2022 ProArt Municipal Election Candidate Survey

ProArt distributed a survey to Candidates campaigning in the 2022 Municipal Elections within the Capital Regional District, asking them to respond to the following question before the October 15, 2022 elections.

Replies are posted below as they are submitted.

Candidate name: 

As a member of council, which current programs will you support, and/or what new initiatives will you propose that will work directly with the arts community to promote health and wellness for the citizens in your municipality? Is there anything else you would like to share regarding your relationship to the arts in the region?

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

Christopher Graham, District of Central Saanich, Candidate for Councillor

I curate a small art gallery in my business at Beacon Tax Services. Public art is important part of a vibrant street scape and community. Ideally it should be planned for and commissioned as a part of re-development. We have been very successful with the totems marking the village entrances to Saanichton. I would be interested in working more closely with the art community. I could see us promoting gallery tours, and working with the art community to help provide more classes for people that would like to explore their artistic side.



City of Colwood

David Grove, City of Colwood, Candidate for Councillor

I would like to see an inventory of potential and existing stakeholders in all aspects of the Arts in Colwood from home music teachers to a proposed full service performing venue.

Funding is crucial. The exploration of new approaches along with traditional models will need time and careful work. I look forward to participating in this work.

To name existing groups/stakeholders would invariably miss someone; I choose to avoid that risk. Suffice it to say…”I support the pursuit of Arts programming in Colwood and the requisite facility buildout to enable the strong growth of this sector of our City”.


Ian Ward, City of Colwood, Candidate for Councillor

I will continue to provide support to the Arts & Culture Colwood Society to support their Vision: “…connect community with the arts and delivering programming, which aligns with our values.”. I would like to explore programming in conjunction with the under-construction RBC Museum Archives in Royal Bay, and what we can do to partner to enrich arts and culture in the community. I believe there is an opportunity through the arts to advance reconciliation with local indigenous communities, and a partnership with the Province/RBCM could benefit Colwood in this regard. Long-term, a facility is needed in our region for theatre and cultural programs as well.



Township of Esquimalt

Sonya Gracey, Township of Esquimalt, Candidate for Mayor

As Mayor of Esquimalt I will be an active proponent of the arts in our community. I believe that art is a key community builder and significant part of a thriving economy. I also, as a nurse, feel certain that community vibrancy including arts and culture have a direct influence on the health and wellbeing of residents. I hope to create a micro grants program in Esquimalt to support small scale community arts projects, and also to look at multi year funding for our community arts agencies so they have predictable funding and can spend less time in applying for and reporting on grant applications. I would very much like to leverage and advocate for increased funding for the arts through the CRD Arts Commission. Supporting collaborative private-public arts projects, making municipal spaces available for arts programs and installations, removing barriers for artists to engage in art making, supporting, promoting, enhancing and funding (affordable and accessible) local arts venues and performance spaces, and seeking opportunities to support Indigenous artists and art incorporation into municipal projects and activities. I think art is a critical component to building and sustaining community. Art creates a platform and an outlet for the personal, the political and the common…and it should and can reflect the identity, values, aspirations and challenges of a complex community and its diverse residents. I can not WAIT to support and advocate for Art and Artists in any and all the ways that i can once I am Mayor of Esquimalt.


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 three-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) which survived through the covid pandemic to re-emerge as a major force of arts and culture within the region. 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. While Covid impacted their ability to include their usual entertainment, they managed to maintain the market essentials through the entire pandemic. As Council’s liaison to the Farmers Market Board of Directors, I am very committed to ensuring their ongoing success with Council’s support. More recently, we have had the addition of the Esquimalt Community Arts Hub (ECAH) and their amazing community murals project. 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 (CRD Arts fund), 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.

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; the Esquimalt Community Arts Hub (ECAH) and their ability to bring artists together in service to Esquimalt; 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.



District of Highlands


City of Langford

Mark Morely, City of Langford, Candidate for Councillor

I was a student at Niagara College in the early 80’s and studied Theatre Arts so I am a huge fan of theatre and music performance. I also dabbled in pencil and charcoal a long time ago, life overtook the hobby sadly. Because of my experience with the arts I would support any initiative for theatre in our parks or public areas, pop up art galleries around the city and a permanent rotating art display at City Hall. These initiatives would be directed at exposure for all our outstanding local artists that may not have any other venue to display their talent.


Roger Wade, City of Langford, Candidate for Councillor

I am very supportive of the arts community and will support a new venue in Langford. This has been an objective with our current Mayor and Council for many years and with the announcement of our new university, a theatre in Langford could become a reality unless the there is a change in direction with the new council. Residents need facilities to enjoy different things in life, this brings balance to the live work relationship which has a direct impact on mental wellness. I will support impactful initiatives whether federal, provincial, or municipal which addresses mental wellness in our community.


Mary Wagner, City of Langford, Candidate for Councillor

I am a member of The Juan de Fuca Performing Arts Centre Society (PACS), a registered charity with a mission to build a community-oriented arts and culture centre for the West Shore. I would advocate for public spending on a West Shore arts and culture centre that was for the community to use rather than a for-profit business. I would promote a model similar to the West Shore Recreation Centre, that would provide affordable arts and culture opportunities.

I would also support community placemaking initiatives with city grants (e.g. little libraries, street murals, enriched public spaces).

Celebrating the arts community in Langford by recognizing the businesses that provide opportunities for visual and performing arts through awards and special events is another way to give support. For example, the city could provide a space for artists to share their work and periodically hold a contest for artists of all ages and abilities – sometimes being more competitive and other times being geared to fun and freedom of expression. Both visual and performing arts should be considered equal to sports as a means of health and well-being.


District of Metchosin

Marie-Térèse Little, District of Metchosin, Candidate for Councillor

As the Mayor of Metchosin and a member of Council, I would support new initiatives such as the formation of an independent Metchosin Arts and Culture Commission composed of community members that would report directly to Council. I would also support local art and studio tours and festivals such as the former Stinking Fish Studio tour and the Sooke Fine Arts Show.

Culture is the bedrock of a society, and it is the shared expression of human ingenuity and creativity. It is what defines us as a society and distinguishes one society from another. Encounters with others usually involves shared experiences, mutual friends and interests, books we have read, shows and exhibits we have experienced, events that we have attended and dance and music that we enjoy. Without culture, society would lack creativity and originality.

I believe that societies are bound together by art and culture; a cultural centre should be the heart and soul of a community. This is especially true of small, rural communities often divided by significant physical distances. Who are we, as a community, if we don’t know understand the forces that have shaped us and our environment?

In Metchosin, the acquisition of old Metchosin Elementary School on Happy Valley Road has provided us with the opportunity to celebrate and share Metchosin’s agricultural and artistic heritage. Currently administered jointly by a council representative and the Metchosin Arts and Cultural Centre Association (MACCA), the old school needs to become the anchor for a village plan on Happy Valley Road. It is, in fact, foundational to any such plan.

