and should be done by a sole entity because the benefits are shared in plural.
- I enthusiastically support the municipality’s decision to contribute to the service, because this is not a choice but a necessity as I have stated above. I want Victoria to thrive and prosper for generations. This is one way to get to that result. Are there other ways? Yes. But, we cannot ignore this way because it has proven success. The Renaissance of Europe, the growth of Apple and the creation of Hollywood are examples of this.
- You, the voter, are maybe an artist, an admirer, a critic, an employee, an employer, a servant or a master. Please let the art that surrounds you communicate and guide you to the prosperity of the city of Victoria.
Jeremy Loveday, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor
- Arts are a cornerstone of healthy communities. Arts bring a sense of vitality, joy, cohesion, and animation to a community, contributing significantly to our collective sense of belonging. Importantly, the arts sector is also a significant economic generator in Victoria.
- Municipal governments rightly play many roles in supporting the arts. They should be promoters, advocates, hosts, information brokers, facility providers, supporters, partners, and stakeholders. We currently fund the Capital Regional District Arts Development Service, Royal and McPherson Theatres, Greater Victoria Public Library, and Festival Investment Grants. Municipal governments will need to work to ensure that we have appropriate venues and creative spaces as increased real estate and development pressures are pushing more venues to close. I also believe the City should play a role in helping to create affordable and appropriate housing for artists.
- Yes. I am very supportive of investing in the arts at the regional level. It has been an honour and a pleasure to serve as a CRD Arts Commissioner for the past two years. Our community benefits greatly from the projects, festivals, and operating funding that is granted by the CRD Arts Commission. I believe the City of Victoria receives a great return on investment for the tax dollars we put into the CRD Arts Development Service. If we pulled our funding, arts organizations located in the City of Victoria would not be eligible for this funding stream which would greatly damage our artistic community and harm our local economy.
- As an artist who practices spoken word poetry and abstract painting, I am intimately aware of the arts scene and the challenges that many artists face in our community. As an arts organizer who has directed the Victorious Voices Youth Arts Festival for the past 9 years, I know first-hand the challenges that small arts organizations face. If re-elected, I will continue to bring this experience and my belief in municipal support for arts and culture to City Council and to the CRD Board.
Sharmarke Dubow, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor
- Arts and culture offers many benefits to our community. A vibrant arts and culture sector brings people together, supports thriving neighbourhoods for people of all ages, creates local jobs, and strengthens our municipal and regional economy by growing our businesses. Arts and culture attracts newcomers to our community, and gives our many local artists opportunities to showcase their talents. I want to see arts and culture thrive in our community and to grow these sectors so that they are a sustainable part of our social and economic life for years to come.
The arts bring to our communities the power of togetherness. It promotes love in both visual and performing arts. It is also a powerful tool for social change – through the art of storytelling and creates inter-generational relationships and it embraces other cultures and their ways of artistic cultures away from eurocentric art forms. Because Art brings the voices of the voiceless for example of immigrants were often not heard but art provides the platform to build bridges and understanding. It is extremely empowering tool as it opens the windows of the experience of diverse community members.
- Often, we say that that cities should support the arts through financial incentives. It is true, Victoria can approve more grants, apply for more funding from the Province, and it can ensure that developers contribute their fair share to the arts through community amenity contributions. Beyond money, the city can do a better job to raise public awareness of our cultural spaces, create more cultural spaces, and give more opportunities for our local actors, artists, dancers, sculptors, singers and others to participate and build a thriving cultural community.
- The City of Victoria has a strong arts and cultural sector. However, anything we do for arts and culture at the municipal level is made even stronger if we look at arts and culture from both local community and regional perspectives. I am a strong supporter of the CRD Arts Development Service because it expands the number of opportunities available for our local artists and businesses. The CRD Arts Development Service gives operating and project grants to new and emerging artists, initiatives and organizations, as well as equity grants to encourage an inclusive and diverse arts community. I want to invite creative people to set up in Victoria. I want our diverse community to grow and for people to come here because we are welcoming, we are innovative, and we are building a thriving community together. Taking a regional approach to encouraging the growth in arts and culture is a way to ensure that our community, and our neighbours communities, thrive together. We are stronger when we work as a region and our many actors, artists, dancers, sculptors, singers and other creative artists, and the creative economy as a whole, will benefit from increased access to Greater Victoria.
- The arts and culture sector supports our friendships, our residents, our municipality, our neighbourhoods, and our region. We are building a diverse and thriving community with our arts and culture sector. We grow our local economy with our arts events, cultural attractions and creative businesses. We are creating a welcoming community with our diverse artistic and cultural workers. I want our community members to know that if elected to City Council, I will support the arts and build a lasting friendship with the creative businesses, artists and cultural workers in our community.
