Comox Valley 2018 Candidates and the Arts

 

To raise the profile of the arts in the political sphere, and to provide our members with the best arts-related information in making their choices for municipal government October 20, 2018, the Arts Council contacted all municipal candidates (Courtenay, Comox, Cumberland) and regional district candidates (Areas A, B and C) and asked:

  1. How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic future in the City / Town / Village / Regional District (depending on where you are running)?
  2. What do you believe the role of your Council / Board should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibility to the arts?  
  3. Would you work towards developing a public art policy/program?
  4. Is there a meaningful experience you have had with art (theatre, music, media arts, visual, written, etc.) that you would like to share with stakeholders and constituents?

Following are the responses received to date (will be updated as new ones are submitted). Photos are borrowed with thanks from the Comox Valley Record file photos.

To learn more about each of these Candidates and their personal platforms, visit the profiles on our local news sites: Comox Valley Record... if you know of another local response page, please let us know and we’ll add it here.

Please check back, as more will be posted as they are received.  Advance voting days are October 10 & 17. Go to your municipal office to vote ahead of time if you are going to be away on October 20.

Responses are listed in Alphabetical Order.

Daniel Arbour - Running for CVRD Area A

  1. How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic future in the City / Town / Village / Regional District (depending on where you are running)?
    In my Hornby Island locale, according to a survey we completed in 2015 arts is the highest reported income category by number of people. It typically is not the sole source of income, but it is demonstrably central to the economy and interests of our island. In the same survey, it was found that artists also had the highest degree of concern and care for the environment, which leads me to think that having artists in any community is quite desirable.  At the Regional District level, arts and culture feeds directly into our quality of life, and appreciation for little and big things. I see one of art's biggest value as being to inspire us, and sometimes to bring up difficult and complex issues through alternative medium. I love art that challenges us to think about the bigger picture.
  2. What do you believe the role of your Council / Board should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibility to the arts?
    I look forward to familiarize myself with the Comox Valley Arts Council. In my community, the sister organization Hornby Island Arts Council is an important point to gather island artists, not only to showcase their art, but to learn and exchange amongst each other and work on collaborative projects. I definitely appreciate the value that non-profit organizations can bring in support of a community of practice, and looking at the programs of the Comox Valley Arts Council it certainly seems to be the focus and value. Ultimately, I believe the role of the Council should be derived from the needs of its members and partners, whichever those needs may be.
  3.  Would you work towards developing a public art policy/program?
    I would be interested in supporting any effort that builds capacity and excellence in the art, and reviewing existing tax supports from the CVRD so that it maximizes needs and opportunities for artists in the Comox Valley.
  4. Is there a meaningful experience you have had with art (theatre, music, media arts, visual, written, etc.) that you would like to share with stakeholders and constituents?
    For the past three years I have been the General Manager of the Hornby Festival, a great art organization. I have absolutely loved getting an inside look at arts production, and the out-of-this-world skills of the musicians that perform here. I also have visited a couple of artist studios in Baynes Sound and Denman island, and such stops always enrich my visit, in addition to providing some useful gifts or keepsakes. In terms of meaningful experience, I recently witnessed the raising of the first totem pole on Hornby Island by the K'omoks First Nation. I was so happy that they took the initiative to do this, and it was a great moment for the community as a whole. It made me reflect on how we all got here, and the totem pole will serve as a permanent reminder of our historical roots as well as contributing to our "aesthetic of place".

Leslie Baird - Running for Mayor of Cumberland

The Cumberland Village Council has included in our 2018 Strategic Priorities list to develop a public art policy within the next four years.  Every year council meets to review our list of projects and move forward items.

Our newly formed Economic Development Steering committee board members have experience in economic, cultural, heritage and environment. This group will be working with our coordinator to promote the vision of the residents of Cumberland.

The Cumberland Community Grant Program provides funding to social, cultural , recreation and environment services programs and special events within the Village on a yearly bases.

We are very fortunate to live in a community that offers resident and visitors the experience of many different festivals and events throughout the year. We have something for everyone to enjoy!

Alex Bissinger - Running for Comox Council

  1. How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic future in the City / Town / Village / Regional District (depending on where you are running)?
    In the Town of Comox, I see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic future by showcasing local art by encouraging exhibits or events in the new pavilions down at the marina, as well as continuing participation of artists in the annual Filberg Festival and Nautical Days markets and summer concert series. Also, I would love to see more events in Comox for the public and tourists alike showcasing local talent. An interesting event that Cumberland hosts yearly is the Cumberland Home and Garden Tour, and it would be great to create such an event in Comox as well, to which people would pay for tickets, and make their way around town via walking or biking, and displaying local talent whether it be through art, landscape design, or interior design of their homes- lots of options for showcasing local talent. Such art walking tours, or art in the park event are to be considered as we maintain a vibrant economic future for Comox.
  2. What do you believe the role of your Council / Board should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibility to the arts?
    As somewhat discussed in question 3, the Council could support a public art policy in order to beautify and culturally enrich our Town and create opportunities for local artists. We could start by including art in many construction projects (new buildings, parks, roads) perhaps more creative crosswalks (like Tofino), more murals, and utility boxes painted. Furthermore we could have public art displayed in parks or assembly areas (fountains, reliefs, sculptures, murals).
  3. Would you work towards developing a public art policy/program?
    I'd love to get more ideas on how to develop one and get an idea of what kind of operating budget would be required. I would also like to see what kind of support such a policy would get from residents in Comox. As I am not familiar with how public art policies and programs are set up, I would turn to the public for a proposal and for guidance. I would imagine there would be opportunity of partnering and collaborating with local art groups . From what I see of the Public Art Program in Vancouver, public spaces throughout the City have Art in one form or another, and they serve as a tool for attracting tourists and making the City more beautiful, culturally rich, and interesting.
  4. Is there a meaningful experience you have had with art (theatre, music, media arts, visual, written, etc.) that you would like to share with stakeholders and constituents?
    My aunt recently passed away at the age of 48, and she was an interior designer in Shanghai. I was lucky enough to inherit all of her artwork (paintings and drawings which she made or artwork she picked up all around the world during her many travels).  I am so thankful I was able to keep the pieces that reminded me most of her, or that triggered a special memory of us together. I find art to be so personal and subjective, and having artwork that she loved and specifically selected keeps her connected to me at all times, even though she is gone.

