We recently circulated a survey to our membership, asking about important issues as we gear up our advocacy efforts for the October 20 municipal elections. Here are a few of the highlights we pulled from the feedback:
Unsurprisingly, members identified funding as a major issue of importance, with approximately half of all respondents so far responding that "funding for cultural infrastructure" and "funding for grant programs for individual artists and arts organizations" are of "high importance" to their municipality. Many members also highlighted the importance of increased access to affordable housing, work spaces, and venues, as well as the maintenance of existing facilities.
As part of the survey, we asked for stories about how arts and culture have revitalized member communities. We received an outpouring of inspiring responses. Here are a couple of our favourites:
"Nelson is fortunate to have Selkirk College School of the Arts, which offers a unique group of programs encompassing fine craft, contemporary music and digital arts and new media. These programs have a had large cultural impact on Nelson by attracting and retaining instructors and students, many of which stay to become an integral part of the community."
"The Steamboat Mountain Music Festival has become Edgewater's signature event over the past seven years. Sometimes it helps people to connect across the divide of factions that have plagued the community. My favourite story this year occurred when one of our perennial volunteers, who happens to play the drums, received a text to let her know there was a drum kit at the Friday evening porch party jam; she was so excited she went running out to the party and forgot her teeth!"
Thanks to everyone who responded to this survey with their voices, views and expertise. Stay tuned for more information on our ArtsVote BC website as we get ready for the elections and, please, hang onto your teeth.