Therefore, I propose adopting an idea of a long-standing MACCA member; creating an independent Metchosin arts and culture commission that reports directly to Metchosin Council. The commission would be composed of members of the community, local artists, members of MACCA, and art and culture supporters and enthusiasts. This would be a grass-roots organization with a solid base of volunteers with the authority to make decisions about the arts and culture centre. The Arts and Culture Commission would hold all the expertise that is needed to run the organization. it may benefit from a part-time administrative assistant. The commission’s mandate would be to promote local artists. The task of that commission would be to engage in public consultation which will then be incorporated into a larger village development plan.


District of North Saanich

Sanjiv Shrivastava, District of North Saanich, Candidate for Councillor

Art imitates and predicts future society. It provides an institution of experiment in times of uncertainty in that it provides both hope and reflection. Art has also been used in the service of exploitation of humanity and other beings. So in my opinion, art is more than just about the health and well being of a community. I see it as a creative tool of inspiring reflection, redress, and redesign of the inner fabric of the community. I will always support the arts to foster creativity, inclusion, and joy.


Terrie Rolph, District of North Saanich, Candidate for Councillor

I value the arts, not only for the pleasure they bring to those who participate in them, but also for their power to build stronger connections between people.


Brett Smyth, District of North Saanich, Candidate for Councillor

I am a current member of North Saanich Council. During my term I supported a number of organizations and initiatives related to the Arts. I was Council liaison to ArtSea, a peninsula-based non-profit organization that supported local art shows and events that supported individuals artists and provided great community benefits, including what is asked of in the question: health and wellness.

As a former professional musician, and still an active songwriter, I have a pretty deep understanding of the power of the arts.

One of the missing pieces in our community is a venue for a range of arts performances and events. There is contemplation of an outdoor band shell somewhere in the community in our OCP review. We once had a community hall in Deep Cove that we lost to a fire. Replacing such a useful venue would have enormous value on so many fronts.

And, last but not at all least, connecting deeper with the local First Nations, Tseycum Nation and Pauquachin Nation, to work on facilitating ways to bring their great artistic culture more into focus for all.

There is lots to do in a Council term and what I have found to be most rewarding is related to the arts.


Celia Stock, District of North Saanich, Candidate for Councillor

We are a small rural community of 12,000 residents. Our Council does support as many arts programs as possible, given our budget. We provide funding to the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney, and various Arts groups appear before us throughout the year to request funds for specific projects, such as visual art expositions, or music festivals. We are supportive of these Arts events, and we do allocate funds as we are able.


District of Oak Bay

Andrew Appleton, District of Oak Bay, Candidate for Councillor

Oak Bay is fortunate to be home to a vibrant and energetic arts community. As a scientist without much artistic talent but a correspondingly huge respect for those who do, I’m very grateful to be here!

Oak Bay’s Arts Alive program has been an amazing regional example that deserves ongoing support and promotion. I am always pleased to attend the Bowker Creek Brush-up and support local artists in an amazing setting. Our local studios and tours make for a great local event and tourism draw! In short, the arts community is a key part of what gives Oak Bay its charm.

Moving forward we can do even more to support our arts community, and I’d like to see that focus on youth. We have many creative young people in Oak Bay and I’d like to see them engage through our Parks, Recreation and Culture Committee to design and implement a program that’s conceptualized by them and appealing to young residents. I know they can bring new and interesting ideas for arts and culture events and I’d like the District to support them.


Hazel Braithwaite, District of Oak Bay, Candidate for Councillor

Arts in Oak Bay is alive and well! One of the wonderful programs that the municipality has supported for a number of years is the “Arts Alive” program, and I have been really fortunate to be the council liaison to this committee. A theme is picked each year (2022 it is “Kinship”) and sculptures are selected by a peer jury. They are then displayed throughout the municipality for a year. They are sponsored by local businesses or community groups, so we get a lot of buy in from our community for this program. The pieces and are voted on by the public throughout the year, and the top three are then reviewed and the municipality tries to purchase one to add to our permanent public art collection.

Another thing that we started a few years back, and I was pleased to be involved in, was the Music in the park series. This is done at Willows Beach Park with the ocean as the backdrop – so truly stunning. We try to do one or two a month from June to September and they are always well attended – its such a wonderful way to bring our community together to listen to local artists. Both of these programs are important parts of our district and to our residents, so they are definitely something I will continue to support wholeheartedly.

I also am the council liaison for the Royal & McPherson Theatres Society, which is extremely interesting and a wonderful way to support stage arts in our region.


Raymon Farmere, District of Oak Bay, Candidate for Councillor

I would support all types of art programs in the community. I also think there needs to be more in the community for art and programs especially in performing arts. As several people in the community have mentioned to me that they would like to see more performing arts in the Oak Bay community. I have also received feedback from citizens that it would be nice to have a theatre program in Oak Bay similar to the Belfry theatre in Fernwood. Therefore, I would find it necessary to first do a study and a survey to find out what kind of performing arts characteristics and genres of performing arts that the Oak Bay Community would like to capture. Every municipality has its own unique arts and theatre programs with its own characteristics. So therefore, the art and performing arts need to reflect the characteristics and values of the Oak Bay community. If elected again I would like to hold several town hall meetings a year to do with the arts to find out more from the people of Oak Bay to see what kind of arts and services that they would like to have in the community, and to see where they think would be a good place in the village to setup a performing arts theatre. We could also look at involving our local schools within Oak Bay to participate in a performing arts study and project. We could also hold family theatre events.

I also feel that the Oak Bay citizens I talked to have a point that there should be more performing arts in the community such as theatre groups similar to Belfry theatre but are unique to Oak Bay. I would like to work with the ProArt Alliance to bring more performing arts to the Oak Bay District. I feel that in terms of art in the region that we should also connect with the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations bands to see how we could work with their councils to bring more First Nations art into the community and see what approach that they would like us to take. I would also like to look at making theatre type program where maybe our local schools in the district could bring some theatre style art to the seniors home.


Cairine Green, District of Oak Bay, Candidate for Councillor

This Council term has been rewarding, yet, very challenging for the arts, both locally and regionally. The pandemic took a significant toll on artists, events and the wider arts community. Locally, I was active in supporting a renewed municipal arts and culture commission and served as Council Liaison to the CRD Arts Committee. I was also asked to write a guest article in Tweed Magazine on Oak Bay’s popular “Arts Alive” program. Oak Bay has a vibrant, active and dedicated arts community, including the annual Bowker Creek Brush-Up that provides a wonderful venue for established and emerging artists and adds to our local economy. I continue to support the growth and expansion of this and related events and our ongoing and successful Arts Alive program. Oak Bay also has an Arts Laureate position that will be key to the promotion and expansion of arts events and programs that may be local but have significance regionally. Municipal support of our arts committee through our Parks, Recreation and Culture Department, involves staff contributions as well. Oak Bay remains an active partner in the arts locally and regionally and I am committed to renewing, sustaining and strengthening these partnerships, after 2 years of hardship when in-person meetings and public events were suspended. We learned, however, that the artists and their communities are indeed resilient.