Vickey Brown - Running for Cumberland Council

  1. How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic futurein the City / Town / Village / Regional District (depending on where you are running)?
    Arts and culture have played a huge role in the development of the Village! They were a key component of our economic development committee conversations and will be a part of our economic development plans in the future. Arts, culture and heritage help create a sense of community, draw people together and create a common identity. 
  2. What do you believe the role of your Council / Board should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibility to the arts?
    I think we can be facilitators, providing support and appropriate mechanisms for developing and supporting arts and culture organizations, events and activities within the Village. This can include funding, space, grants in aid etc as well as an openess and encouragement for developing new arts and culture events/activities.
  3. Would you work towards developing a public art policy/program?
    Yes 
  4. Is there a meaningful experienceyou have had with art (theatre, music, media arts, visual, written, etc.) that you would like to share with stakeholders and constituents?
    Too many to count! As a trustee, I have had the opportunity to watch our high school students perform improv on a number of occasions and am thrilled that our school district supports this program.I would love to see more varied arts exposure at all levels in our schools. I love what the arts community has done for Cumberland, from live music events to murals and the museum and everything in between. 

Will Cole-Hamilton - Running for Courtenay Council

  1. How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic future in the City?
    I see a vibrant arts and culture scene as an economic asset and a necessary part of any vibrant and thriving community.
    A recent study by Nanos Research which interviewed 500 Canadian skilled workers found that: "Among skilled workers, 65% of survey respondents were in agreement that “a thriving arts cultural scene is something I would look for when considering moving to a new community” (31% agree + 34% somewhat agree). Similarly, 64% of businesses agreed that “a thriving arts cultural scene is something that makes it (would make it) easier to attract to talent to the community” (35% agree + 29% somewhat agree)."   http://www.hillstrategies.com/content/social-and-economic-benefits-arts-and-culture

    A lively arts and cultural scene is an asset which is key to attracting skilled workers to our community and is a driver of economic growth.
  2. What do you believe the role of your Council / Board should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibility to the arts?
    The City should be working closely with partners like the Elevate community, the Downtown BIA (in terms of cultural events like the highly successful Market Day, Summer Night Markets, murals) and individuals (like Jamie McCue who organized and recently hosted Dub in the Park) to find ways to promote public art events.  Here are a couple of specific ways that the City could assist in promoting:
    - The City should be more actively promoting arts events on its website.  While there is currently a link to comoxvalleyarts.com - it would be useful to promote Comox Valley Arts Council events and initiatives directly on the City website and Facebook and Twitter.
    - The City could promote arts and cultural events on the wooden fence that surrounds the old theatre site on 5th street.  A colourful guide could be posted on the fence four times a year, one for each new season. It is a prominent location which would reach residents and tourists, reminding them of upcoming events in our arts scene.  As potential new residents often stop to check out downtown, it would also act as a draw (tying in to the statistic quoted above that a lively arts scene is a key element of the decision to relocate) to those considering a move to Courtenay.
    - The City should create a special licence category for people who organize gatherings where work by local artists and artisans is sold.  I was told by Karen Day, who hosts a delightful Gypsy Market at her home once a month during the summer, that such sales had to be licenced as “multi-family garage sales” and as a result could only occupy 100 square meters and could only occur four times a year (she complies fully with all of these restrictions, but would like to have the opportunity to support more artists and to hold sales more frequently).  As a city we should embrace these sorts of events, they bring people together, they provide a market for working artists and artisans and the enrich the fabric of our communities. I believe that a category of licence for multi-vendor sales should be created, allowing markets to be held as often as weekly, with the proviso that all items sold be made by the vendor themselves.
  3.  Would you work towards developing a public art policy/program?
    Yes, I would support the development of a public art policy/program through consultation with local artists and arts organizations and community members.
    Public art comes in many forms, one of the most enduring and beloved is the mural.  I would like to focus a public arts policy on increased support for murals - both in downtown and other locations around the city.  Famously, Chemainus made a major investment in murals which transformed its economy - their Town council worked to gather funding partners in the private and corporate sectors as well as the federal and provincial governments.
    While the City has provided occasional ad hoc support through Grants in Aid (which are approved each year), the existing downtown murals have been funded by local businesses, corporate donations and private fundraising.  I would like to see the City formalize its support by creating a public art policy which focuses on murals. A way of getting this off the ground with minimal expense to the City would be to bring on a coop student from VIU to work with the City to learn about successful efforts elsewhere, and to create a policy for us here.   I spoke to Amber Zirnhelt, Campbell River's Manager of Community Planning and Development, who said that she consistently found these sorts of collaborations to be a win-win - increasing staff capacity and sharing a useful learning experience with a student.
  4. Is there a meaningful experience you have had with art (theatre, music, media arts, visual, written, etc.) that you would like to share with stakeholders and constituents?
    I was reminded of the power of art earlier this year when I was fortunate enough to participate in the Blanket Exercise, led by Keisha Everson.  The Blanket Exercise is an interactive performance piece, designed to put one in the shoes of First Nations people. It began with the Native Sons Hall main floor covered with many dozens of blankets, representing the land before colonization.  Each of us stood on this vast open expanse. As the performance progressed the speakers read out statements about the treatment of First Nations through history. Blankets were removed as land was taken, participants were told to leave the blankets because their communities had been starved or infected with smallpox blankets.  By the time Residential Schools were announced, there were only a few of us left, balancing on blankets the size of dish towels, our children gone or dead and our land poisoned or stolen.
    It was an immensely powerful experience - I found it difficult to hold back tears.  Two elders slowly moved through the room, comforting the (largely white) participants, rubbing our backs and soothing us.
    I could have spent days reading reports about these events - but it would never have the deep, visceral power of a live interactive performance.  Art moves people, it changes them, and that is how we grow.

Don Davis - Running for Comox Council

  1. How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic future in the City / Town / Village / Regional District (depending on where you are running)?
    They contribute to our community by way of attracting tourists, providing jobs, and enhancing our environment with interesting displays.

