Candidate Questions: PoCo Arts

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What do Your Poco Mayor and Council Candidates think about the arts?  If you are looking to decide who best represents your needs in the arts community, check out the Poco Arts survey

QUESTIONS TO CANDIDATES FOR MAYOR

1. In your opinion what is the significance and value of the Arts in Port Coquitlam?

Eric Hirvonen

Arts are a very important part of expression of the human experience, a very valuable part.

Robin Smith

Arts is very important in order to show off and also promote the community. It is also a wonderful chance for any aspiring artists to try out their skills as a musician,singer,actor or actress in any upcoming productions..

Brad West

In order to be a truly complete community, a city requires number of vital elements and the arts is one of these elements. Arts and culture activate a community, they bring a city to life and add a vibrancy that makes Port Coquitlam an attractive place to live. The benefits are varied and innumerable, but is most succinctly summarized as contributing to a complete community.

2. Should you be successful in winning a seat on Port Coquitlam’s city council, how will you support and promote the Arts in Port Coquitlam during the coming term?

Eric Hirvonen

As a member of council I will promote local arts.

Robin Smith

l would help promote and if need be, help verbally advertise any upcoming productions as well as help out financially be it monetarily or in the way of free or reduced hall rentals for example.

Brad West

Over the past number of years, our Council has worked to provide a strong foundation for the arts to grow in our community. While we have a lot to be proud of, we have much more to do. I believe the future direction of the arts in Port Coquitlam should be led by the PoCo Arts Council and others who bring expertise and passion. I believe the city’s role is to be a supportive partner and facilitator of this process. Further, the city has the responsibility to ensure adequate funding exists and grants are realized. By working cooperatively, I believe we can achieve a great deal for our city over the next four years.

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QUESTIONS TO COUNCIL CANDIDATES

1. In your opinion what is the significance and value of the Arts in Port Coquitlam?

Dawn Becker

The Arts have a place in all societies. The Arts help to create, define and share cultural values and norms. The Arts provide a venue for sharing points of views, can be thought provoking, and may help to create a dialogue of sharing and understanding. There are some who do not understand the value the Arts provide a community. That lack of understanding can be as a result of little or no exposure to the Arts. The Arts do bring value to a community.

David Blaber

The arts allow us to see into our past, our heritage and ourselves. It is a way for people to express themselves, it promotes happiness and it serves as inspiration for those who experience it. It can be the first thing you see and hear when you enter a city. It is especially important for PoCo to be a leader in the arts and demonstrate that we are a diverse community because, as we grow, we need to show new residents and the businesses that follow them that we are open and they are welcome.

Steve Darling

“I think their is great value in the arts in our community. I feel we want keep families and invite new families and having a vibrant Arts Community only adds to the appeal. My plan is to revitalize the downtown core and that includes increasing the accessibility and use of Arts programs.

Robert Delagiroday

I believe that, for a community to flourish and grow, the artistic perspectives of as much of the community as possible should be embraced. To that end, I believe beautification and rejuvenation of our downtown core and to other struggling business districts, with a focus on arts and culture, would make this a community people will want to be a part of. Art and culture are lasting and impactful contributions to a community, and Port Coquitlam could be doing more in growing that aspect of the community.

Erhan Demirkaya

i believe that arts , culture and heritage are bringing people together and they are very very important for healthy society to understand each other and the world.

Vince Donnelly

I think the arts are important to a city culture. My son Nathan has shown that he is a talented drawer. Although my background is more in Sports rather than the arts I’m all in favor of anything that engages our youth. I think we should have a balance between sports and arts. I would love to see the city put on paint nights for youth and see if we can work with the school’s to develop more drama classes.

