Nanaimo Arts Councils Survey Responses

October 16, 2018

The Nanaimo Arts Council distributed four questions to city council candidates regarding their views on arts and culture in Nanaimo. Below are the responses that have been received. They are in the order they arrived, and have not been edited. Our thanks to the candidates who made their views known to voters.

 

Peter Kent   Email Address info@peterhkent.com

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

I firmly believe the city should support all forms of arts and culture.  In my recent tenure as Squamish councillor we supported our arts community during the community grant process.  Funding for theatre, sound and lighting equipment for community stages,  rotating use of our library foyer for artists to represent their work and many other initiatives.  As someone who comes from a 30 year background in film, it is extremely important to me to see these activities nurtured.

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

First I would sit down with the stakeholder groups to find successes and weaknesses in the previous plan.  Working off those strengths I would use that to create the next Generation and move forward.  Like all things, needs change concepts and visions change and we must move forward with a Plan that accurately depicts what citizens want.  It is only through listening and active engagement that we can get those comments.  Art and culture are foundational and speak to us all on an emotional level. I adamantly support the creation of a new plan.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

I am against the idea of folding these two committees together.  As sitting counsellor I understand the rationale but it is not a good one. It would not have had my support if I were at the table.  These are two completely separate issues.  The arts community must be able to speak with its own voice, unfiltered.  I would vote to separate.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

In my time in Los Angeles I was a frequenter of the Huntington-Hartford gallery.  I often took my mother there and we enjoyed strolling through the gardens looking at the art and sculpture.  In Italy I spent considerable time in Florence at gallery openings. Looking at the works of the artists like Michelangelo, Titian and Caravaggio. These works of art struck me at a profound emotional level in their beauty and complexity. I believe this is the artists intent.  The power of these human expressions transcends every barrier, race and societal.

 

Jim Turley     Email Address jamesedwardturley@gmail.com

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

The Artsvote BC document that was sent by e-mail states that 8 out of 10 Canadians believe that culture makes communities vibrant places to live and more attractive to visitors.  This further validates my long help opinion that the Art and Culture sector is very important to community development.  We should have a line item in the city budget for grants to develop arts and culture.  To make room in the budget a new BIA bylaw should be promoted so that marketing and downtown events can be funded by this self taxation of downtown commercial property.

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

Yes I agree.  The Artsvote BC also reported that 2 out of 3 Canadians understand that arts, culture and heritage attract business to their communities.  Developing the next plan will have to consider how effectively the 2014-2022 plan was implemented.  Unmet recommendations may have to be considered an either have been not important or not realistic, need to be brought forward to the new plan.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

Because Arts and Culture is recognized as an important driver in positive economic development it is extremely important and needs to be a separate committee.  Committees that have to deal with a large number of issues which are not closely related tend to be less effective.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

My wife and I have been strong supporters of the VIS.  In addition to the common love of music we developed many lasting friendships over the years as a direct result of our involvement.  At one of the fundraising events at Milner Gardens I was volunteered to be Mozart, only in costume and not because of any musical talent, to wander the gardens “

 

Rick Smith Email Address rick.smithnanaimo@gmail.com

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

We should offer public sites to showcase the artistic talents in the city, and recognize success whenever it occurs.

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

Sure, provided we are not just throwing money around that belongs to taxpayers

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

This committee will always put social issues to the forefront. I believe that is the right decision. It is a "first-world" idea to put arts and culture ahead of clean water, housing, and food security.

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

I attended the Jesse Cook concert at Port Place last year, and was blown away by the virtuoso talent of the performance.

 

Ian Thorpe Email Address thorpeforcouncil@gmail.com

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

The City of Nanaimo has a significant role to play in the development of arts and culture.  As part of our Strategic Plan, the goal of Cultural Vitality was identified as one of our five core community values.  I believe that the arts and culture community has been well served in recent years by the Culture and Heritage staff members of the city, and staff have worked hard to support culture as an integral part of everyday life in Nanaimo.  Initiatives such as public art, heritage conservation, culture and heritage newsletter, culture and heritage awards, poet laureate position, and grants to support such institutions as the Nanaimo Museum, Port Theatre, and Art Gallery are among the ways that the city supports arts and culture.  Programs such as the ones I have mentioned, and the monetary grants, are things I definitely want to see continued and expanded if possible.

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

I have read the City's 2014-2018 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo.  I fully support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it in two year's time.  As the City moves forward we will continue to need a guiding document for the community and for our Culture and Heritage department.  The Plan not only outlines objectives and strategies, but is very valuable as an indicator of the economic benefit that arts and culture activities bring to our community.  I will want to ensure the Cultural Vitality remains a core value for Council, and this document will help to ensure that.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

I was not in favour of the committee re-organization that occurred in 2016.  Among other things I was very disappointed that the Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and combined with other areas of discussion under Community Vitality.  At the same time, committee members with much expertise in the arts/culture area were lost from the committee.  I would like to see the committee re-established as it was with its original mandate - simply because otherwise it is too easy to lose the necessary focus on arts, culture, and heritage issues.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

As a serving Councillor, I try to attend as many events as possible, and always appreciate attending Arts and Culture occasions.  The most recent one I attended was on Friday, September 28, at the Nanaimo Water Treatment Plant.  