  2. What do you believe the role of your Council / Board should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibility to the arts?
    To assist with incentives to allow entrepreneurs to establish, I was instrumental in a new , rather than refurbishing the old, library.  This allowed for space for the Archives and Museum and the Art Gallery. I have felt all along that the whole old library building should have been dedicated to those functions.
  3. Would you work towards developing a public art policy/program?
    Yes
  4. Is there a meaningful experience you have had with art (theatre, music, media arts, visual, written, etc.) that you would like to share with stakeholders and constituents?
    When on Council, I was approached by an CVAG member for support.  At first I was reluctant but she educated me on the value of these facilities. Please note attached for how she felt about that interaction. I apologise for the card being on it’s side but computers are not my strong suite.

Brennan Day - Running for Courtenay Council

  1. How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic future in the City / Town / Village / Regional District (depending on where you are running)?
    While the focus of my platform is not specific to addressing Arts and Culture, I support initiatives and programming through the City that is funded through the gaming fund. Ensuring we have vibrant Arts and Culture in our community is critical to maintaining the work/life balance we all so love about the Comox Valley.
  2. What do you believe the role of your Council / Board should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibility to the arts?
    Courtenay Council should act as a strong advocate for assisting in accessing grant money from the Provincial and Federal governments to ensure that we can continue to build on our amazing inventory of cultural inventory here in the Comox Valley.
  3. Would you work towards developing a public art policy/program?
    While this is not one of my main concerns in this election, I would be supportive of any Councillor that wanted to spearhead this type of initiative.
  4. Is there a meaningful experience you have had with art (theatre, music, media arts, visual, written, etc.) that you would like to share with stakeholders and constituents?
    While growing up in the Comox Valley, I was involved in CYMC and our regional Concert Band as a classically trained upright bass player who had the pleasure to be trained by the late great Harry Hill. I have a great respect and appreciation for the arts, and it’s importance to building a vibrant community. I will be an advocate for arts initiatives that contribute to the overall health of our local culture.

Darwin Dzuba - Running for Courtenay Council

  1. The future economic contributions to the city would be best developed by the EDC, they have the resources to plan finance,and promote the arts sector.
  2. I think the City Council should support infrastructure that gives access to citizens, a arts supply store with access to a kiln etc.  I would also like to work towards re building the Riverside wall, and a complimentary sculpture for the civic centre.
  3. Art has the ability to reduce stress and is an important part of a holistic life, I would like to promote access to increase citizen participation. Maybe have a window of the Art Gallery for display of amateur works.

Jim Elliot - Running for CVRD Area A

  1. How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic future in the City / Town / Village / Regional District (depending on where you are running)?
    Until now I had no idea how many people derived income from their creative work. It is apparent that we need to encourage and support the Arts as part of our economic base.
  2. What do you believe the role of your Council / Board should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibility to the arts?
    Bring more awareness through sponsoring events that promote the arts.
  3. Would you work towards developing a public art policy/program?
    I would need more information on what the vision is for this policy
  4. Is there a meaningful experience you have had with art (theatre, music, media arts, visual, written, etc.) that you would like to share with stakeholders and constituents?
    Nothing really stands out in my mind, but I have really enjoyed the theatre performances that I have gone to at the SID

Erik Eriksson - Running for Mayor of Courtenay

When working to attract new economic investment in our community, we will need to promote these attributes:

Geography – mountains, valley, sea

Climate – moderate West Coast

Recreation – skiing, mountain biking, kayaking, sports

Arts, Music, Culture – festivals, performances, choirs, arts council

Why would anybody not want to locate their enterprise in the Comox Valley.  We just have to go after them.

Our role as a Council is to develop a partnership with the Arts Council for the purpose of growing the region’s arts, music and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibility to the arts.

We should work together as a partnership towards developing a public art policy/program.

Meaningful Experience?

I am fortunate to be a member of the Beech Street Players.  Every year, in partnership with Sunrise Rotary, we put on three performances of a musical dinner theatre in the Florence Filberg Centre as a community fund raiser.  Our ensemble performs a variety of popular songs, one of which is always a rock and roll piano number, which I get to play. People really seem to like it and that means a lot to me.

Ron Freeman - Running for Comox Council

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this survey.  Below you will find my responses. Should you need clarification or would like more information please don't hesitate to contact me.

  1. How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic future in the City / Town / Village / Regional District (depending on where you are running)?
    I believe the arts and culture are vital to the economic future of Comox as is evidenced by the Filberg Festival, Nautical Days, Originals Art show, the Shellfish Festival and the K'omoks Nations Aboriginal Days. These draw a large and diverse audience which adds to the economy through accommodation, restaurant patronage and increased traffic through the local businesses.
  1. What do you believe the role of your Council / Board should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibility to the arts?
    I am unsure as to what cultural infrastructure is referring to. I believe it is incumbent on Council to seek as many ways as possible to promote the arts and diverse cultures as possible. Partnering with various arts organizations and cultural organizations and giving them a public platform would be a good start. Putting arts and cultural subsidies in the budget would also show its commitment to the arts and culture
  1. Would you work towards developing a public art policy/program?
    Most definitely!
  2. Is there a meaningful experience you have had with art (theatre, music, media arts, visual, written, etc.) that you would like to share with stakeholders and constituents?
    As a college student I was able to travel extensively with the Drama group ans as we portrayed dramas based on real life events you could observe the significant impact on many who were in the audience. On a trip to Europe I was able to enjoy a production of Les Miserables in an outdoor setting (with a partial castle wall as a backdrop) in Germany. Although I don't speak German I knew enough of the story line to enter into the production and experience the triumph and tragedy of it.  

David Frisch - Running for Courtenay Council

I’d like to thank all those who have stood for our community. We are a truly rich and diverse group and I think we should invest to strengthen those cultural connections!