Laura Dupont

Arts bring colour and life to our community. Our Arts, Culture and Heritage round us out and make us an interesting and vibrant city. They are as important as any other aspect of our city and deserve consistent consideration by City Council. I am grateful for the creative energy in Port Coquitlam and look forward to a Council that embraces and supports FLSS/Poco Arts Council

Mike Forrest

Though a “backbencher” compared to Councillor Michael Wright, I was part of that city council that brought the Leigh Square Arts Village to completion , and so I have a sort of vested interest in art promotion.
Art enhances and enlightens our community.
It excites city spaces and showcases local talent.
It is basic to the cultural mosaic of a community and becomes part of our Heritage. Art is an expression of community energy !

Shakeel Gaya

I strongly believe that each of us has a physical component and and a spiritual component . For a complete human being
both components need to nurtured.
The community without any artistic expression opportunity is truly a barren society . The need for arts in PoCo is considerable as there do not seem to be any concerted efforts at this aspect.

Nancy McCurrach

Over the past two decades, our family has been very involved in the various disciplines in The Arts in the community. When my children were younger they were involved in musical theatre, piano, highland dancing and within the school setting – art. My sister is an art teacher in Sechelt and I completed three years of university in the Faculty of Education with my concentration in Art. For the past eight years I have been an active volunteer for the City of Port Coquitlam in the Arts and Culture Program where I have seen first hand what programs and events are going on. I have been blessed to assist at various events including Music in the Park, Coffee Concerts, 12 Days of Christmas- Felice Choir Holiday Concert, Easter Arts Celebration, Winter Artisan Market and more. The arts have been deeply entrenched in my values and I firmly believe that the arts foster confidence, encourage creative problem solving, communication, and team work. The arts also improve mental health as a form of therapy, they provide our youth a sense of belonging and pride and foster other positive expressions in a variety of ways. I also believe that these programs and events bring the citizens of Port Coquitlam together and contribute to a sense of community. One great project that the city has become artistically involved with is the Piano on the Street program. I have witnessed some incredible talents unleashed as individuals passing by randomly start to play for all to enjoy – absolutely love this concept! I have a great amount of respect for the Arts and the positive effects that they have on people and would love to see the Arts continue to flourish!

Darin Nielsen

I feel the Arts in Port Coquitlam provide the same benefits as Arts do for other cities. Showing that when art happens, there are benefits to communities and to individuals. Those benefits include increased creative capacity and insight, the ability to bridge and bond and make connections with people who aren’t like you. Art is unique in that it offers individualized experiences, which can comfort you, sometimes provoke you, sometimes challenge you and sometimes it does all of those things.
For me, I have not been an active participant in the Arts of PoCo. My focus was sports. Therefore, I cannot truly provide an answer with great detail specific to the significance and value of Arts in Port Coquitlam. I do not know how many residents participate in events in the Arts in our City. I have a great amount to learn. I understand the importance of Art, but I need to learn more. I do not want to provide a phony answer based on very little involvement with the Arts in our City.

Priscilla Omulo

I believe that arts is something that brings people together from all ages and backgrounds. Arts gives an opportunity for people to come together and share in music, theatre, dance and many other forms. It is also not just about a sharing of talent it is also about the ability to draw in local artists to contribute to our local economy.

Darrell Penner

Arts and culture defines a community it makes our lives richer. Without The Arts life would be pretty bland..

Glenn Pollock

I believe a thriving Arts and Culture Community is vital to having a complete, healthy City. I think it’s one component of a healthy City along with a thriving sports and recreation culture, lots of parks and sidewalks, plenty of places for people to interact….the list goes on

Tommy Raguero

– Like sports, education, and community safety, the significance and value of arts are just as important. That said, I do feel it doesn’t get the attention it truly deserves. Everyone is different and like a variety of things and we need to be able to provide programs, events and services for the ones not only the ones who take interest, but providing education to the ones that have no idea what they potentially are missing.

Carolyn Stewart

Art has been a large part of my upbringing, and as a musician, I believe in it’s importance in our culture. Often times it is a reflection of our society and a snapshot in time, but can also be a vision of hopes and dreams. A means of expression can be presented in various art forms, such as paintings, music, writings. In an ever growing world of industrialization, we need to strongly maintain the arts.