Geoff Young, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor
- As a community we need to fulfill aspirations to engage our citizens. The economy, available housing, parks and green space, recreational opportunities are important, but also important is the ability to see and participate in the arts, whether visual or performing. One way to demonstrate the benefit of the arts is to imagine the community without the arts. No theatres, no music, no visual arts. We would be left with a less rich community if bereft of the free expression that is the foundation of most artistic pursuits.
- I believe that grants to self-governing arts organizations are the most effective way of supporting the arts, dollar for dollar. Direct control and administration of arts programs by government employees, directed by elected officials, risks excessive government control of artistic expression and also tends to be less cost-effective.
- Yes – see above. Allocating grants on a region-wide basis, given the shared audience for most arts endeavours, makes most sense.
Steve Filipovic, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor
- The Arts Community with their events and shows they perform and the works of many forms of Art they produce together for Victoria to enjoy is a vital aspect of our City. The many people who are involved though volunteering build community while learning new skills and having new experiences, this is a wonderful benefit to the social fabric. Not only does it make Victoria a more interesting place it provides a significant bump to our local economy. I will advocate to continue to support the Arts in Victoria.
- I will advocate for the City to continue to support the Arts. It is the City’s purpose to maintain the many Assets of our City in a state of good repair & readiness for use. This covers both physical assets and cultural assets. The City can support the Arts in many ways. The City hires artists and it holds events, it helps with promotions and has supplied pamphlets, it contributes to non-profit organizations, it contributes to the CRD fund for Arts. Victoria recognizes its important to have a flourishing creative culture.
- Yes I support the City continuing to support the CRD, the spin off benefits to the regions will be as wonderful as the spin off benefits from the investment the City makes in the Arts.
- Artists would be able to stretch their resources further if we established affordable housing in Victoria. Our City has large Public Investment Budgets, renters have 60% equity in that Fund. I will advocate to use some of these funds to set up Ownership Housing Opportunities for renters who are willing to partner with the City for a chance to own. The City would get its investment in a stable growing asset and the New Owners would now be growing equity for their future. This is a decentralized solution for our housing crisis, as its individuals families and small co-operative groups taking up the offer and purchasing where they can. This creates a housing engine and bridges the inequity gap. Should cause rents to drop.
Town of View Royal
Adam Flint, Town of View Royal, Candidate for Councillor
- The arts are what make our community such a vibrant place. They provide a sense of community and belonging to residents and help to tie us all together.
- I believe that we need to support the arts financially within our region. View Royal already supports the West Shore Arts Council and will continue to do so. We have also held the municipalities’ first arts festival this year. Events like these should become regular as they help to showcase the arts and enhance the vibrancy of the town.
- Yes, we all benefit from our commitment to the arts in the region. Arts are a component of any successful and well-rounded community.
- I am running for council because I believe that View Royal is one of the most spectacular municipalities in BC and I am proud to call it my home. There is a sense of community here that is unlike anywhere I have known, and I look forward to fostering and expanding on this in the future. The arts service is a fantastic shared-service that highlights the positive work we can accomplish together.
John Rogers, Town of View Royal, Candidate for Councillor
- Many! Arts and Culture reflect community creativity, heritage, and diversity. It brings the region together, promotes economic development and is great for tourism!
- Belong to the CRD Arts Commission! View Royal joined day 1 and have been strong promoters ever since. The dollars are well managed and well leveraged. We are interested in supporting the Westshore Arts, but frankly if Colwood and Langford would join the regional effort, this would get the necessary funding. I don’t think taxpayers would support TWO groups, when combined efforts would go much further.
- YES! See above… we can support a wide diverse ranges of arts and culture with leveraged dollars. This is the same successful formula for the Regional Housing Trust Fund, the Parks Acquisition Fund, and hopefully we can do the same for a Farmland Acquisition Trust Fund in 2019!!
- I also strongly support working with all municipalities… cooperatively, collectively towards supporting existing regional performance centres like Royal and McPherson, building one out in Western Communities… not only performance, but places to practice / rehearse too. I am looking forward to CRD’s website that shows ALL the wonderful outdoor art through the region, with an interactive map. Huge tourism potential. We just need MORE outdoor art of a wide range of artistic themes, materials, and creativity. I always go to Queen E Park to see the Henry Moore. Graphic art should also be on the map (like Vancouver has done).
One last thing. It is time for Greater Victoria to finally have one regional museum, that is far more than photo / paper archives. Real artifacts that show the amazing history from First Nations to modern times. ALL the major cities have it. Nanaimo, Duncan, Campbell River all put us to shame. There are very important collectors who have important artifacts, ready for a real home, for real display, not in the Royal BC Museum. Who has a piece of the old blue bridge? I do. This IS historical art and culture of the region that has been forgotten. It’s not too late. When the dust settles, let’s talk.