 

 

Arzeena Hamir - Running for CVRD Area B

  1. How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic future in the City / Town / Village / Regional District (depending on where you are running)?
    Arts and Culture are what make a regional livable and create a sense of place and community cohesion. It’s absolutely essential for all levels of government to have strong Arts & Culture programming and support.  From Festivals to Art Shows, Concerts to Fiddlejams, we also rely on this sector as an economic driver.
  2. What do you believe the role of your Council / Board should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibility to the arts?
    As a CVRD Rep, I would first want to hear from the Arts Council what the the current state of Arts & Culture programming in the valley is and what the needs are. Depending on what level of jurisdiction the needs fell into, I’d push for a strategy to meet those needs, with partnerships from all levels of government that can help provide funding.
  3. Would you work towards developing a public art policy/program?
    Absolutely! I lived in the City of Richmond before moving here and all new developments are required to install public art. I love the murals that currently are in downtown Courtenay and want to see this expanded into media, in a coordinated way.
  4. Is there a meaningful experience you have had with art (theatre, music, media arts, visual, written, etc.) that you would like to share with stakeholders and constituents?
    I chose to move to the Comox Valley for three reasons: the climate/soil, the vibrant farmers market, and because I had heard so much about events such as MusicFest and the World Community Film Festival. To me, those events “branded” the community as one that cared about food, culture and social justice. That cemented my choice of community to move to!

Doug Hillian - Running for Courtenay Council

  1. How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic future in the City of Courtenay?
    I see arts and culture as a vital component of our community’s current and future economic vibrancy. Many of our citizens make their living through art, music, theatre and performing arts, creating a market that reaches local residents, tourists and connoisseurs beyond our borders. While contributing to the economy in their own right, arts and culture have spin-off economic benefits by bringing people into the community who spend on other goods and services. Arts and culture also draw people out to events, like plays, concerts, gallery showings and festivals, with resulting economic and social benefits. Our Valley community has a rich tapestry of creative people, including First Nation citizens, long-time residents and relative newcomers, and we are renowned for our artisans, musicians and performers. We can continue to build on this in many ways by working together as a community.
  1.  What do you believe the role of your Council should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibility to the arts?
    I think we should continue to provide (and expand as able) financial support to the theatre, the art gallery and the Arts Council, while also supporting events like Elevate the Arts, Musicfest, Potlatch 67-67, DCBIA murals, youth projects, etc. We can also purchase and display art in public buildings and support arts and cultural initiatives with our dollars and our engagement. We can also be more proactive and open to working with the arts and cultural communities to address increased accessibility, while also responding to citizen initiatives. As a small example, I will soon be taking a motion to Council regarding a citizen engagement painting project for the hydro poles along the new complete street project on 5th St.
  1. Would you work towards developing a public art policy/program?
    I had the opportunity to meet the co-ordinator of Vancouver’s public art program when she visited our local gallery a couple of years ago and was very interested in such a program. I regret that I have found time to pursue that further but now that I have retired from a very demanding day job, if privileged to serve on Council again, I would be willing to sit down with local people and explore how we might foster supportive policy and programming here, both within the City and as a region.
  1. Is there a meaningful experience you have had with art (theatre, music, media arts, visual, written, etc.) that you would like to share with stakeholders and constituents?
    - One of my first initiatives on Council was to collaborate with community agencies to bring the One World Youth theatre group to Courtenay for International Human Rights Day, a positive and memorable response to some significant incidents of hate crime in our community.
    - I have been singing in the Just in Time Choir the past ten years and have seen the power of music to engage and transform. I particularly enjoyed being part of the pop up choir at the Elevate the Intersection event last summer when we celebrated the rainbow crosswalk that our Council approved.
    - I also recently took part in a youth media event, sponsored by the Art Gallery I believe, where I was interviewed by a young film maker regarding the Kus-kus-sum project. This was an example of an artistic medium promoting youth engagement, environmental restoration and community reconciliation with our Indigenous citizens.
    Those are some examples among many profound moments I have experienced connected to arts and culture.

Jesse Ketler - Running for Cumberland Council

  1. How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic future in the City / Town / Village / Regional District (depending on where you are running)?
    The Arts have been a huge part of making Cumberland an attractive, vibrant place to live. The music scene here has put Cumberland on the map and our public art has become part of the Village’s identity. I see the future of the Village supporting and promoting the Arts, through social procurement avenues and possibly more directly through the creation of an Arts committee.
  2. What do you believe the role of your Council / Board should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibility to the arts?
    I think that local government can absolutely play a role. Our newly established Ec Dev committee is going to look at ways that the Arts can be bolstered to be more of an economic driver in our community. I would love to see the Ilo Ilo be restored and have regular shows that draw audiences from all over the island.
    I think that we need to do more to promote music and the arts in school. Our vision for the community school is to be less siloed and have better integration with the community, where mentorship is a big part of schooling. I could envision great things coming from introducing the arts to kids through mentorship in a way that inspires them to be creative and live their dreams.
  3. Would you work towards developing a public art policy/program?
    Yes, the development of a public art policy is a medium term strategic priority of the Village meaning that we intend to complete this within the next 4 years.
  4. Is there a meaningful experience you have had with art (theatre, music, media arts, visual, written, etc.) that you would like to share with stakeholders and constituents?
    I have a meaningful experience with art every day! Whether it is a poem that touches me, or a piece of music that lifts me or my children’s art that inspires me. It is a form of expression that leaves all the trivialities and cynicism aside and gives true and direct communication from the heart. I don’t know where I would be without it.

Roger Kishi - Running for Cumberland Council

  1. The Village of Cumberland already has a vibrant arts & culture presence. It will and is an important component of our developing economic development strategy that Council has approved.
  2. Council’s role is to provide the tools to foster cultural infrastructure and accessibility to the arts. At the same time, they need to allow room for things to generate in our communities. As an individual, I believe that it is important for me to attend arts & culture events/ venues as much as I can. It is also important to foster diversity in all forms in our community.
  3. I put forward the development of a public art policy for the Village of Cumberland in my first term on Council. That objective is in the Village’s Strategic Priorities as along term goal. I continue to be committed to see this coming to fruition.   https://cumberland.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/2018-Strat-priorities-FINAL.pdf
  4. In my past, I have volunteered doing videography for public television. (Working TV- Shaw Vancouver) I truly believe that democracy needs to include comprehensive citizen engagement. That is a core principle to why I involved in politics. Also in the Village’s Strategic Priorities is “an ongoing civic engagement process,” and “use new and emerging technologies for internal and external communications.” This is something that I put forward, and had accepted as a Council priority.

