Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Saying Yes - Part 3

I was greeted this morning with a wonderful sunrise. Sailors take warning!

This is a good sign, right?
With two weeks left in the campaign, it's full speed ahead right to the end. Once I'd read the morning papers and checked social media, I was off to post this week's Memorial Square sign, return a bunch of material to the library and canvas the University Heights neighbourhood.

Art Sale!
Udon soup at the new Fortino's noodle bar
Boo scary on Shirley Street!
Before we get into my next round of questionnaire answers, be sure to take note of the Public School Trustee debate tomorrow night. I know I'll be there paying close attention!

School Trustee Candidates Meeting: Wards 13&14, Ward15 (Dundas, Flamborough, Waterdown) 
Wednesday, October 15th 2014 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm.
Council Chambers (the Round Room), Dundas Town Hall, 60 Main Street Dundas, L9H 2E8

As promised, here are my answers in full to a survey from the Hamilton Arts Council. This one made me do some research, which was great because I learned a lot about the City's Cultural Plan! Again, please forgive the formatting - it got a little weird from all the copy-pasting.

(1)        Active engagement in local culture is a key component of building civic pride and a sense of belonging in our community. How would you encourage Hamiltonians in your ward to participate in cultural experiences?

Luckily, Dundas already has an extremely active and involved arts community. From the Carnegie Gallery to the Dundas Valley School of Art to the Hamilton City Ballet, we are blessed with a number of great arts organizations. As Councillor, I will make it a priority to actively participate (as I do now) in local art events and encourage all residents to do the same through promotion using social and printed media.

(2)        Funding for the arts in Hamilton has been frozen for upwards of 10 years. A newly approved funding structure approved unanimously by Council in September 2014 included a recommended increase of $500,000 in arts funding for 2015 budget deliberations followed by further increases over the next two years to reach an additional $1 million in new arts investment by 2017. Would you support this staff recommendation or propose an alternative strategy for increasing the City’s investment in the arts?

Yes, I would support this staff recommendation. As an event organizer myself, I am also looking forward to the simplified grant application process currently under development. I think it will make access to funding much more equitable and evenly distributed.

(3)        Many of Hamilton’s neighbourhoods have underutilized space that could provide low-cost infrastructure for artists and creative workers to establish new ventures in this city. What measures would you take you reduce the barriers artists face in the adaptive reuse of these spaces for cultural purposes?

In Dundas, we recently lost one of our high schools to the ARC process. As councillor, I would actively pursue acquisition of the building by the City with the aim of transforming the space into a community hub, including dedicated space for artists and other creative workers along with space for start-up businesses, day care and a senior's centre.

(4)       What is your top priority item from the 78 recommendations in the City of Hamilton Cultural Plan?

My top priority is 5.1 "Ensure culture is considered in the planning and development of major city initiatives including for example: Waterfront; West Harbourfront, and Confederation Park and transportation planning." I am particularly interested in Planning and Public Works and believe incorporating culture into new projects from the start is the right way to do things. Culture is so much more than special events and building that mindset into everything we do is the best way to ensure equal access for all.

(5)        What is your favourite piece of art or cultural experience you’ve encountered in Hamilton and why?

My family and I really love Supercrawl. The blend of music, visual art, dance, vendors and food is incomparable. I especially like it because it attracts people from across the City, drawing patrons from the core and suburbs alike.

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