Staff person Chris Barfoot has organized a public unveiling of "The Raven" sculpture on the outside of the building.  The artwork had been done by local Snuneymuxw First Nation artist James Johnny.  The ceremony included a traditional Native blessing and was attended by Snuneymuxw Chief Mike Wyse and many elders.  As Chris Barfoot said in his remarks, the celebration of the artwork marked a wonderful way to cooperate, improve relations, and bring cultures together.

 

Sheryl Armstrong  Email Address sherylarmstrong@shaw.ca

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

I believe the city needs to play a supporting role in the development of local arts and cultures. We can do this by streamlining our grant process so that grants are available for three years, making it easier for organizations to plan. We can continue to offer developers the opportunity to commit dollars to public art such as we saw with the new Marcielo development.  We need to hear from the stakeholders what we can do to assist them in their endeavours.

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

Yes we need a new plan.  This last few years  saw the iarts and culture committee. placed under the Community Vitality committee and I do not believe that this was effective.  I believe a new committee for arts and culture needs to be formed. Would be the role of this committee to look at the cultural plan and see if it needs to be changed and or updated. This committee needs to be comprised of those working or involved with arts and culture within our city. They are our subject matter experts.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

As stated above I believe we need a Cultural and Arts committee. Social planning needs to be on its own as it is very complex and time-consuming. If we leave cultural arts under this committee then it will not get the attention it deserves. I believe our committees need to be made up of subject matter expert‘s and we should have a staff member assigned to the committee that can look after the needs of the committee. My understanding is we had a staff member that was dedicated to working with arts and culture in our community and it was very successful I believe the new mayor and council need to look at our past practice to see if there’s a way that we can bring it back.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

I attended the Canadian Federation of Artists, Nanaimo chapter art show in November. I was amazed at talent  we have in our community and across the Island. I enjoyed hearing the comments from the artists as well as the many people who attended.  I also worked with staff at Dufferin Place to bring in art and photographs for the residents to enjoy.  The residents loved having art on the walls.

 

Don Bonner Email Address don@bonner.ca

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

The City Council and the City of Nanaimo need to become active partners in the sports & culture of our City.  People learn about diversity, equality and inclusiveness through getting to know one another, and the best way to do that is through a vibrant city culture, with festivals and events throughout the year and show off our diversity, our heritage and our commonality.

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

Yes I would although I would like to see as much of the current plan done before we embark on another plan.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

No I don't.  I spoke out against the committee structure when it was formed and it has been a dismal failure.  I'm in favour of returning to the old committees and their mandates with some updates for current conditions.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

For me it was a production of the Wizard of Oz at the Port Theatre.  I was working backstage for the production as a stage hand and the final scene was the "wizard" appearing on stage with horse and cart.  A real one.  One show while we were parting the curtains stage left the horse came on too far to the left and I had no room to move out of the way so I had to stand there and watch the cart run over both of my feet and not cry out.  What we do for the arts :-)  If I may one more.  As co-chair of Theatre BC's Mainstage I had the opportunity to appear on the Port Stage for 7 nights after each production.  We decided that I would do a comedy sketch each night on the days events so I got to perform stand up comedy on 7 topics over 7 days.

 

Avel Turnip Email Address AvelTurnip@gmail.com

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

I think art and culture is such an important factor to a city, it brings uniqueness, business, tourism, community and it can tell a story about a city, it's people and it's history. These are things that every city should have, art and culture is how a city is designed, dictated by it's population and who they are.

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

I would,culture is important, it's an expression of our city's people, who they are and how they got here today.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

I would have to say the committee's should be separated, these committees should be topic focused. Social planning agendas can very easily over shadow culture and heritage agendas and is very unproductive in dealing with these two areas.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

I would have to say that one of the most memorable arts events I experienced was going to an indigenous celebration where people danced, and spoke about the culture, shared food and had a great time. It brought people together, everyone had beautiful outfits, head pieces and jewellery and everyone had a lot of fun and most of all people got to learn and experience new things. I'd have to say that I will never forget the gorgeous art beaded into the capes that many of the performers were wearing that came to this event.

 

Leonard Krog  Email Address krogformayor@gmail.com

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

I believe that a vibrant and healthy community possesses a culture that supports and encourages the arts.  I think Nanaimo is that kind of a City. 

We are blessed with artists in many disciplines who are recognized around the Province, and in some cases the country and even worldwide.  Our musical talent, in particular, has “batted above its average” for years.  We are blessed with people and organizations in our Arts community who deserve the support of the City to assist them to thrive and succeed. 

The kind of support that the City can provide will always be limited by budget and the demands that are placed on the taxpayer for activities and facilities that are important.   