Kiyoshi Kosky - Running for Courtenay Council

  1. How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic future in the City?
    Art and Culture Enrich our Lives
    After consulting with one of the Comox Valley Arts Council members, it was brought to my attention funding the base operations can be a struggle. I propose we fund the base operations from the Gaming Reserve Fund. The Official Community Plan speaks to the historical support and the need for continued support as a center piece of the community. Arts and Culture must be supported to keep our community healthy. We can lobby our other neighbouring local governments to share the cost of funding the base operations. The base funding of Comox Valley Arts Council meets the Regional Growth Strategy Goals. The Public Health and Safety goal is met. Funding the base operation of Comox Valley Arts Council is congruent with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Canada has committed to fulfilling these goals.
  •         Support the Coastal Co-Working Monthly Mini Maker Market
  •         Support the Courtenay farmers market
  •         Continue support of Vancouver Island Musicfest
  •         Continue to support Comox Valley Pride and Pride Week
  •         Continue to support raising the pride flag at city hall during Pride Week
  •         Maintain the Pride Diversity Crosswalk at Duncan and 5th Street
  •         Continue to support the street party event for the Pride Diversity Crosswalk called Elevate the Intersection
  •         Support and improve the busking program
  •         Support the Summer Night Markets facilitated by the Comox Valley Arts Council and the Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association
  •         Support the Comox valley Arts Council spring studio tour
  •         Create a home business by-law to permit artists to sell pieces from home
  •         Continue support for farm cycle tour through the Comox Valley Economic Development society.
  •         Continue municipal support for Sid Williams Theater
  •         Direct the partially Courtenay funded Comox Valley Economic Development Society to increase support to arts and culture

2. What do you believe the role of your Council / Board should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibility to the arts?

Revitalization of the Downtown Core Currently, there is a passionate group of Comox Valley citizens working on advancing a bold vision for Courtenay’s downtown core. In this collaborative, long-term vision, the community would buy the old Thrifty’s site in partnership with the municipality. The site can host a local farmer’s market hub creating food security in the valley, small business can benefit from utilizing the building, and a technology hub could bring small tech businesses to the valley. The Comox Valley Arts Council could create a cultural hub in the building, and a place of learning could be connected to the tenants in the building. Renewable energy could be the main source of energy consumption, providing long term savings. The Official Community Plan fits this vision for the downtown core, which is currently being financially assessed. The potential to create an amazing space is at our doorstep. These ideas illustrate the energy and passion of a caring community, and the possibility of creating a solution dealing with multiple social issues is exciting. As well, the long-term vision would create sustainable economic benefits. Affordable rental stock housing can be created. One model currently operating is Whistler’s Housing Authority. Whistler’s model demonstrates the ability of a loan to be serviced from rental income, including property management fees, maintenance fees, and a reserve fund for future capital projects on the site. The model also demonstrates a substantial revenue stream for the municipality after the debt is fully serviced. This revenue could be reinvested back into more affordable housing projects. The Whistler model shows renters’ cost is substantially lower than market value. The goal would be to meet the true definition of affordability. There is a possibility to use the Affordable Housing Reserve fund to fund the rental housing portion of the vision. Consultation with and support from the Coalition to end Homelessness and support from them is an important piece of the puzzle. The old Thrifty’s site vision meets the Regional Growth Strategy Goals of housing, local economic development, infrastructure, food systems, and climate change, and is congruent with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

I propose we fund the base operations from the Gaming Reserve Fund. The Official Community Plan speaks to the historical support and the need for continued support as a center piece of the community.

  •         Public art installations
  •         Maintaining public space for arts and cultural events
  •         Promote and fund Comox Valley Arts Council

3. Would you work towards developing a public art policy/program?
Yes, I would support public art policy/program. The Official Community Plan speaks to the historical support and the need for continued support as a center piece of the community. Arts and Culture must be supported to keep our community healthy.

4.)  Is there a meaningful experience you have had with art?
I recently attended the Kumugwe Cultural Society’s opening presentation of “Potlatch 67–67: An Indigenous Art Showcase in the Comox Valley.” This collaboration between First Nations and non-First Nations community members is a testament to the power of reconciliation through art and culture. Comox Valley citizens can understand the past and present effects of continued colonization. Students from Courtenay and Campbell River school districts will be touring the exhibition with curriculum built around it. The power to heal and move forward together requires action like this. The power to create change and express yourself can never be underestimated. Arts and Culture must be supported to keep our community healthy and heal past experiences. The base funding of Comox Valley Arts Council meets the Regional Growth Strategy Goals. The Public Health and Safety goal is met.

The Courtenay Official Community Plan states:

VISION AND STRATEGY

Section 2.0

2.1

Vision Following a community wide consultation process that included a mail-out of 9500 questionnaires and focus group sessions, several goals and strategies were identified. We found there was a high degree of public interest in the future of the City. The vision for the City of Courtenay is for a City that is unique and different from other communities. It is to become the most liveable community in the province. It can be expressed as having:

  •         A reputation as the premier regional centre for arts and culture.

CULTURE, HERITAGE AND THE ARTS

Enhance Courtenay’s reputation as the premier regional centre for arts and culture.  

Strategy

  •         Adopt and implement the recently-prepared Arts and Culture Policy, which offers a series of specific actions for the City to take. (see Section 4.8)
  •         Demonstrate how your community values, preserves and manages, for the benefit of the community, its cultural heritage and its built and natural, historical and national heritage.

4.8        CULTURE

4.8.1 Introduction

Arts and Culture are recognized by the City as essential ingredients of a vital community, and indeed, the City has historically provided major capital investments and ongoing operational funding in support of the Arts and Culture.

4.8.2 Goals

  1. To recognize arts and culture as a fundamental ingredient for a vibrant, healthy, active and sustainable community, with many social and economic benefits.
  2. To actively demonstrate support for arts and culture.
  3. To show leadership in promoting arts and culture, both within and outside the community.

4.8.3 Policies

  1. Consider the arts and culture in the preparation of all city policies.
  2. Designate specific resources for the arts and culture.
  3. Play a role in providing physical infrastructure for arts and culture, including buildings, public spaces, and parks.
  4. Support marketing efforts which include the arts and culture as a key attraction of the Comox Valley.
  5. Include arts and culture, including public art, in urban design and planning.
  6. Provide leadership in building regional arts and culture strategies, involving municipalities, the Regional District, the School District and North Island College.
  7. Facilitate access to the arts and culture for all citizens.
  8. Support youth as the next generation of artists, audience, organizers, and volunteers.