Justin Traviss

The arts are a key factor in building any community. Arts allow us to view life in different ways and helps to frame our thoughts. The value of art is subjective, but in my opinion the arts help defines a community and bring people together. In order for any of this to happen, arts must be accessible for both the practice and appreciation.

Jami Watson

Arts in Port Coquitlam and around the world plays a significant role in mental wellness, local innovation and in reconciliation.

 

2. Should you be successful in winning a seat on Port Coquitlam’s city council, how will you support and promote the Arts in Port Coquitlam during the coming term?

Dawn Becker

Participation, promotion, patron, and increasing my knowledge of the Arts in Port Coquitlam.

David Blaber

Support for the arts starts with making sure local artists, actors and musicians are being paid fairly for the labour they put in. It involves promoting the arts through annual and seasonal festivals. For example: having an art in the streets festival with artists and musicians performing for all too see. The city can run competitions for local artists of all kinds including specific events for students and those with disabilities. I believe we can do more to colour our city with music, art and culture, and to market those initiatives both within PoCo and outside of it.

Steve Darling

As I stated before, A new energy that I plan on bringing to POCO includes supporting current and new arts programs. I think we need to sit down with stakeholders in the Arts community and find out what is working and what is not. We need to look beyond our borders for grants and programs that might work in Port Coquitlam and find out how we can make that work for us. Arts is an important part of community and I will work hard to keep it going and increase it’s footprint”

Robert Delagiroday

It comes down to education and exposure. Through extra-curricular art-related activities for our youth, and art initiatives sponsored by our local business community, we can mature as a community and strengthen our bond to each other through expression. By framing this as an initiative in the best interests of the business community, we can can foster patronage by local businesses. I would also approach the provincial government about investing in the arts in Port Coquitlam – we already pay for those type of initiatives through our PST and income taxes, so we can improve our artistic community without any additional tax burden.

Erhan Demirkaya

if i win a seat as a city councillor, i will promote the true value of arts, culture in our lives i will be happy to work with Friends Of Leigh Square Society /PoCo Arts Council

Laura Dupont

I will continue to take part in and encourage opportunities for festivals, art shows, music, writing, story telling, crafts, art in the park etc. I will celebrate the arts as a member of Council. I will keep spreading the word via social media about the good things going on in Port Coquitlam. I will seek input from artists in Port Coquitlam to better understand how we can support them. I will advocate for local arts groups when it comes to accessing grants and funding.

Mike Forrest

If I am fortunate enough to be a part of the next council team, I look forward to supporting more Art in community spaces and developments.
I look forward to ideas from FLSS and the Arts community as to how best support flourishing art events in POCO.

Shakeel Gaya

I am not sure of financial support from the city for arts and would try to increase this support if elected to the office.
I would also endeavor to make arts in PoCo a unifying form by inviting different groups to participate and share their culture .
This would include the indigenous people and all the people who make PoCo their home . By sharing art forms of different types and from different cultures we can succeed in making PoCo a vibrant, dynamic and inclusive city .

Nancy McCurrach

I would like to encourage partner groups in the city or within the Tri-Cities to use Leigh Square and or Terry Fox Secondary Theater more for the various preforming arts such as musical theater, singing or even a junior orchestra that could be part of the Leisure Guide Program. I would like to see more pop up Art stations that have preforming artists, opera singers, harmonica, Highland dancer, Scottish Dancers, Indian Dancers. etc – at different pop up spots in the City.
The PoCo Heritage Museum is a great venue for showcasing Art work along with the Outlet. The PoCo Heritage Trees is a blended form of Art and history that brings people from all over to check it out. I am proud to be a member of the PoCo Heritage Trees people as well. It would be wonderful to include more connection with the Kwitwetlum First Nations and see if they want to partner perhaps in the next exhibit – showcasing more indigenous art.
I believe that Port Coquitlam should have a rainbow crosswalk as a symbol of acceptance of the LGBTQ community. The cities of Coquitlam and Port Moody already have rainbow crosswalks having one is PoCo would show true tri-city solidarity. The rainbow crosswalk is also a beautiful artistic creation that would add to the beauty of our community.
I will do my best to protect the line item for the Arts in the budget and advocate for encouraging and fostering the Arts. I would argue that the arts deserve to be equal to all those other areas that people see as vital to the community. The positive effects of the arts programs on the individuals within the community is an important benefit that needs to be fought for.