I cannot promise what our new Council will decide when it comes to the allocation of scarce resources.  But if elected to serve as Mayor, I want to ensure that our Council has a full understanding of the costs and opportunities associated with civic investment, and that decisions made take into account the views, experiences and aspirations of organizations like yours and its constituents.

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

I believe that one of our new Council priorities will be to build a renewed and effective system of Advisory Committees to advise it on all kinds of issues on which Councillors cannot be expected to be experts, or even knowledgeable.   

I anticipate that a review of the City’s advisory structure might well lead to a review of current plans and what needs to be updated and revised.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

Please see my response to Q2.  My personal opinion is that Arts and Cultural matters are clearly different from social planning issues.  I think Council would be best served by Committees that have clear mandates to address defined subjects, the Arts being one.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

I did a phone shift for the Child Development Centre Telethon  recently and the program started with the Nanaimo Concert Band. I loved the music, the fact people from all walks of life play in the band, that they were there volunteering for an important community service and that the band has been giving pleasure to Nanaimo since 1872. It doesn't get any better than that.

 

Don Hubbard Email Address don.hubbard@shaw.ca

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

As Mayor I would be one voice on Council and expect that there will be varied options on this subject. Personally I would like to see the leed of Arts and Culture be driven by a community organization with a mandate supported by the City Council.

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

Again this will be a council decision that would require. I would need to have full discussion before markeing this decision.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

A lot of decisions were made in 2016-17 that were detrimental to Nanaimo. I would like to revisit all of them to understand why. So I can’t really answer that without more information. I do however believe Culture and Heritage should have it’s own focus.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

I must admit I have not had a lot of time to enjoy attending many arts events in Nanaimo recently. I have attended several Nanaimo Port Theatre evens over the past few years usually involving music. I believe the last one was Ian Tyson.

 

Zeni Maartman Email Address electzeni20018@yahoo.com

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

The City of Nanaimo should continue to recognize the value of a thriving arts and culture sector in our City. Arts and Culture contributes to the vibrancy, well being and civic pride of our home. Council has a role to ensure we are providing tools that support success and positive outcomes. Investment made by the City of Nanaimo is rewarded with the economic benefits generated. In 2012 approx. 1000 people were employed, and the arts community has between 1500 – 3000 volunteers , contributing to the well being of our citizens who enjoy their passions in life. 

An overview of management structure at city hall for supporting Arts and Culture, as part of Economic Development and recognizing the importance of cultural vitality in the city.

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

I support that the 2014 – 2020 Cultural Plan like any other plans should be a living document. I would like Council to revisit and amend what needs to be changed or updated. Building on the information and knowledge that we have already gathered, and the expertise in our city we can be more innovative and creative to support a dynamite Cultural Plan for 2020 onwards.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

As a member of Social Planning Advisory Committee for eight years, we were able to  focus on housing, food security, neighbourhood improvements, to name just a few of the areas we worked on. To combine social planning with culture and heritage made no sense to me. I could not understand how committee input could be valuable and how there could be no in depth discussion with such a broad area. On of the first things on Council I would like to see brought forward is the separation of the committees along with the return of ACE.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

The little gallery on Wharf Street. I believe it is the Nanaimo Arts Council building and one of the artists was Richard Harlow. 

I participated in all the Night Street Markets during the summer and loved the energy. 

Symphony in the park makes my heart soar!

 

Gary Korpan  Email Address GaryKorpan@Shaw.ca

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

Arts and Cultural should be integral to Nanaimo's economic development and as important a priority as sports and recreation. Council should encourage it as a fundamental quality of life in our community.

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

The only certainty is constant change. Unless we plan for the future with the best information and ideas we will not progress. There should always be continual planning for all contingencies. I support its regular update.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

I support re-establishing a knowledgeable advisory committee on Arts & Culture and actually listening to their recommendations. The committee restructuring of 2016 was a power grab by the Gang of Five they used to remove committee appointees that they did not control. I want the best ideas and advice...no matter what the source. I do not fear criticism...it helps me learn.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

I vividly remember the first concert by the Vancouver Island Symphony in their 'new home' at the just opened Port Theatre. I still have the political scars for being the decisive vote in favour of building the Port Theatre. I knew that with excellent acoustics it would be the proper home of the Vancouver Island Symphony, Nanaimo's Historic Concert Band, and many other musical and theatrical performers. After all the controversy and years of waiting it was overwhelming to see, and especially, hear the wonderful fulfillment of such a dream.

 

Brunie Brunie Email Address bruniebrunie@hotmail.com

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

Arts and culture needs a specific space art is the sign of our times...ipropose an art center as part of no1 port drive being public land together with all projects of PUBLIC BENEFIT

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

I would consult with you and hear your plans and passion

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

Am not sure big issue everything really is connected and what's important is creating a Better Happier Nanaimo

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

Usually drop by the shows held downtown .feel the Arts need to intergrade more with the general public culture must reach out instead of waiting to be noticed

 

Tyler Brown Email Address tyler@tylerbrown2018.com

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

I believe the City should play an active role in the development of local arts and culture - similar to its role in Parks and Recreation. At times the City should take a leadership role. Other times, it should support and empower other groups. Re-establishing the Arts and Culture Committee and hiring supporting staff would be a strong initial first step.