Roxanne Helme, District of Oak Bay, Candidate for Councillor

I am very supportive of the arts community and support every single one of the current art programs/initiatives in Oak Bay. I am currently the Chair of the Canadian Heritage Arts Society which operates the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Oak Bay. I hope to initiate a movie night at the lovely Performance Hall at CCPA at no charge but by donation for those who are able. I am in the process of pursuing this initiative irrespective of whether I am successful in this Election!


Carrie Smart, District of Oak Bay, Candidate for Councillor

I am passionate about how visual arts, music, theatre, dance, film and written word enrich our daily lives and bring us together as a community.

My early interest in the arts began by attending a high school for the arts, and then going on to obtain an honours degree in Visual Arts from UVic. Today, I’m a board director for the not-for-profit Dance Victoria, where my governance experience focuses on how to build support for community-based arts initiatives.

The arts have the capacity to enrich and delight and inspire each of us. The Arts Alive Program, Bowker Creek Brush-up, Oak Bay Artists’ Studio Tour and Summer Concerts in the Park are some of the great programs in Oak Bay. Supporting diversity in the arts, involving Indigenous artists, tapping into the vast and varied talents of local visual artists and musicians, and creating stable and sustained sources of funding for these programs will be a priority in my commitment as a councillor.


Lesley Watson, District of Oak Bay, Candidate for Councillor

One thing that I have been particularly proud of as an Oak Bay resident is our support for public art through a number of programs, especially Arts Alive. This program was spearheaded by the amazing Barb Adams, former teacher at Monterey Elementary School, and has continued after she left her post as Arts Laureate. It engages the community, provides great opportunities for visual artists to showcase their sculpture, and leaves a lasting legacy of art in the public domain. Likewise, our music in the park summer concerts, outdoor painted pianos, and engagement of musicians to animate street festivals and the night market are important support to the arts community. I would continue to vote funds for these in our annual budget.

I would also be receptive to other opportunities to support artistic endeavour, such as Council’s contribution to the Oak Bay Mural which has added such a joyful and whimsical face to the back of an otherwise very ordinary public works building.

In addition, I would like to make time and space to showcase BC First Nations art in Oak Bay, including permanent and temporary installations of visual arts, as well as identifying opportunities for First Nations performance art.

My husband and I support the Greater Victoria arts community through our attendance at cultural events, especially music and theatre, and have been Director’s Circle supporters of the Belfry Theatre for a number of years.



District of Saanich

Trevor Barry, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor

I’d like to see augmentation of Music in the Park, which smaller bands, smaller sound, smaller parks, different nights – including school and community band performances.

I’d like to see more Indigenous art displayed (and for sale if appropriate) in Rec Centres as part of ReconciliACTION (if you don’t mind the term).

I’d ensure arts grants and funding approaches take into account the impacts during the pandemic, especially – but not not exclusively – to performance art stages.

As a former amateur actor and current musician, I look forward to opportunities to learn from the community – everything from the business model of the McPherson, to tenant agreements, to art exhibits at Cedar Hill Rec, to vendor opportunities for still art, to ongoing film studio/industry efforts, etc.


Susan Brice, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor

Art and culture should be imbedded throughout our programs in Saanich. The opening of our centre at Cedar Hill has been a wonderful opportunity for all ages to express themselves. More of this would be supported by me.

Saanich supports financially several community orgs that offer art programs… Silver Threads , Cordova Bay 55 Plus. We have been initiating more public art murals and requiring art in new construction. There will be many new opportunities in conjunction with First Nations to develop and display Indigenous Art.


Judy Brownoff, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor

I have and will continue to invest in arts and cultural programs. Saanich has our Arts Centre which is part of our Cedar Hill Community Center. The programming is great and provides “visual opportunity” for residents to witness and/or participate.

We have helped fund school performing stages at schools. Now that we are back to going to performances I would like to see more opportunity for youth to enjoy. While door knocking this was mentioned by a retired teacher.

I also would like to see more arts in our seniors homes. Whether performing, participating like painting and more. Arts programs can be designed to improve health, enhance quality of life, and combat isolation. Saanich created programs during covid.

One such program, The HeArts Together was a collaborative community art project that by inviting the community to come together creatively while remaining close to home.

“The project supported isolated and vulnerable community members to actively participate in the project through collaboration with community partners, including health care facilities and service organizations. Participants created unique clay and painted wooden hearts and messages that are assembled together with hearts made by children and other community members in outdoor displays in Saanich parks and public places.

Hearts are a touchstone that have come to symbolize our caring for loved ones, neighbours and the community, as well as to express our gratitude to health care and essential workers. These collective heart installations will serve as a legacy of our shared experience during these times, showing that we can come together as a community while remaining safely apart. Displayed in public spaces, they remind us to continue to be safe and caring for all in our community as we move forward together.”

I would like to see more intergenerational arts programming. The synergy bringing different ages together also help with the wellness of the diversity of our community. I also would like to see more places for outdoor performances. Our Music in the Park is one such program good music and good neighbour to neighbour socialization. If we have more community squares In our centers or along our corridors, outdoor performances could create economic development and social connections.

We are one of the funders for CRD arts. This program envisions strategic investment to maximize the artistic, social and economic contribution that arts organizations make to the quality of life of our residents.

“The CRD Arts & Culture Support Service provides various grant funding streams to not-for-profit organizations in the region. By supporting, promoting and celebrating the arts, the CRD contributes to the development of a healthy, livable and vibrant community and fosters collaboration between arts organizations, funders and audience.”

Live performances at The Belfry, Royal McPhearson theatres programs, and more. We need arts programming and cultural diversity arts programming. Saanich needs to continue to create a healthy community for all and arts are a contributor.


Nathalie Chambers, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor

Current Chair of Arts Culture Heritage (ACH and former chair of the Healthy Saanich Advisory committee (HSAC). This term we started a mural program (financial support and vetting process for choosing designs). Made a Heritage House Colour book collaborated with Saanich CRD arts function. Much more. Did Heritage Passport walking tours:


In HSAC committee as chair facilitated the scripting of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion statement. Which is read after the territorial acknowledgement at each meeting:


My First Motion this term was First Nations First motivating for a First Nations art piece in the Chambers showing shifting governance on these lands.