Thank you for your participation and time in maintaining our healthy community. You can view my campaign website at kosky.ca and you can view my Facebook campaign page at @KiyoshiKoskyCourtenayCouncil. You will find the rest of my platform on my website.

Eric Krejci - Running for Cumberland Council

  1. How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic future in the City / Town / Village / Regional District (depending on where you are running)?
    I know how many talented people we have in the Comox Valley (and there is a lot), I think it is and should remain a big part of our community. It brings us together and the economic impacts are massive. Every time there is a large venue within the village of Cumberland local merchants benefit from it through sales of our fabulous pizza to purchasing goods at the Rusty Rooster and all our other wonderful local businesses.
  2. What do you believe the role of your Council / Board should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibility to the arts?
    As a Cumberlander, I know how Cumberland supports Music Fest and Cumberland Village Works which produces the largest music venues in the Comox Valley. The role of council is to continue to support music, arts, and culture by listening to the needs of the people who are doing this important work. I also believe it is council’s job to support the work of CCSS in providing their programming at a low or free cost to our youth.
  3. Would you work towards developing a public art policy/program?
    Absolutely, yes. I am already working to support its development with some very dear and talented friends, one of which is the production manager for Music Fest and continues to bring in talent into our community.
  4. Is there a meaningful experience you have had with art (theatre, music, media arts, visual, written, etc.) that you would like to share with stakeholders and constituents?
    A meaningful experience I’ve had is my neighbourhood’s annual fall block party. With support from the neighbourhood I have organized a block party with live music out of my garage, this gave us the opportunity to bring our community together from ages 8-80. I am also a proud member of Music Fest family. We have stuck together through many years and they have helped me through transitions in my life. Because of the people I have met through arts and music, I have become a better person.

Penny Marlow - Running for Courtenay Council

  1. How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic future in the City / Town / Village / Regional District (depending on where you are running)?
    Arts and Culture has been and, hopefully, will continue to be an important part of the Valley’s future, for both the economy and social fabric. Communities are more than just buildings and neighbourhoods, they are people and interactions. Arts and Culture strengthen and enrich communities.
    ARTS CENTRE of EXCELLENCE
    We must develop new and innovative programs to encourage and promote our artists.  We should be promoting the Comox Valley as an ARTS CENTRE of EXCELLENCE. We want to be known as the place for all artists to live, work and develop their skills, along with a place where supporters and tourists to visit.
  2. What do you believe the role of your Council / Board should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibility to the arts?
    Local governments in the valley must continue to support this industry by developing policies that encourage these small businesses to flourish.  Each urban area in the valley can establish its own Arts and Culture district, but at the same time must work collaboratively to encourage this industry throughout the valley.
  3. Would you work towards developing a public art policy/program?
    Yes.  I will listen, learn and be supportive.  We need the Comox Valley Arts Council to bring forward their members’ ideas and perspectives.  City Council needs your input and collaboration in order to develop supporting policies and programs.
  4. Is there a meaningful experience you have had with art (theatre, music, media arts, visual, written, etc.) that you would like to share with stakeholders and constituents?
    When I think of Art in the Valley, Anne Minard immediately springs to my mind.   I think of her big beautiful smile and laughter. Anne helped organize the original Arts Alliance and Renaissance Fair, which showcased local arts and crafts.  Then she went on to start the first Art Gallery in the valley. Anne was a great conversationalist and a real force in the Art movement in Courtenay. She was an inspiration!  We miss her, but I have lots of happy memories of those years.

Stephanie McGowan - Running for Comox Council

  1. How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic future in the City / Town / Village / Regional District (depending on where you are running)?
    Comox is a hub of creativity. With an abundance of talented resident artists and with the renowned Filberg Festival, an integral part of our community, arts & culture is embedded in the framework of our town. I believe that supporting the role of the local artists is imperative to our economic future. We also need to find more ways to celebrate, protect and acknowledge our heritage. See answer 2 for more in depth details.  
  2. What do you believe the role of your Council / Board should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibility to the arts?
    Comox is already a big supporter of arts and culture. The Town provides the building and some funding for our Comox Archives and Museum. This building also houses the Pearl Ellis Gallery. Comox Nautical Days provides a venue for the Valley's local crafters and a place for free entertainment. The Town also supports and assists the Filberg Lodge Society, in it's annual Filberg Festival and maintains the grounds of this incredible heritage site. At a regional level, Comox makes a financial contribution to the Sid Williams Theatre and the Comox Valley Art Gallery. However there is much more that can be done to expand the Town's involvement in the arts and cultural infrastructure. Some communities encourage artwork as an element in new development and I would like to see us explore the implications of this for Comox. Arts and culture is an integral part of the Comox Valley with a large population of artists, musicians, and a very supportive population. We are also blessed with a rich history dating back long before colonization and are fortunate that the K'omoks First Nations is very open to sharing their heritage, including beautiful totems in public places including Marina Park. The past informs the present and leads to a more rich and diverse future. I would like to see in the up coming review of Comox's Official Community Plan, that we look more deeply at the opportunities including the experience of other communities, for expanding access to arts and culture. And that through the Regional District, we review what we currently do and further explore how we, together, we can support the region's arts and cultural infrastructure.
  3. Would you work towards developing a public art policy/program?
    I would definitely be open to looking at all aspects of a public art policy/program and there are many examples out there from other communities. I would also include in this an in-depth look at the grants available in this area as well as how the private sector can contribute. There is catharsis and healing in art and its incorporation into the public realm opens it up for people of all socio-economic groups.
  4. Is there a meaningful experience you have had with art (theatre, music, media arts, visual, written, etc.) that you would like to share with stakeholders and constituents?
    I have never been one to count myself an artist but an admirer of the arts. While I consider myself a beginner, I love to cross stitch and paint, and have always been an avid supporter of local bands, as we have always had an immense amount of incredibly talented musicians in the valley. As a youth in the valley, I was involved in first 'Symphonic Niche' and varying youth shows in the area, and have always appreciated my time in such an incredibly exuberant and expressive group. I learned so much about self-expression that continues to be a strong part of my sense of individuality to this day.