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

Absolutely. The work needs to begin in 2019 so deep consultation with the entire arts and culture community can occur. As a city, we need to make sure we are providing a broad spectrum of support for the arts and culture community, and that we have clear strategic goals to guide Council’s decision making. I call for this in my platform.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

I believe the committee should be separated into two. They are distinct areas of focus. Further, under the current regime, the Culture and Heritage component has been essentially forgotten and does not have adequate committee representation. In my platform I call for the reestablishment of the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

I recently attended the art show of a visually impaired artist at the Nanaimo Arts Council gallery. I was truly amazed at the artist’s work and I often think about his work: he could fill an entire canvas with a beautiful painting working only inches from the canvas. As someone who is passionate about urban planning, it made me cognizant of how we focus on very specific sites and locations, but we also need to be thinking about the entire canvas (ie. the city).

 

Guy Beaulieu Email Address guy@guybeaulieu4council.ca

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

I believe the City should have an active role in the development of arts and culture.

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

I have reviewed the Cultural Plan and concluded that it is in need of an update particularly with respect to the implementation of some of the plans. For example the one about the improvements to the Diana Krall Plaza has not occurred.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

Disbanding the Committee and mixing it into other unrelated areas was a huge mistake in my opinion. If elected I will work to return to a separate one as the current one lacks the focus of the previous one.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

The Orchids by Arvo Leo was a captivating exhibition due to the presentation within an enclosed space. I also participated in the Buttertubs poetry walk that was held in conjunction with this exhibition which I enjoyed.

 

Erin Hemmens Email Address hemmens2018@gmail.com

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

Supporting arts and culture is a key component of my platform. Alongside being a strong economic driver in our community, arts & culture contribute greatly to the overall experience of our city, encouraging civic pride, engagement a sense of place among residents. 

 

Based in that understanding, the city’s role in the development of local arts and culture should be to: 

• Create opportunities for the arts community to come together to share ideas and  strengthen relationships;

• Recognize the broad benefits of a thriving local arts and culture scene in the city’s  liveability and embed it in our planning and decision-making; and

• Invest money in local arts and culture activities, programs, organizations and  infrastructure.

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

I would definitely support the creation of, if not a “new” cultural plan, at the minimum an updated one to reflect current conditions. It’s a good time to assess what has been accomplished, where does the plan need tweaking and where does it need strengthening. It’s also important to undertake an updated SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) as environmental conditions may have changed. Within 2 years, a new council will have hopefully developed a new strategic plan and have also embarked on an update to the Official Community Plan, all of which need to be reflected in the cultural plan. 

In the interim, we should undertake a mid-term evaluation of the strategy and measure progress towards the implementation of the recommendations so we can see if we are on target to meet the goals of the plan.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

Part of my platform is to re-establish the Arts, Culture and Heritage committee which was responsible for coordinating and supporting a thriving Arts community, grant allocation and relationship development.  I have been sitting on the Community Vitality Committee for the past two years and certainly recognize that its broad mandate means that none of the liveability issues affecting our community are dealt with adequately.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

I was delighted to receive an invitation to the opening of Earthlings at the Nanaimo Art Gallery in August of this year. I brought a dear friend from Montreal, along with 3 kids (2 mine, one hers). It was such a gift to watch our children react to, interact with, discuss and feel excited about the art. The exhibit features nudity and provocative imagery which the kids were completely fascinated by. It was remarkable to be a part of their discovery of something they found captivating. I also felt quite proud that evening of having a show like Earthlings featured in Nanaimo, and I felt gratitude for the work of our gallery for bringing that to us. It was an exquisite evening.

 

Darcy Olsen Email Address darcyolsen@live.ca

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

Nanaimo needs to create a committee solely focused on arts and culture with a range of artists from across Nanaimo and diverse styles and genres, supported by staff and two council members.  We need to see how we can facilitate our arts and culture community with venues carrying long term use leases so they have the opportunity and equal chances at applying for Federal and Provincial funding as other municipal communities. Arts and culture are factors in our social and economic development and create revenue in our tourism dollars as well bring beauty to our everyday.  I cannot imagine a day without art.

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

All committee plans should be reviewed on a regular basis by the arts and culture committee. We need to know what is working, what is not, and prepare ahead for the new Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo so we maintain the vision of the 2014-2020 plan and flow into a the next 4-year plan.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

Arts and culture should not be included with poverty reduction or, these are two very different committees that require attention and their own vision and plans for the future of Nanaimo. 

I believe the current committee organizational structure needs to be immediately dismantled an than restructured.  Restructuring should only take place after extensive consultation with citizens and stakeholders with the help of city staff.  City committees are the direct voice of our community and their input needs to be sought and respected.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

I have enjoyed watching the creation by the seven artists on the old A&B Sound building – the Urban Art Project - bringing art to life before our eyes on Commercial.  I have also participated in Jazzfest, enjoying the music around town and the fabulous Mardi Gras parade, full of colour and so much joy.