Art Awards Ceremony: https://www.saanichnews.com/community/saanich-arts-culture-and-heritage-award-winners-honoured-by-municipality/?fbclid=IwAR0pR0VXSAzVdCUGmZ6tQOgaLxN93JrgkVF_G2Lqja7136rVQDAoyMXMw8Y

Heritage Passport. Walking tours:


I am committed to funding the arts .

“The CRD Arts & Culture Support Service provides various grant funding streams to not-for-profit organizations in the region. By supporting, promoting and celebrating the arts, the CRD contributes to the development of a healthy, livable and vibrant community and fosters collaboration between arts organizations, funders and audience.

As organic farmer with veggie stand on 27 acres growing for 20 years in Saanich I was pleased to get veggie stands and sales inside the urban containment boundary:



Bianca Chu (aka 朱延潔), District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor

I would continue to support all of the existing initiatives, such as the community art projects, the exhibitions, the work at the art centres. One area that I would like to see more of is the mural projects which are a benefit to the arts, the community, and safer more vibrant streets. I would be open to listening and exploring creative ways to support more public art events in Saanich, and seeing how we can encourage more participation of traditionally underrepresented groups. As a creative person myself, I understand the importance of art (especially during hard times like quarantine) and the need to help foster it locally. That’s why I spent 4 years on the board of directors at Intrepid Theatre Company as a director, secretary, vice president and president to support brave, inclusive art at the Fringe, Outstages, Unofest and more. Thank you for putting these questions together and supporting the community.


Zac de Vries, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor

I have supported every arts initiative that has come to Saanich Council the past 4 years. I also spearheaded the protection of our new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Art Program which was nearly cut from the 2022 Budget. I want to see Saanich work with Artists wherever possible. I would like to see Saanich fund more road murals because they slow vehicles down, beautify areas, and build community. I will continue to support the arts this next term in any way I can and I invite you to engage me in ideas. I am a proud supporter of the arts but because I am not an artistic person with deep roots in the art community I listen first and then act. Thanks for your consideration.


Fred Haynes, District of Saanich, Candidate for Mayor

As a councilor 2014-2018, then Saanich Mayor since 2018 I have been delighted to support and quarterback the current programs being delivered in Saanich. These include dance and performance, arts and music, exhibitions, ceramics, open studio programs, art courses for all ages, community art projects, public art and resources for First Nations art. Much of this is described in our comprehensive public art policy.

New initiatives that I have proposed included inviting members of the arts community to come forward with opportunities to our Arts, Heritage and Culture advisory committee, present as delegations to Council ad contact my office directly. In addition, from my office I initiated the very successful multicultural and arts festival at Uptown. This featured an amazing display of dance, music, and visual arts. It was funded through a $100,000 budget provided by Uptown, facilitated by our Park & Recreation staff, and quarter-backed by my office bringing together a diverse range Saanich’s arts community.

A very exciting project that I’ve bee working on since 2014 is the film studio for the Camosun Interurban campus. This includes partnering with South Island film commissioner, Camosun College, the Ministry of Advanced Education, IETSE Local 891 (BC film industry union). I’m also working with the new startup, VicBizHub which is a hot-desk and studio facility dedicated to the performing arts, music, and independent films.

I have been facilitating conversations with performance arts groups seeking a small-scale performing arts facility in Saanich. Staff have explained the processes involved for full community engagement and the group is currently looking for sponsors and fundraising initiatives.

Our new economic development manager is tasked with bringing forward economic revitalization strategies for Saanich and these include initiatives in the Arts in Saanich and the region. They are a critical part of our health, wellness, and economic vitality.

Regarding my personal relationship, many members of my family are involved in visual and performing arts. My brother lives in Hollywood where he is a set coordinator in the movie industry and received an Emmy award for his work on the HBO series “Veep”. Arts and culture are very important to me, my family, and the community.


Sasha Izard, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor

In general I think the programs we have are good, but as a father of a young daughter, I think art programs should be targeted for very early ages to stimulate children’s brains and I would like to fund more youth programs for art and also make art more accessible for people with disabilities. As a Kandinsky fan, I think the link between visual arts and musical arts is very important and I was disturbed when the school district tried to cut music funding for students. Saanich can do much to fill the void and help link our brain hemispheres through creative endeavours.

One initiative I’d like to add, is to pass a bylaw allowing the use of homes for art schooling. My sister when she was in her youth took art lessons from a well known local artist, who taught them at their home. One of the neighbours complained that the house wasn’t zoned for commercial use and as a result, she couldn’t teach from her home anymore. I think that was a terrible waste of potential and a waste from an environmental perspective too, as it meant children would have to commute further to receive art lessons. The home was also an ideal place for teaching art, because it was in a semi-forested area, which as a setting provided a great muse for the sort of natural art style that was being taught.


Mark Leiren-Young, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor

I’ve spent my life working in the arts as a playwright/director/performer/writer and producer and now as someone who teaches Writing and occasionally Theatre and intro to Fine Arts at the University of Victoria. That’s why I volunteered for the Saanich Arts, Culture & Heritage advisory committee. When I saw the question the first thing that came to mind re: which programs I’ll support was “all of them.” And I’ll do all I can to advocate for more. I’ve already been speaking with the key person behind the proposed Camosun film studio to push the idea that when the studio is vacant that it be made available to local media-makers at low or no cost. He seemed taken by the idea and I thought… okay… if I’m on council I can help make this happen. Yes, I can absolutely make the financial case for the arts – and I’ve had to over the years. So if anyone wants to hear about the multiplier effects – and how having artists in neighbourhoods improves those neighbourhoods and draws traffic to them – I’ll be happy to dive into those stats. But… I feel one of the casualties of COVID was a sense of community and connection. Arts & culture are key to regaining community and connection. And… blue sky dream… when council is advocating for “amenities” for new buildings I’d love to consider performance and/or gallery spaces in that mix – as we lost some vital venues due to the pandemic.


Jordan MacDougall, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor

I think there are so many programs and initiatives to support because arts in our city are lacking. I really support the new Camosun film studio and I think there can be some great multi-use functions that can come out of there from community and Camosun users. We need to integrate space for artists in our community. we lack theatre space and lower level creative and preforming space. What I really am drawn to is how we can allow new developments to integrate art into our city for little to no cost. Common areas in buildings can be used/sound proofed so that artistic can use it as a creative space. The outside of buildings can be constructed with art in mind.

I have been in theatre productions and musical theatre is a much more familiar topic to me to me. I think this area is needing much more attention comparatively, post covid, being they relied on viewers. While our schools have theatres our community lacks the same engagement and investment. However, the new mural programs are a great attempt at integrating more art into our city scape. We need to look at systems that allow this without public funding. We need to further public AND private investment. The west coast has some of the best artists and our Indigenous artists are world renowned. Bringing awareness to the lands we live on when integrating art into public spaces is something I really care about and would like to see more of. Music in the park was a great start to utilizing our resources but much more can be done. Art brings people together, heals, and transforms. Its a great path for the causes of reconciliation, mental well-being, and human expression to flow through. Going to theatre and preforming is not only a key part of what has shaped me to who I am, but it also a key sense of community. We humans are creative and dynamic and we need to feed all aspects of ourselves if we truly want to call this place a healthy home.

