If elected, what are some steps that you will take to address the following issues currently affecting the arts in Calgary? a. Live arts performances, art exhibitions, and public art displays are largely concentrated in the inner-city and may not be accessible by all Calgarians.
I would like to see the Arts offered at the community level by allowing artists and musicians space within the community (community Halls, Parks, schools, senior centres) to showcase their talents (visual art, music, theatre...etc.) and working with community associations/community leaders to include art entertainment and exhibits as part of regular programming and special events. Having the Arts brought to the neighborhoods can broaden our Art audience by promoting the Arts to all ages, families, cultures and as a way to encourage community development and social cohesion. Market Collective is an example of an organization that has been successful at using community space to make Art more accessible to Calgarians.
b. Many young Canadian artists are attracted to life and careers in other municipalities, in part because of the high cost of living of Calgary and lack of affordable housing.
Affordable housing continues to be a serious issue in our City. For an artist to thrive in Calgary, studio space must be available and affordable as well as housing. The combination of the two pressures has forced many artists to seek work elsewhere. As a Council member, I would like to see the approval of secondary suites in neighborhoods. This is an ongoing contentious issue. If council is successful in legalizing suite developments, we should see an improvement in affordable housing choices. I would also definitely like to see more affordable housing complexes built.
c. There is a lack of affordable, appropriate and sustainable space for Calgary artists, including performance venues, rehearsal space, and artist studios.
I would be interested in re-purposing schools (that have been closed) for artists to use as work space. If funding is available, we could convert these spaces into performance venues or at least use them for rehearsal space.
When traveling as an elected representative or hosting out-of-town visitors, how would you promote the arts scene in Calgary? How would you describe the strengths of Calgary’s arts community?
I would showcase our diverse Arts community with exposure to our art exhibits, art schools, ACAD, musical and theatrical performances. All one has to do is go for a stroll around our CIty to see evidence of a very strong and committed Arts community.
How do you engage in, participate in and/or support the arts in Calgary? Please feel free to share an experience in the city at large or in your own constituency.
I have always participated in the Arts as a child and as an adult. I have been a singer for quite some time and have passed on this passion to my children (who sing endlessly!). Our family sings at weddings and funerals. In 2008, I was a member of Storybook Theater's production of "The Sound of Music" as one of Maria's nuns. I continue to enjoy a variety of theater productions. My good friend Lyse Deselliers is a well known artist and I enjoy attending Art shows showcasing various local artists. One of my favourite places to visit is the Glenbow Museum. My family is featured there in their "Mavericks" display.