 

Wendy Pratt Email Address wpratt@shaw.ca

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

Through a council mandated Arts and Culture Committee.   It is important for council to hear from this sector as it is a part of what makes a vibrant and healthy community.

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

I think it is important to revisit all plans related to the various sectors of our community, especially in light of the last four years.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

I believe Culture and Heritage should be a stand alone committee.  I was not in favour of melding it with Social Planning

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

I attended the City Arts & Culture Awards evening twice during my tenure on council.   It was a wonderful event that gave our community a well rounded view of various people in our community who were committed to arts and culture in Nanaimo.  I have been to countless performances at the Port Theatre as well as the Harbour Theatre, recently attending performances as part of the Fringe Festival. Our Art Gallery is stunning and always has wonderful exhibits and events.

 

"OZZY" Ken Osborn Email Address ozzyforcouncil@gmail.com

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

Supportive Role

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

First would have to review it and then answer.  Supporting the Art & Culture of a city is important.  but you never say YES, until you have reviewed what you are saying yes to.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

That chose would be based on how the two has operated as one and would need the feed back from members on what they wishes and ideas would be, before supporting a change.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

in 2014, in Kingston Ontario.  With the help and support from the city, legion, and the Knitting & Sowing Guild.  I took the city's "People's Remembrance Day Wreath from 2013 and using my Bronzing Factory,  I transform it into the "Kingston ions' Wreath" and on the first week of November.  We presented it to Kingston City Council as a gift to pay hour and remember all our Kingston ion Ancestor that went off to WW1.   Being that I was born in and am a Seventh Generation Kingston ion.  It has a True Honour to create something that will be on display for generations to come, showing that "For 100 Year, They have done THEIR PART,  Now, let Us do OUR PART and NEVER FORGET.”

 

Michael Ribicic Email Address michaelribicic@outlook.com

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

The city should play a leading, cooperative and supportive role when it comes to the development of local arts and culture. I.E. supporting events, initiatives, and creating plans and following through with them to help make our city a more liveable one.

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

I would support the creation of a new plan, although most of it would not be new, it would be including all the things that the city did not go through with on the plan, which is most of the document to be frank. So I would prefer to use the word "update."

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

No, I believe they should be separate again. First of all, social issues here are very pressing and that alone deserves its own committee. Culture and heritage deserves its own committee again with a little focus on tourism as well. Being a city that is rich in culture and heritage would make Nanaimo a more liveable city to live in and a more desirable city to visit.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

I remember going to see the E.J. Hughes painting downtown when it was first put in the conference centre. For me, the reason why that was memorable was because so many people were in that room enjoying that mural together as a community.

 

Ben Geselbracht  Email Address contact@bengeselbracht.ca

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

The City of Nanaimo should facilitate the development of local arts and culture.  It is a key pillar in our official community plan and a critical aspect of creating a healthy community.

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

Yes, I would support the creation of a new cultural plan.  Arts and culture is critical aspect of developing a strong vibrant community.  It is also a key contributor to a strong local economy.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

The committees should be made separate again!  Culture and Heritage and Social Planning are each in themselves large areas of focus and need their own separate committees to give each the proper attention they need.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

There are several memorable events but for me, because of my personal involvement, the Food, Art, Fun festival hosted by the Mid-Island Community Development Co-op on Haliburton street stands out the most.  It was so wonderful seeing the South End community all engaged in a variety of different art-projects that brought the street to life with colour and laughter.  Im grateful for the support and participation the Arts Council has provided in this festival, since its very inception three years ago.

 

Pelé Gouda Email Address pelegouda@gmail.com

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

Facilitation; financially and legislatively.

Nanaimo is full of artists, artisans, heritage, and culture. We ought to herald these however we can.

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

If elected, I will of course support a new cultural plan to succeed this one!

If we have a cultural plan then we don't have to fly by the seat of our pants going forward.

Easy! Next question.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

Absolutely these committees should be separated.

This larger committee also swallowed the environmental sustainability committee, believe it or not!

I believe that all three of these ought to be divorced from one another; they matter enough. Each of these files deserves the full attention of a committee structure.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

Visiting my friend, Richard Harlow, as he recently had a gallery showing downtown was memorable to me.

I hadn't seen any of the pieces that were up and I was truly shocked at their quality. Richard is blind, you see, as well as a painter; I underestimated his ability, I'm ashamed to say.

I was taken aback by the raw emotion in his work. And I found his braille signature a remarkable and novel piece of inclusive artistry!

 

Bill Manners Email Address billmanners@2018council.com

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

I believe that the City of Nanaimo has been active in local art and culture and should continue to do what they have.  The map of our city should be expanded upon by the small and large groups that participate within our community.

I would love to see some of our temporary artwork become permanent.