Darin Nielsen

As mentioned above, my involvement in our Arts in the City is low. However, I would be committed to improving my knowledge and support of the Arts in Port Coquitlam. I realize the need to support our residents that have talents in the Arts.
Often, the focus of Council is on sports. I need to talk to the Arts community and to individuals such as Thelka Wright & Bruce Carabine to find out their needs and to explore how other cities cultivate the Arts. If PoCo is lacking in support for Arts, then I am prepared to work with the Arts community to improve our support. We need to suport & celebrate all of our residents including arts and sports as it identifies us as a community.

Priscilla Omulo

Upon being elected I would be advocating for a number of ways to support the arts community.
– To start I would like to see a fund available within the budget so PoCo Arts can start projects as they come up without having to wait too long for grant approvals.
– With the amazing events and festivals that the city hosts throughout the year there is a great opportunity to highlight the arts and not only as a before or after an event but part of a event.
– I would really like to see PoCo Arts be part of Port Coquitlams business planning and city life. There is a great opportunity for us to establish ourselves as a thriving arts community as we already have home to many local artists.

Darrell Penner

I would continue to promote and support the arts as I have during my terms on council. I supported the Arts Village project and am looking forward to seeing it expanded when Leigh Square is fully developed.

Glenn Pollock

I believe the Port Coquitlam Sports Alliance has been a great success for the City and I would like to see it replicated to the best of our ability in the realm of Arts and Culture. I think the City should create such an Alliance and hire an ED but, that person would be an employee of the Alliance rather than the City. I think that’s an important distinction, that the ED would answer to the membership and not the City. I think a similar funding model to the Sport Alliance should be used as well.

Tommy Raguero

– If successful, my focus is really the youth and their development, celebrating our multi cultural community, and small businesses. I would love to work with the likes of yourself in coming up with ideas on how to promote the arts to the youth on a bigger scale. All is needed is a voice, and I can be one of those voices for the arts. I would really love to bring this community together and celebrate all the different cultures that make PoCo what it is today through different events and festivals.

Carolyn Stewart

Yes I would support the arts. I believe you are doing wonderful work. I know the more you do, the more you can see needs to be or can be done.
I would be interested in exploring the benefits of:
a larger Music festival over 3 days that includes all our large parks. I know you have the Culture days, but perhaps on a broader scale such as the Northern lights festival in Sudbury, Ontario -https://nlfb.ca/artists/ this is not only for music but incorporates many information booths as well.
a Busking on the dyke ‘festival’ much like in White Rock had a busking along the walk Hanging art in local restaurants
Connecting with larger Galleries and touring art work

Justin Traviss

The vibrant arts community in Port Coqutilam deserves a fair voice in the city council. When elected I would be honored to offer a voice for the Arts community. Port Coqutilam has an exciting and vibrant downtown that needs to continue to evolve and develop with time. Arts are an important pillar in this process.

Jami Watson

How I plan to support and promote the arts is through several ways.
a.)attend meetings and listen to the concerns and opinions of those involved in the arts
b.) Public art is a passion of mine. Recently travelled to Montreal, New York, Toronto and Seattle. I fell in love with heritage and the modern art displayed everywhere and love the feel of the cities.
c.) Craft, farm and public markets are my absolute favourite and I will be a frequent visitor/promoter through social media d.) Reconciliation through art is something I have heard about and would like to continue pursuit of it.
e.) I love music, film, photography, gardening (there is awesome garden art to explore as well!). Any initiatives regarding these form of art, I am in!

 

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