* I have written this fairly quickly as the campaign is still in full drive, I have not edited this as much as I would like and have more to add. If there are pieces of the puzzle anyone thinks I am missing please reach out.


Leslie Miller-Brooks, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor

Saanich has been developing a healthy connection to the Art community through its Community Arts program which encompasses the CRD Arts Development Service, Exhibitions an ACH award and the Artist in the Community Residency.

The question I would like to ask is, how would the ProArt Alliance of Greater Victoria like to be more involved in the community?

Are there ideas you would like to share with council on this?

Many people have suffered greatly from mental health issues during Covid, perhaps there is a way the Art community could engage with the community at large to recognize this through a healing Art activity. A celebration of resiliency.


Dean Murdock, District of Saanich, Candidate for Mayor

A thriving arts community is an integral component of a healthy, dynamic community. My family has a long-history of involvement in the arts. My wife and daughter are both dancers and my son was a student Kaleidoscope kids program from a very early age. Even I spent time on the stage as a young person before I got into elected politics.

We can better support the arts and our community artists through direct funding and funding of art spaces for performance and visual arts. Saanich has an Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee that has a mandate to support art and artists in our community. We can build upon the success of that committee by ensuring that we are creating more opportunities for artists in our community to utilize Saanich arts spaces (like the Cedar Hill Arts Centre) and showcase their arts at Saanich community events (including Music in the Park) and art installations and exhibits in public spaces.

Saanich Parks, Recreation and Community Services can support arts programming that is intergenerational and culturally inclusive.

In addition to Saanich’s direct support, I am committed to supporting the arts at a regional level, through the regional Arts Commission that supports arts organizations and Saanich participate as one of the Royal Theatre owners. CRD Arts & Culture Support Service provides various grant funding streams to not-for-profit organizations in the region.

The arts are such an important part of a thriving community and contribute to our quality of life. As Mayor, I look forward to working with Council and our regional partners to support a thriving arts community and local artists.


Teale Phelps Bondaroff, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor

Thank you for circulating this survey.


Saanich residents often want to engage in projects to connect neighbours and beautify communities, but do not know how to get started. I will work to hire a social planner who can help guide residents, neighbourhood associations, and other organizations through municipal systems to help make beautiful projects happen. We can also foster community-building in the District by improving and diversifying Saanich’s community grants program.


I grew up in a family of artists, in case the name was not a give away, and have been connected to the arts my entire life. My mother is a print-maker and does watercolour and my father paints in acrylic and oils, and paints murals. They both teach art and growing up we had art classes in our house for children, teens, and adults on most evenings.

One of my current roles is as a volunteer member of the board of the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network, where I lead the Pocket Places Project. This project helps promote, map, stock, and build little free libraries (LFLs) around the CRD. I have run this project since 2017 and since I started we have helped map over 650 LFLs, build over 100, and I have helped distribute (often by bike trailer), over 75,000 books.

I am passionate about placemaking and believe that we can connect people and foster community with how we design public spaces. I have often described LFLs as coral reefs for community, as in addition to sharing books, they help connect people.

Over the past several years I have worked to combine placemaking with road safety by exploring the use of road murals. I outline my work, and the successful pilot I initiated on Falaise Crescent here: https://www.teale.ca/saanich-road-murals

I am very proud of this project but working on it helped me identify some challenges and weaknesses of Saanich’s current support for community projects and public art. It took us almost 3.5 years from my initial proposal to putting brush to pavement. This is a very long time and over the course of this time I had at least 3 proposed locations fall through, as the community groups/associations found the timeline and requirements too onerous. I also had to take an active role in drafting a set of road mural guidelines for the District. I was happy to do this, as I have considerable experience in drafting documents of this kind and in policy-writing, however, the process was onerous and lengthy.


I have learned a number of lessons as someone who has worked on placemaking projects across the region, especially the aforementioned road mural project. Simply put, Saanich is not the easiest municipality in which to do community projects like public art and placemaking initiatives.

In Victoria, if you approach the City with an idea for a cool community project – like an art festival, pole painting, road mural, LFL, etc. they put you in touch with their Street Team and a social planner. Someone who can sit down with you and talk about your project, see if it is doable, and help connect you with people and resources to make that project happen. Resources like the very successful My Great Neighbourhood Grants program (https://www.victoria.ca/EN/main/residents/Neighbourhoods/my-great-neighbourhood-grant-program.html).

Unfortunately, we do not have a social planner in Saanich and as a result, there is no one to guide people through the system, to say ‘Yes, and…’ and help make projects happen. Our granting system is also in need of a major overhaul. We do a fantastic job for grants supporting the removal of invasive species, but can do so much more to support community art and placemaking projects.

If elected, I will work to hire a social planner who can help guide residents, neighbourhood associations, and other organizations through municipal systems to help make beautiful projects happen. We can also foster community-building in the District by improving and diversifying Saanich’s community grants program.


Colin Plant, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor

Thanks for this survey. The opportunity to help support, promote and grow the arts in the region are the main reasons I wanted to be on the CRD Board as an elected official.

I fully support the two main Arts Services that Saanich participates at the CRD: the regional Arts Commission that supports arts organizations and the CRD service that sees Saanich participate as one of the Royal Theatre owners.

I believe that the CRD needs to work to advance both services to become fully regional as recommended by both arts consultants and CRD staff after examining possible options.

We did not achieve these outcomes during the 2018-2022 term but we did forward the topics of full regional participation in arts organizations funding and regional arts facilities to the next strategic plan of the CRD Board (2022-26). I hope that this time we are more successful in getting regional buy-in.

In Saanich I support our Arts and Culture services and also am open to new opportunities to see the arts and arts organizations flourish in the CRD.

The Arts are a key indicator of a community’s health. I fully support the Arts in the same degree I support Regional Parks. I hope that ProArt will help advocate to the new CRD Board to ensure these priorities are advanced.

I wish to remain available to meet with ProArt and discuss the regional arts ecosystem at your leisure. Thanks to you for the work you do to support the arts in our region.

Saanich Councillor and CRD Board Chair


Art Pollard, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor

The major new initiative I would propose is a 1000 seat performance centre designed for music and theatre. We lack a centre, other than UVic or Alix Gooden to truly get top notch performers.

I am an enthusiastic supporter of the entertainment industry and whole heartedly endorse, the proposed movie studio at Camosun, at the former Western speedway site and also, the possibility opposite Mayfair mall.

I look forward to working with others to see these positive developments occur.