Pat McKenna - Running for Comox Council

  1.  How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic future in the City / Town / Village / Regional District (depending on where you are running)?
  2. What do you believe the role of your Council / Board should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibility to the arts?
    I see questions 1 and 2 as symbiotic. Art and Culture must be interwoven into the fabric of a community.  I am a tremendous supporter of the Arts and I will be advocating for it continuously as we move Como forward.  I would be very interested in advocating for a presentation space for Artists, musicians and theatre goers in Comox.  A smaller venue than the Sid Williams Theatre but one that may emulate Chemainus as Comox already has exceptional dining opportunities.  Theater, visual and musical performances could augment that experience and would allow the arts to be an economic engine. Comox Valley Economic Development Society could play a strong role in assisting event attraction through marketing support.
  3. Would you work towards developing a public art policy/program?
    Yes, I would advocate toward policy and programs that support education of the arts.  I feel it is so important for all the arts and culture agencies to work together to ensure accountability to the collective municipalities in The comox Valley.  Because we are separate governments does not necessarily conclude that we have to work in silos. Working together to generate solutions is the only way we can move forward.
  4. Is there a meaningful experience you have had with art (theatre, music, media arts, visual, written, etc.) that you would like to share with stakeholders and constituents?
    I am currently the President and one of the founding members of Three Legged Dog Productions, a local company that specializes in Adult Musical Theatre.  The company is a not for profit and its mission is to produce high quality, thought provoking theatrical and musical entertainment in our community and to foster and deeper, collaborative engagement in the arts with both our patrons and volunteers.  The arts allows us many things but for me personally, it allowed me to perform on stage with many amazing people, including my own daughter. That experience in itself made me the champion of the Arts that I am today. I have been blessed to be onstage also with many world calibre musicians, poets, directors and actors.  I have personally witnessed theatre change the lives of our local highschool children as they blossomed into adults. I know that the Arts is an undeniable force in any vibrant community.

Wendy Morin - Running for Courtenay Council

  1. How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic future in the City / Town / Village / Regional District (depending on where you are running)?
    Arts and Culture form a large and important part of both my personal and work life. I have been an artist my whole life (although not for my livelihood). I have been an active member of the theatre community for several years (not as much in the last 5 years). I understand the benefit of a strong arts and culture component in our community, both socially and economically. Local musicians and singers, Music Fest and high quality, award-winning theatre productions bring much economic spin-off to businesses. Innovative festivals such as Elevate the Arts bring people into the downtown core, contributing to its vibrancy. The arts are part of our identity and branding which attract new businesses and interest in investment.
  2. What do you believe the role of your Council / Board should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibility to the arts?
    Courtenay council should continue to support arts and cultural events and initiatives in whatever ways possible.
  3. Would you work towards developing a public art policy/program?
    Yes, I am willing to learn more about this and put support behind it.
  4. Is there a meaningful experience you have had with art (theatre, music, media arts, visual, written, etc.) that you would like to share with stakeholders and constituents?
    I have had so many enriching experiences with the arts in the Comox Valley. I and my son have performed on stage and worked backstage for dozens of theatre productions, including those that have won Best Production at Mainstage BC. I participate in art gallery events, the CVAG film series, and Make Art projects. I support local artists by purchasing their artwork and music. I am a Tin Town founding resident, helping to promote the concept of a live/work arts hub. I have participated as a community partner for Elevate the Arts with the Comox Valley Girls Group I coordinate. Some of the activities we have presented include our 'Remade/Altered Barbies' exhibit, zine-making, our colouring book project, our 'Herstory' spoken word event at the Zocalo cafe, and vamps making and display inspired by the 'Walking with Our Sisters' travelling exhibit. Through my work with youth I have combined the arts with many social activism projects to help promote awareness on a variety of topics. These are just a few examples of the ways I have personally and professionally incorporated the arts into community building. If elected to council I would champion the arts at every opportunity.

Judith Murukami - Running for Courtenay Council

  1. How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic future in the City / Town / Village / Regional District (depending on where you are running)?
    When you Google Best Cities, Best Arts, Best Anything in BC or Canada, Courtenay isn’t there.  Since one of our major employers is tourism, we should be out there advertising the amazing arts and culture of the Comox Valley.  We should be promoting Courtenay with photographs, videos, articles. Calgary asked city council for 2 Million, as their corporate sponsorship had declined, and the rationale was that for every dollar spent, a dollar ninety came back.  Calgary is now considered the 3rd best city in the World to live. Vienna is #1, and their arts and culture is amazing!
  2. What do you believe the role of your Council / Board should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibility to the arts?
    I would like to see the City of Courtenay showcase the arts more through the website.  There is more to Art and Culture than the civic buildings. There should be beautiful photographs of art in the valley.  Nothing is mentioned about the twice yearly studio tour, or the numerous dance and theatre groups. I think it’s a cop out to simply use the link of the Arts Council.  It’s time to Blow our own Horn!
  3. Would you work towards developing a public art policy/program?
    YES
  4. Is there a meaningful experience you have had with art (theatre, music, media arts, visual, written, etc.) that you would like to share with stakeholders and constituents?
    I love the opportunities in the Comox Valley.  I have been on stage with Courtenay Little Theatre at the Sid Williams Theatre in the production of Half Life.  It was an amazing 4 month experience, and I realized how talented the CYMC performers are when they can put on a first class production in just a few weeks.  I’ve had my art shown at the Comox Valley Art Gallery and the woman who purchased my art became my campaign manager. We are blessed with first class musicians, instructors, dancers, actors, singers, artists, etc.

Gwynne Sproule - Running for Cumberland Council

I am a regular attendee of music and theatre performances in the Valley. I would support having a theatre in Cumberland.

I attend folk and jazz  concerts in all kinds of venues.

I am a frequent visitor to the CV Art Gallery.

I will continue to support Cumberland's lively arts and culture scene.

The Village of Cumberland does not have a formal public art policy since we have limited places to display except for the Village Square. We need to look for public spaces in the Village to display art. We could look at public art as a future amenity from developers.

I have had many meaningful experiences attending theatre performances at the Sid Williams Theatre.