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

Yes, I like where it has been and hope it will continue to grow.  I have seen positives from it and no negatives.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

I much preferred them to be distinct as they really have nothing in common.  Let's get back to the basics.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

I have been a fan of the temporary art project that Nanaimo has had for a few years.  I want to see it continue and enhanced to have art projects shown in other parts of the city.  At least two should become permanent structures rather than taken away.

 

Noah Routley Email Address noahroutley@gmail.com

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

Previously, as trustee for school district 68, it became very clear to me that arts and culture funding is insufficient. I recall research from my psychology degree showing that individuals that are exposed to all arts and culture show higher rates of both overall intelligence and achievement and also self-reported rates of happiness. Therefor,  it is very important for city council to look at Best Practices for Nanaimo and implement programs that lead to happiness, enjoyment and a full life for it's community members.  

Like many programs that lead to a higher quality of life for our community, it is considered an extra and should not be viewed that way.  I look forward to being on a progressive Council  that looks at funding very  needed programs like this properly. I believe it is best practices , progressive and innovative to support programs that lead to community health, leading to happier community members and voters.

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

Absolutely, it is imperative for Nanaimo to move forward as a region with its own cultural heritage and pride, so that community members can strive for success and Personal Achievement at all levels.   This overall goal is in line with best practices in regards to reconciliation to fully support and celebrate the local heritage of our regions indigenous peoples, but also follows holistic best practices.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

That is a sad State of Affairs as supporting both aspects of Society are very important, Yet entirely different with different solutions and with different Community Solutions.   Homelessness is an underfunded urgent issue, that requires very delicate solutions as to not increase taxation.  Local Solutions for culture and Heritage goals in our region is a progressive program implementing Community satisfaction and faster regional goals , reconciliation and Community-based Solutions. In reality we need both but they are very different and the solutions from very different places.  So yes, I support the separation of the two committees as they are not at all similar in solution or in speed.  Also culture and Heritage Goals as stated in our last Community engagement, can be implemented independent of provincial and Federal funding.  There are low cost community solutions to quickly act towards goals Identified by our local arts community, such as additional venues in other regions of Nanaimo, That can be added to our local community plan, not requiring approval or funding from other governmental levels.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

I have had pleasure of playing the drums in many different bands, playing various styles of music and flowing easily into my happy place of personal expression. I  have found that both this and acting for the Nanaimo Theatre group has led to me growing as a individual, with individual talents and expressing myself in a way that has led me into greater places of happiness, personal growth, understanding others and overall life satisfaction.   I am equally as proud of my accomplishments in  acting and music as I am with getting my Bachelor of Science in Psychology.   Sadly, society does not weigh the two the same, however, for an individual these expressions and goals leading to happiness and becoming a whole person are no less powerful to me as a whole person, and this is why leaders need to consider the whole person as part of our community so that the community thrives.

 

Jeet Manhas Email Address jeet@meetjeet.com

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

Arts and culture is very important for part of a very vibrant and successful city and it plays a very important role in attracting tourism and also attracts people to move to the city from other cities. I have always supported and promoted Arts and Culture in Nanaimo. My years on Council(2002-2008) Nanaimo was awarded the Cultural Capital of Canada, because of all the promotions and initiatives that were taken by Arts and Cultural organizations.

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

When elected I will certainly support in creating a new cultural plan to succeed it  and will work collaboratively with Nanaimo Arts and Cultural Organizations in the creation of new plan as its very important for a city to have one as the culture and arts inspires and brings joy and history and also connects us to one another.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

The Nanaimo Culture and Heritage committee and Social Planning committee should be disbanded and two separate committees created.Social Planning committee will be facing a major issue with the homelessness and affordable housing and it will take a lot of time in the planning and I don't want to see the Arts and Culture to be ignored.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

I have attended many art and cultural events and every art and cultural events brings a different aspect to the community. I have attended and supported symphony in the park and I love and enjoy this idea and the concept.I am also instrumental in organizing the Diwali, Festival Of Lights, an important Indian festival annually in Nanaimo.

 

Trent Whaley  Email Address trent.whaley.candidate@gmail.com

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

In this time of polarization and filter bubbles, cultural activities can be a powerful tool to build camaraderie and compassion between disparate groups. By bringing residents together for cultural events we can begin to heal the divides between neighbours. Nanaimo can help with this. If current trends continue it may become a public safety issue that Nanaimo MUST help with this.

Nanaimo should continue to provide grants to organizations organizing cultural events, while planning a foundation or trust that can provide future grants immune from changes in political will. 

When purchasing public art, Nanaimo should strive to commission it from artists resident in Nanaimo.

City of Nanaimo should strive to fill city venues and activity guides with cultural programming from every culture of Nanaimo. Staff should be requested to actively seek out curricula from every ethnic group in Nanaimo to add to the activity guide. Wherever groups are willing to present, whether traditional arts or modern fusion, they should be encouraged to do so... EDM? Bangra? PowwowStep? An exploration of the techniques of renaissance painters? Tozan Pottery? Bring it on.