Jordan Reichert, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor

I am proud to have been a long time supporter of the arts across Victoria, while also being a graphic design, sketch, and acrylics artist myself. The arts are the heartbeat of a community, they bring life to our streets and expression to our experiences. My belief is that funding for the arts pays dividends and is a core component of a healthy community and local economy.

Saanich is home to a tremendous number of artists, who need more space and recognition to be able to share their creativeness with the Saanich community. That is why I am proposing Saanich establish a new art gallery, to replace or compliment the small one at Cedar Hill. I believe we need an art gallery with its own identity and spirit for the region.

I am also promoting a performance hall for Saanich to bring more theatre, music, dance, culture, and creativity to the region. Potentially the performance hall and art gallery could be connected, with a creative centre for arts education attached.

I would also like Saanich to consider having an artist in residence who would serve an annual term as an ambassador for the arts in the region, much like what Victoria has had. This would also be a link for council to the arts community, so that we can hear their needs for funding and resources and respond accordingly.

Furthermore, I would like to see how we can incorporate housing for artists into our housing strategy, as there are unique challenges for artists in terms of housing and we want to ensure they have the ability to realize their goals without the threat of homelessness or poverty.

I am also proud to be endorsed by Dave Morris, the artistic director of Paper Street Theatre.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond and for all your work supporting the arts!


Mena Westhaver, District of Saanich, Candidate for Councillor

Thank you for your thoughtful question. I am currently on an unpaid leave from my position with Community Services in the District of Saanich. We have an Arts Programmer and I know there is great value of ensuring ART is a part of our community. Our HeARTs project was an example of bringing community together and I would support more projects like this that engage different community members and then leave the legacy of the program throughout community. A similar project was executed along the Gorge waterway – again, another beautiful example of ART in community. On a recent recreation tour in the City of Victoria, we saw multiple ways of how art can be integrated into community spaces such as artwork, art-creations with pieces of material relative to the space for example, benches in an ice rink were made out of old hockey sticks and the benches created a community space and one of my favourite was free-ART spaces where community could visit at any time and participate in ART activities. ART in community is vital and I would promote the current ART initiatives and work with those individuals in the Community ARTS to implement more ART for everyone in community to enjoy. Thank you for asking. Mena



Town of Sidney

Eric Diller, Town of Sidney, Candidate for Councillor

I looked in the 2022-2026 budget. Currently the town of Sidney supports the Arts in the following ways for one time purchase/ maintenance:

  • $10K for the ArtSea post replacement project,
  • $15K sculpture purchase,

In addition to these, the Town is funding the following items with these amounts per year:

  • $10K Voluntary Contribution to the CRD Arts Service
  • $4.5K Increase Annual Funding to Vancouver Island Film Commission
  • $27.3K Tulista ArtSea building rent (2022 cost allocation)

The town also supports events such as the Lantern Festival and the studio tour.

As a member of council, I will continue to support keeping these sources of support going as well as keeping an open mind about other art related events that come up. I believe that art is an important part of any community and is useful for individuals to relive stress as well as society as a whole to foster a sense of connection to place and time.


Steve Duck, Town of Sidney, Candidate for Councillor

I support all initiatives which contribute to and assist local artists and programs in our community.



District of Sooke

Nick Dickinson-Wilde, District of Sooke, Candidate for Councillor

I would support all current arts programs – for example, Sooke Arts Council, Sooke Fine Arts, Philharmonic, Sooke Music Festival, Sooke Country Market (arguable whether that is art related but given the amount of arts and crafts vendors I would say yes). Additionally I believe it would be good to either directly or more likely through partnership/increased funding with SEAPARC to have more music and small summer arts events in parks and more murals and the like.


Dana Lajeunesse, District of Sooke, Candidate for Councillor

My long-term vision of Sooke includes a vibrant town centre with strong connection to the harbour with plenty of shops, brew pubs, restaurants and resort hotels with conference facilities and marinas along the waterfront. Sooke will be a city with a vibrant arts scene surrounded by the natural splendour that we all hold dear, and will welcome visitors from around the world to experience Canada’s South Pacific–the gateway to the wild west coast of British Columbia.

Economic development and diversity remain high on my list of priorities. I believe we need to create an environment that welcomes investment, and I feel arts and culture are often overlooked when discussing economic development. A vibrant arts scene helps to attract and maintain residents and visitors alike and I will be seeking opportunities to create the necessary infrastructure to eternally house the Sooke Fine Arts Show as well as a performing arts centre to serve as an everlasting home for the Sooke Philharmonic and other performing artists.


Anna Russell, District of Sooke, Candidate for Councillor

I’ve been involved in the arts forever (music, dance, theatre, film) and so have many of my family members. (My husband and I met in a choir). In fact I worked for an arts funding organization for several years and as a management consultant I focussed on advising non-profit organizations in the arts.

I don’t think the arts are frills; I think we ignore them at our peril. I don’t think they are just important for economic development, although they are; I think access to the arts is essential for us to thrive. I am interested in exploring artistic events to help build community in different neighbourhoods and to restore a sense of belonging in our town. I’d like to see artists involved in our planning processes to help us envision different options. I believe in investing in arts infrastructure when we have the opportunity. I look forward to learning more about the arts in Sooke and how local government can support the sector.


Tony St-Pierre, District of Sooke, Candidate for Councillor

I support the ongoing work of communities in bloom and the importance of our arts community as a pillar of local economic development. Our artists and their work is especially important in times of change when their perspectives help us to understand the ground that is shifting under our feet.



City of Victoria

Christopher Mark Coleman, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor

Thank you for the question. I have extensive experience as a former 6-term Councillor with the City of Victoria. During part of that time, I was honored to be the Council Liaison to the “Art in Public Places” committee, and the CRD Arts Committee. All these experiences allowed me to be involved (both directly & indirectly) with:

  • the development of the Artist in Residence program (and particularly, the mural projects in the Burnside/Vic West industrial boarder areas);
  • the placement of two memorial statues (Terry Fox at Mile Zero & the Afghanistan Memorial on the Courthouse lawn/playground);
  • the initiation of the Butler Book & the City of Victoria Children’s Book Prizes;
  • the development of the City of Victoria’s Poet Laureate positions;
  • the bid to host the Juno Awards. While ultimately not successful in attracting the national program, it did see 13 municipalities agree to a shared funding process which would then have triggered $1M from the Government of BC. It also gave Victoria the platform to bid for, win & host the Western Canada Music Awards & Music Conference (with 650 music industry delegates … 10% being international delegates!);
  • the inclusion of the James Bay Library Branch in the Capital Park project (I was the James Bay Liaison leading up to the Public Hearing process).

In the next term of Council, I would continue to include the needs of the Arts & Cultural sector in the process of building our community.