Sean Sullivan - Running for Cumberland Council

  1. How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic future in the City / Town / Village / Regional District (depending on where you are running)?
    Arts and Culture are already a huge part of the vibrant economy in Cumberland. Without a doubt, the many festivals and events that happen year round in the Village are a huge economic driver. I can't see that trend changing any time soon thankfully!
  2. What do you believe the role of your Council / Board should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibility to the arts?
    I believe that the arts are an essential ingredient to your quality of life. The more accessible arts are to the community, the more benefits to that community. There is a strong cultural infrastructure in Cumberland that has been built over the years.
  3. Would you work towards developing a public art policy/program?
    Absolutely
  4. Is there a meaningful experience you have had with art (theatre, music, media arts, visual, written, etc.) that you would like to share with stakeholders and constituents?
    There are way too many to mention! I have been a musician in the Valley for 18 years, playing in the bands; "Sixgun Buddha" and "The Relentless Couchmen". I have had the pleasure of playing most of the venues the valley has to offer, and a great pleasure volunteering for years at our numerous festivals as well. This Valley is a hotbed of Arts and Culture and I am constantly impressed with the quality of both!

Manno Theos - Running for Courtenay Council

  1. How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a *vibrant economic future* in the City / Town / Village / Regional District (depending on where you are running)?
    Arts and culture in Courtenay is extremely important to our residents. The many festivals and venues in our community create excitement, enlightenment and a positive exposure to others visiting our community. Through art, young and older generations learn, educate and express themselves.
  2. What do you believe the role of your Council / Board should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and *cultural infrastructure *and increasing *accessibility* to the arts?
    There are many benefits to supporting art and culture in Courtenay. Job creation, business vibrancy, entertainment and education to name a few. Accessibility is critical for people of all demographic groups. In order for the greatest success, business plans would be of great value. Offering details of a vision for a sustainable future of arts and culture.
  3. Would you work towards developing a *public art policy/program*?
    I believe public art is a tremendous asset to any community. These pieces,paintings or sculptures can define a community creating a unique experience to visitors and a reflection of how Courtenay would like to be featured.
  4. Is there a *meaningful experience* you have had with art (theatre, music, media arts, visual, written, etc.) that you would like to share with stakeholders and constituents?
    I performed in a number of theatre productions while growing up in Vancouver. Had many of my favourite memories and built some amazing friendships while performing.

Eduardo Uranga - Running for Mayor of Cumberland

  1. How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic future in the City / Town / Village / Regional District (depending on where you are running)?
    The future economic success of the Village of Cumberland depends primarily on enhancing the experience of visitors as well as the residents the arts is the best venue.
  2. What do you believe the role of your Council / Board should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibility to the arts?
    Support, promotion and participation
  3. Would you work towards developing a public art policy/program?
    Definitely, it is part of my agenda on recreation and mental health well being.
  4. Is there a meaningful experience you have had with art (theatre, music, media arts, visual, written, etc.) that you would like to share with stakeholders and constituents?
    My entire life has been surrounded by the arts, my mother was a professional pianist, and have been exposed to all forms of art all my life. I traveled throughout 27 countries always in pursuit of the experience provided the local artists in all the forms. I am extremely aware of the importance of the arts to enhances ones life experience, as often as possible and as diverse as available. Cumberland has the potential to become a Mecca of the arts in the Comox Valley.

Bob Wells - Running for Mayor of Courtenay

  1. How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic futurein the City / Town / Village / Regional District (depending on where you are running)?
    I have worked hard supporting the arts in the Comox Valley since moving here.  I see Arts and Culture as the centre of our community that helps attract tourists, new companies to invest and of course provide activities for our own citizens to enjoy.   As leader of Startup Comox Valley and as a mentor for Futurepreneur Canada I have worked with many companies across Canada and one of the main determinates for choosing to start or relocate to an area is the arts community.  As past president of CYMC and supporter of Island Musicfest I have seen the economic spin-offs for our community and will continue to support the arts as Mayor of Courtenay.
  2. What do you believe the role of your Council / Board should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibilityto the arts?
    Having a member of council sit on the Arts Council to look for opportunities for the city to promote and support the Arts.  
  3. Would you work towards developing a public art policy/program?
    Yes
  4. Is there a meaningful experienceyou have had with art (theatre, music, media arts, visual, written, etc.) that you would like to share with stakeholders and constituents?
    I was involved in community and professional theatre for decades.  While I lived in South Africa I was able to not only perform in several plays but also watch dozens more at their National Arts Festival.  The firstorganizations I joined when I moved to Courtenay was the CYMC (Comox Valley Youth Music Centre) that was on hard economic times.  I created a financial plan and took the board through a visioning process to come up with our strategic plan - and with that common vision we were able to turn things around.  We are always blown away by the amazing musicals that CYMC puts on along with Jazz and Classical performances.

Starr Winchester - Running for Courtenay Council

  1. How you see Arts and Culture fitting in with the development of a vibrant economic future in the City of Courtenay.
    I recognize Arts and Culture as a fundamental ingredient for a vibrant, healthy community, with many social and economic benefits also.
  2. What do you believe the role of your Council should be in developing and supporting the regionals arts and cultural infrastructure and increasing accessibility to the Arts?
    I am committed to supporting a strong arts and culture theme for our Downtown and to work closely with our Downtown Merchants in this Regard.  I am very proud of our vibrant downtown, and I will ensure that It stays that way through progressive planning and expending resources To keep it viable and exciting over the long term.
  3. Would you work towards a public art policy/program?
    Yes
  4. Is there a meaningful experience you have had with art (theatre, music Media arts, visual, written, etc.) that you would like to share with Stakeholders and constituents?
    Yes, I do have a meaningful experience to share.  When I was first elected to Council in 1990 Mayor Webber assigned me to represent Courtenay on The Comox Valley Art Gallery Committee.  I must admit, I had very limited Exposure to Arts and Culture at that time.  Nonnie Milne, god bless her, took me under her wing and very gently introduced me to the world of Arts and Culture.  She and the late Randy Wiwchar, another man I adore, had a vision and passion for the Arts and I soon realized how important this was for our Community.  One of my proudest moments as Mayor of Courtenay was cutting the ribbon at the opening of our Comox Valley Art Gallery.