Nanaimo has a great venue for small arts events - but it is vacant much of the time. The city should be aiming for full utilization of the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. If the policy allowing any partial booking to be pre-empted by a full-site booking even at the last minute is still in force, this should be revised to allow partial bookings to be made up to 1 year in advance without risk of preemption. Large conferences are usually planned more than a year in advance.

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

Yes. Having plans developed through public consultation gives certainty to those involved, guides decision making, and most importantly allows guidance from the arts and cultural community for the politicians who are mostly not artists nor cultural policy experts.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

Cultural policy development requires a different knowledgebase from housing policy etc. The committees should be separated, and both committees advice should be strongly considered by council and not ignored.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

It is hard to select a single event - I quite enjoyed a performance of traditional Chinese stringed instruments at the port theatre a few years ago, and have been involved in the Nanaimo Artwalk for  about a decade - as an exhibitor (of photography) organizer and pamphlet designer in years past, and as a supporter of my wife who produces fused glass art more recently. 

While acting as the Print Chair on the board of the Harbour City Photo Club I created a new competition to increase the variety of media presented, and the diversity of ideas expressed. The club had for decades concentrated the print competitions on traditional small photographic prints. I proposed and developed a new and different competition - "The Big Print". Club members were encouraged to submit any art which included their own photography, in any medium, up to 20 square feet, which fits through the door of the meeting room and is safe to display in the room. Most participants submitted collections of prints or albums - some submitted textile art and 3-dimensional art, etc.

 

Lloyd MacIlquham Email Address wlloydMac@gamil.com

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

As a great humanist said: “I love therefore I care . . .  I care therefor I do”

And to me, that is the essence of Culture and Community.  

Clearly one of the main duties of a City is to promote and assist in the development of  local art and culture directly, as well as encourage and facilitate everyone living in Nanaimo to take part.  Culture is an expression of people, if people are not moved to express their culture, then certainly the task for City hall is much harder.  

I feel that I am very well suited for such task

Before coming to Nanaimo, I was on the Board of Directors for the Downtown Chinatown Community Development  Association (include PR Chair), were we dealt with issues, on a cultural basis, very similar to what Nanaimo is facing now.

Since coming here I have spent many years, in Nanaimo, contributing to our Culture. 

This February will be our12 Annual Robbie Burns - Chinese New Years Celebration in Nanaimo, which he, together with many others, have organized, again on a volunteer basis, raising money for some great causes. 

I and my wife have had, as volunteers, a radio show called SinoNaimo News for almost 7 years where we have melded both Western and the Chinese cultures in both English and Mandarin. 

In our radio show we have made outreach to the Community to present to everyone the many and varied cultural events a mainstay, and through this I have come to learn and understand the great Cultural opportunities and potentials Nanaimo has to offer and its vital importance to 'Community Building'. 

I have also taken part in the International Flag Festival for many years now.

In 2006 I broadcast the first ever live Chinese New Years Celebration over the Web in its over 4700 years history (or so it is written . . . somewhere . . . I'm sure) and did many live Web broadcasts after that into China, highlighting Nanaimo's cultural scene, generally, and music scene, especially.

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

If elected, amongst the first thing I plan to do as Councillor is to "take stock" of the status of not only this but of all the other important matters concerning our City to see where we are currently.  And only after that look to what or whether a cultural plan, similar to this or otherwise, is the best way to go.  

For example, at page 20: 

“Nanaimo's Opportunities: . . . • Increased density in the downtown core”

This is a very complex issue, the dynamics of which are far greater than simply a cultural opportunity. 

There can be little doubt that increased density in the downtown would generate a better cultural opportunity, but it goes far deeper than that.   

I was on the Board of directors for the Toronto Downtown Community Development Association before moving here 16 years ago, including PR Chair.  One of our biggest issues was exactly this, the migration of businesses and people away from the Core downtown Chinatown to the suburbs, similar to what was perceived as having occurred in Vancouver.  From my experience I know that it is a very complex matter vis-a-vis culture and one that requires considerable in depth treatment.

There are many examples of city, where people and businesses leave the downtown core and migrate to the outer areas and they have been unsuccessful to reverse this trend.  The question is what is Nanaimo doing now towards this generally and how successful has it been.   One need only walk downtown to get the impression that whatever has been done, there is a lot of room for more.  

Another “Opportunity” (p.20):

”• Develop planning tools and development regulations that encourage

innovative and creative urban planning and inspiring architecture”

Clearly this is necessary to the City encouraging any type of targeted growth and development and the interaction with any cultural plan involves a critical, in depth analysis of the impact on these dynamics.  This in turn requires a current fact base and it may be that in 2012-2014 when this plan was being created there was a considerable and current fact base.  But, one issue is  to what extent is it, or any part, still relevant.    

And,

“• Integrating all our community plans towards a prosperous and successful city”

Once again this is a very complex task requiring in depth, critical analysis, objectively, viewing all side, and carefully collecting and reviewing the underlying fact.

A review this document, which was adopted by Council in March of 2014, shows that it is very inclusive and wide ranging. One can also see that it was very well researched and put together. Certainly, it ought to be studied carefully in the creation of any new “cultural plan” after 2020.   