Matt Dell, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor

I’m a strong advocate for the arts, cultural and music community in Victoria, with decades of experience as a musician and event organizer – including everything from putting on shows at the Fernwood community hall to touring locally and internationally with my bands, Kincaide (www.kincaideband.bandcamp.com) and Croatia (www.croatia.bandcamp.com). These days, I lead The Big Tree Band, a children’s music group that plays throughout Victoria. Victoria should support its thriving arts and culture sector by providing artists with great venues and practice spaces, and also encourage community involvement. To do this, we must implement strategies in cooperation with the arts community, preserve important venues and provide grant funding for diverse artists to create work for the public.

My plan for strengthening the arts and music community in Victoria is as follows:

#1 – Build a Music City

  • Implement the 2021 “Music Strategy” and make Victoria a destination Music City, a place known for a thriving live music and arts community.
  • Partner with the creative industry to bring more live-music events to the city, including to expand the Eventide Concert Series and bring back FolkFest.
  • Use public funds and development contributions for the city to acquire the Hermann’s Jazz Building to establish three new permanent venues for local arts and music.
  • Establish 10 publicly-owned music rehearsal spaces in the city by 2026.
  • Make the new community centre at 926 Pandora an “arts focused” community space, including 10 low-cost, publicly-owned, music rehearsal spaces.
  • Support the all-ages music scene by giving community centres PA-systems and blanket-insurance policies for all-ages events.
  • Support a new pilot program to address harassment and sexual violence in Victoria’s music and late-night venues.

Strengthen Culture and Public Art

  • Accelerate implementation of the “Create Victoria: Arts and Culture Masterplan” (2018) and encourage new developments to make space for arts.
  • Increase funding for murals and public art throughout the city.
  • Encourage the board of the Royal Theatre and McPherson Playhouse to ensure these venues are available for local artists and events.
  • Find permanent space for the 80+ visual artists currently located in the Rockslide Gallery, which is slated for demolition in a few years.
  • Expand the “My Great Neighbourhood Grant” program to support ongoing/annual arts events.


Marg Gardiner, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor

Support for the arts is vital to the health and wellbeing of a city, especially independent local artists who lack institutional funding.

The City of Victoria can do more to ensure that the arts, in all forms and at all levels, are supported and encouraged.

One example of a grassroots art community is 780 Blanshard. This self-funded collection of over 80 artists includes visual artists, musicians, makers, galleries, and artist-support resources. These are local creators and businesses that have transformed an old building into a vibrant site with artist studios, gallery shows, and events to promote their work, thereby creating an important new arts community. A City initiative to help fund and promote individual efforts such as 780 Blanshard would be a new way for the City to expand the arts in our region.

While this election has not focussed on the arts, we need resolution to the question of the provision and funding of established performance venues/theatres and creative spaces in Victoria and the Region.


Christopher Hanna, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor

Honestly, I do not know what the programs are.

My grandmother was a member of the Sketch Club from before the First World War until her death in 1977.

My father and I are/were water colourists.


Ben Isitt, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor

As your City Councillor and CRD Director, my track record includes:

✓ doubling funding for festivals,

✓ supporting new Arts and Cultural Facilities funding,

✓ spearheading emergency operating funds to ensure that not-for-profit Arts Venues would survive and thrive during Covid-19,

✓ encouraging murals and the My Great Neighbourhoods program,

✓ supporting expansion of CRD Arts funding, and

✓ supporting the expansion of public libraries, including the new sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay Branch.

With your support on October 15, I will continue to advocate for and support the Arts and Cultural sector in the city and region.


Sandy Janzen, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor

Arts and culture are what make a city beautiful and vibrant and a joyful place to be and live! as such I’m a huge supporter of Arts initiatives. I would like to see some kind of program that would allow low income individuals, similar to the access Leisure pass for public pools, that would allow individuals to attend the Ballet or Opera.


David Arthur Johnston, City of Victoria, Candidate for Mayor

As a member of council, which current programs will you support, and/or what new initiatives will you propose that will work directly with the arts community to promote health and wellness for the citizens in your municipality? Is there anything else you would like to share regarding your relationship to the arts in the region?

I will end the addiction epidemic outright thereby making tent-cities tenable. How many artists would rather not pay rent? How many artists would benefit from rents going down across the board because of 10%+ of the population opting to camp in a municipality where crack, crystal meth and heroin no longer exist? How attractive would a city be to masters and wizards that was blanketed in enlightenment and gardens?

In a passed chapter of my life I had an affair with a lady because I got to tell her Art was my middle name, after she told me she took off her clothes for art.

Anyhoo, I am also this city’s only chance to survive into the future with a grain of nobility. So, vote for me lest you be guilty of a literal war crime.

My Platform in a Nutshell- https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bKlu1uWBzGk&t=29s

Candidate for Mayor of Victoria
David Arthur Johnston

FB Campaign page- https://www.facebook.com/DAJ4Mayor


Jason Jones, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor

Victoria is full of architectural as well natural beauty, together they inspire, a great many resident artists, me being one of them. The spectrum of local artists and performer’s is wonderful, it’s something we need to embrace and showcase more.
As a council member I’d work to bring new initiatives as well return others while to spotlighting all levels and flavours of our resident artists.

  1. That’s looking at healing and returning a Busker Festival to Victoria.
  2. Work with SD61 to give our students more community exposure.
  3. Look at including more public art in our community parks, while also encouraging more usage of public squares for local performer’s.


Susan Kim, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor

I will support a circular economy and zero waste businesses in an Arts and Innovation District that also provides low-risk space for artists and tech start-ups, push for more upgrades to downtown streets and public areas that include art and cultural activities and explore Victoria as a Maker Faire location and Maker hub for Vancouver Island.

Additionally, I would advocate for a Youth Indigenous Artist in Residence position and push for more visible Songhees and Esquimalt art, language and culture in public spaces.


Anna King, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor

As an elected member of Victoria’s City Council, I would be in favour of expanding the arts and innovation district currently in the under-utilized North Downtown corridor. Connecting the David Foster pathway and creating public parks and greenspace from the Inner Harbour to the Johnson Street Bridge would be an amazing spot for an amphitheatre for arts and culture like the symphony, theatre, and opera! Because of Covid, we lost so many venue spaces. Victoria needs to reinvest in the shows and community arts programs across the city. As a former Pacific Opera season pass holder and Greater Victoria Art Gallery member, I vehemently believe that the arts is important to our health and wellness.

Further, developing the arts district by bringing the artisans from Rock Bay Downtown, North Downtown has the potential to be much more vibrant. Providing commercial space for artisans to sell creations on the main floor, studios above, and residences above that creates a hub of artists and endless collaboration opportunities.

I’m also in favour of communal, amateur, and interactive art that invites participation. This leads to better mental health and holistic flourishing. As a city councillor, I would love to provide more grants for arts initiatives.


Emmanuel Parenteau, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor

Arts are a wonderful addition to any community. I would like to see a community-led approach such as the Fernwood community. In these scenarios art projects are determined, funded and performed by members of the neighbourhood associations. I do not feel the municipality needs to pay outside artists to come into communities and produce art for said community. Hope this helps.


Derek Pinto, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor

I fully support the proposal of the development of an arts district in the Capital Iron area. I’m a strong proponent of art collectives. I’ve personally been involved in the performing arts and know how much various expressions of oneself in artistic form, can contribute to one’s sense of wellbeing and enjoyment of life. Mural painting programs are a great way to contribute to the city scape, offer employment opportunities, and formulate a unique neighbourhood feel.


Susan Simmons, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor

I am the daughter of and sister to artists. I was raised in an active arts family. I value all forms of art and am happy to support efforts in this area.

I am not privy to all of the information on city sponsored programs so can not comment. What I can say is that if elected you will activity see me supporting art and arts programming.


Tom Sinclair, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor

More than any program, the creative community needs affordable homes.

The art-forward culture of this city is largely responsible for fostering my career as a graphic designer/web developer. Without the opportunities from small, creative, Victoria-based, risk-taking entrepreneurs like those found at Sitka Surfboards (ecologyst), H2 Marketing & Metropol, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do today.

Unfortunately, artists are among those that suffer the most from Victoria’s housing crisis. As a local creative & renter myself, I know this more than most, and I’ve seen countless friends and colleagues suffer because of it. It takes years of dedication and grinding before you start to see returns in any creative field; Victoria can no longer foster a tooth-and-nail lifestyle like this due to the rising cost of living here.

That being said, I’d absolutely support any art-forward programs that came across my desk; I’d love to see more murals/free walls in Victoria, a greater focus on neighbourhood branding (murals, light post banners, etc.), more music festivals, etc.

But again (and I can’t stress this enough), more than any program, ARTISTS NEED AFFORDABLE HOMES. Without available/affordable homes, Victoria will continue to lose our creative community. It’s as simple as that.



Dave Thompson, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor

Arts are critical to building vibrant, engaged local communities. Throughout the pandemic we have seen how important the arts are to our wellbeing. The arts also make a significant contribution to our local economy and tourism. We need to ensure Victoria’s arts sector is well supported in our recovery.

Our arts sector has been facing multiple challenges including the lack of affordable venue spaces, affordability challenges for artists and venues, and lack of consistent, sustaining funding.

I would like to see us ensure we have affordable housing and live/work spaces for our artists and more community arts spaces and would work directly with the arts community to put in place policies and actions that will make this happen.

I would also work with the arts sector to advocate for more reliable provincial and federal funding to support artists and the sector.

Lack of coordination across the region is also a challenge for the arts sector and is a key barrier to progress on performing arts facilities, despite ever growing community need.

I am also running for the CRD Director and would work to support the recommendations the Pro Art Council has made to the CRD Board in the past for full regional participation in the Arts and Culture Support Service and to establish the Performing Arts Facilities Service for the purposes of planning, developing, and funding of performing arts facilities that have regional impact. I would advocate for all municipalities and electoral areas to contribute their share and invest in the stability and sustainability of arts and culture in the Capital Region.


Emmanuel Parenteau, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor

Arts are a wonderful addition to any community. I would like to see a community-led approach such as the Fernwood community. In these scenarios art projects are determined, funded and performed by members of the neighbourhood associations. I do not feel the municipality needs to pay outside artists to come into communities and produce art for said community. Hope this helps.


Michelle Wiboltt, City of Victoria, Candidate for Mayor

Let’s building the Douglas/Discovery’s area’s into an artistic hub. POD villages (low income), the Kwench building as an artistic community centre’s, we’ll have a waterfront sidewalk extension, what else’s? If we can privatize those 70 churches here in Victoria we’d have monies to decide. My relationship to the artsy? I’m an author who writes in poetic prose, games styles, with philosophy at its heart.


Tony Yacowar, City of Victoria, Candidate for Councillor

I have been working in the entertainment industry my whole career. Supporting the arts community is a vital part of maintaining a vibrant and livable city. I support murals in public spaces and maintaining pedestrian streets to allow for live music. I support executing the Victoria Music Strategy to establish Victoria as a world-class music city. This means establishing more music venues and protecting those that we have. We need to encourage the establishment of larger music venues through zoning and regulation changes, and we need to use community amenity contributions from developers to establish smaller publicly-owned venues, theatres and art studios, to allow emerging artists of all types to thrive in the city. We also need to tackle the city’s housing crisis so that the next generation of artists is able to envision Victoria as their home.



Town of View Royal

Don Brown, Town of View Royal, Candidate for Councillor

I would like local artists to have as many opportunities as possible to display and their sell their arts and crafts. I support the West Shore Parks and Recreation to display painting and photographs in the hallways, I would like to see an outdoor bandshell in View Royal where the performing arts could have concerts and play for no cost to local residents. These bandshells have been very successful in other communities and bring entertainment to local families and visitors. I like the container pop ups they have built in Langford for local artisans to display and sell their arts and crafts.


Judy Estrin, Town of View Royal, Candidate for Councillor

I would like to see more art incorporated into our day to day lives. How wonderful it would be to have a 99 seat theatre in View Royal for the production of plays by local area playwrights and other small productions. The Westshore communities are looking at the possibility of an art centre – for theatre, music and dance. We need to push the arts to keep our society vibrant and interesting.


Gery Lemon, Town of View Royal, Candidate for Councillor

CRD Arts Commission trustee and strong supporter of the arts in Greater Victoria.

It’s time for an arts centre – both performing and displaying – on the westshore. There is an abundance of talent in View Royal and beyond and a population base to support a venue for artists to showcase their works.

I would propose a joint ownership model between View Royal, Metchosin, Langford, Colwood and Highlands.


Alison MacKenzie, Town of View Royal, Candidate for Councillor

I believe arts are important for a happy and healthy community. I personally have participated in dance, choir and orchestra throughout my life. There are many opportunities for murals and other public artwork around View Royal. I look forward to the completion of the Scottish Heritage Centre as a possible venue for future arts events and displays.


John Rogers, Town of View Royal, Candidate for Councillor

As a past Council representative / commissioner on the CRD Arts Commission, I actively participated in the support and funding for arts and culture in Greater Victoria. The past term I supported the creation of a municipal Public Art Policy (2021). This coming term I hope the Westshore municipalities can come together and establish the foundation for an Arts and Culture Centre, using Westshore Parks and Rec as a governance model. Besides a Westshore identity, this would also have an environmental benefit of reducing commuter traffic, congestion and GHGs through View Royal. The arts have a strong cultural and historic perspective, and I hope this could be a foundation for arts, culture and heritage (ie, museum) representing the region’s significant cultural and historical diversities. Thank you