Whether this plan is re-adopted or another plan adopted, I feel that, given the current circumstances in Nanaimo, changing the face of Nanaimo needs to be done in a step-by-step basis and then, rather than impose requirements and thereby restricting its natural grown, allow these small steps to take root and grow.  This will then encourage further growth until we have a vibrant City for  which we can all identify.  

Growing a City is very complex and I feel that planting a few “seeds” and nurturing them and allowing them to grow naturally is better than trying to set out a step by step process for building one. 

I  feel Nanaimo needs a success, something, one thing, one visible thing, people can point to and say I am part of that.  I am hard-pressed to look at the downtown area and say that.  Once that occurs then more successes will follow at ever increasing rates.

For example, in discussions with people one thing that may bear fruit in considering is something like a encouraging and nurturing a “Culture Town”, a congregation of outlets for the various kinds of ethnic foods, clothing, art, music and other culture.  At various times of the year various cultures can be high-lighted, but generally people can go there to experience a bit of the cultural diversity of Nanaimo. It would start small and encouraged to grown until it draws from all areas of Nanaimo and becomes a “destination” for people looking for a place to visit, whether off the ferry, Cruise liners, car, plane, or whatever.

I feel, based on my background, I am uniquely suited to be able to deal with these complex matters, given my experience in cultural activities as mentioned above.

I have been a lawyer for 29 years, 27 practising Immigration law. 

I also have a Masters of Science degree in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Science degree in Math & Physics. 

I have had, over the years, considerable experience in politics (in now Toronto) being campaign manager, and working for candidates, at all level of government, especially women who have gone on to become Cabinet Ministers. I also stepped up to the plate and ran in the 2004 Federal Election here in the then Nanaimo-Cowichan riding.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

As Councillor I will seek to increase the number of Committees overall, not just “unbundle” the Community Vitality Committee.

But this committee affords a good example.  Clearly there are too many very important issues mandated to this Committee to see how any of them can be given their proper due. 

“The Committee’s purpose is to provide Council advice and recommendations on the following:

- Planning and developing heritage conservation services and facilities.

- Fostering creativity, planning and developing arts and cultural programs, services, and facilities.

- Social planning in areas such as: education, poverty reduction, affordable housing, homelessness, food security, protection of the vulnerable, harm reduction, social isolation, and social connectivity.

- Strategizing to address environmental responsibility, social equity, cultural vitality, and a healthy and sustainable community. 

“The Committee has a minimum of 7 members with a minimum of 3 being Councillors.

That's a pretty heavy work load with a lot of responsibility.  It may be that even unbundling Committees the Councillors net work load will stay relatively the same.  But, it means an increase in participation from the Community and a spreading out of the work load there.   Also, it may be that someone has a particular ability and/or interest in one of these areas buy not all.  In such case it is quite seeable that they reduce active participation in the other areas as being discussed reducing the effective input from 4, say, to 3 or 2 or even 1.  Whereas if it is split into a number of Committees then it is more likely that people will choose the Committee of their interest and everyone participate to the fullest.   

I also feel that Transparency is very important and Committee afford a way of getting the issues to the people and getting their input back to the City.  To me social media can be used very effectively in this and its efficiency and usefulness  increase when the matters are more narrowly defined.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

The Robbie Burns - Chinese New Years which will be celebrating its 12th years this February.

This Celebration is memorable to me because I, along with my wife and  two sons, organize it with the contribution of many others in the Community. We feel its a great event and have a lot of fun.  But it also high-lights and melds together two Cultures, Scottish and Chinese.

The most important part is that I feel that somehow that we are participating in the culture of Nanaimo, contributing to it, giving something back for all the benefits we have enjoyed and we have a great time doing it. 

If you say its a small event, then I say, if everyone did something this small we would together have something that is ”this great”.

 

Alexis Petersen Email Address alexismackenziepetersen9@gmail.com

 

What role do you think the City of Nanaimo should play in the development of local arts and culture?

I think the City has an obligation to act as a facilitator between stakeholders, City staff through policy, City Council in all decisions regarding Arts and Council matters.  Those groups can then create what they want to see using the policy as a guide.

 

The City's "2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo" will be in effect for another two years. If elected, would you support creation of a new cultural plan to succeed it? Why or why not?

Yes.  I would like to see a more specific, focused Cultural Plan with measurable outcomes.

 

In 2016, the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Committee was disbanded and folded into a larger committee which also has responsibility for social planning issues, such as homelessness. Do you think culture and heritage should continue to be dealt with on the same committee as social planning, or should the committees be made separate again? Why?

That was a big mistake.  Obviously, it is a stand alone Committee.

 

Please tell us about one memorable arts event you attended or participated in. What made it memorable?

Public Art on the waterfront.  I love taking tourists there and look forward to each new display.

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

RECENT POSTS

March 22, 2019

March 21, 2019

March 20, 2019

March 14, 2019

Please reload

ARCHIVE

Please reload