Kingston Arts Council
Focus On The Arts - Hear What Your Candidates Have to Say (or not say) About the Arts

Arts and culture platforms or statements from the municipal election candidates

NB. These are direct quotes from the candidates’ websites. If the candidates do not have a website or do not mention arts or culture, then they are not listed here.


Mayoral Candidates

Rob Matheson

A Vision for Kingston

The future of Kingston is an important investment for every resident of the city from East to West, from the centre of downtown to the farthest reaches of the North end. Through consultation with the public the city has developed a plan to become Canada's most sustainable city, a plan that I have adopted as part of my vision for the future of Kingston.

When we hear the word sustainable we often think about the green initiatives that are so popular today.  While that is a facet of the plan for a sustainable future for the city it is only one part - or pillar - in the four pillars of sustainability.  The four pillars of sustainability together create a complete foundation on which to build a platform for the future.  Please read on to learn of some specific ways in which I plan to work with the residents of Kingston to create a better, stronger community.


Vibrant Arts & Culture

  • Create a Sir John A Macdonald Commission to prepare & Plan Bicentennial Celebrations with community partners.
  • Increase marginally the funding to the KCAF fund to promote Arts & Culture.
  • Establish Graffiti and Mural Walls within Kingston. Develop a year round program of graffiti eradication with community partners like those Citizens who established CAGE, so that the victims do not have to pay the consequences of this crime.
  • Develop a waterfront Boardwalk concept plan using land and water space, with public input.
  • Investigate and develop two beach areas to their full capability at Richardson Beach and Lake Ontario Park.
  • Pursue a 50m and 25m Aquatic Facility to meet our current 75m shortfall, that will meet both our current and future needs, and be able to attract Sports Tourism. Investigate more fully potential partnerships and fund-raising opportunities.
  • Soccer field expansion and improvements - with a focus on partnering towards an indoor dome type facility.
  • Partner with our cultural communities within Kingston to develop a "World Expo" type event(s) celebrating the various nations that populate Kingston, from our indigenous Aboriginal brothers and sisters to every immigrant culture thereafter.


Mark Gerretsen

Mark's Plan

The Four Pillars of Sustainability


  • Implement the recommendations of the Cultural Master Plan, including the development of cultural and historic tourism in Kingston.


City Councillors

Kevin George, Loyalist/Cataraqui

The arts community is an important component to any city and that is certainly the case in Kingston.  Funding has always been an issue but I believe we can do more to support our arts community and I will work with Council and City Staff to identify where extra resources may be found.


Liz Schell, Portsmouth

In the City of Kingston
The Culture Plan

As we worked on the Culture Plan it came to light that Kingston has no inventory of the art, artifacts, monuments and public art pieces that the city owns, or the condition of each. We need to create this inventory.

We do not have a public art policy. When we build a new city structure, I think it would be useful to have a policy in place if we decide to celebrate the building with a piece of commemorative art.

Kingston is a former capital of Canada, home of its first Prime Minister, a UNESCO heritage site, and a gateway to the numerous waterways. I would like to work with KEDCO and our local heritage presenters and museums to do much more to announce our place in history and tell the story of our past, for tourists and citizens alike.

I also believe the work of community artists and artisans, musicians and performers of all types must be encouraged, especially through the Kingston Arts Council, working in conjunction with the Culture Department. Just as sports are a great way to get exercise and feel part of a community, the arts foster creativity and community.

Bryon Patterson, Trillium

Thursday, October 12th
Bryan will be sharing his vision for Kingston's arts community at an all-candidates meeting at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour at 7:30pm.


Jeffrey Lowes, Cataraqui

Arts & Culture

There are a number of issues surrounding cultural support and the arts.  The last thing the arts community needs is a politician deciding what is art or culture.    As a Counsellor, Jeffrey will focus on two issues that will help the arts and culture flourish in the Kingston area.

According to the Ministry of Education; “approximately 1.4 million students attend Ontario’s 4,000 publicly funded elementary schools” and “approximately 700,000 students attend more than 850 publicly funded secondary schools in Ontario”.  This is not including the students from Quebec or our neighbours to the south in upper New York State.  With that said, there is not a program in place to bring these students through he dozens of art galleries to inspire young minds and the museums that are full of rich Canadian history including Fort Henry.  The issue is not touch on in the newly released “Kingston Community Cultural Policy Plan.”

We should create our “educational tourism season” to run in the early spring and late fall.  With a bigger snow removal budget we could even run a winter program but that is another issue.  This would dramatically improve the operational budgets for many of the museums and the exposure for the local artists.  Add a boat tour, dinner and some time for shopping we would see a lot of support from the business community.

This program could be run by Tourism Kingston under a “Museum Passport” system where a small surcharge could go into a dedicated reserve fund to further promote the program and additional arts funding in the community.  The second stage for this program would be to develop national competitions in different areas of the arts to be held in the Kingston area.  We could start by supporting  The Kingston Prize.

Business Planning and Operational Support

The second issue would be operational and budget planning support for the arts community.  Many groups that can deliver a unique cultural experience do not have the time to focus on the long-term financial planning issues.  This support would include help in accessing monies from other levels of government through a Cultural Development Office placed in KEDCO.  In exchange Jeffrey would like to see the art and the artists support the development of a website about local art and artists.  This portal would be on the City of Kingston, Tourism Kingston, KEDCO, School Boards, Queens, and St Lawrence College websites. 

Jeffrey would also like to see a single website outlining all of our museums, historic sites and archaeological sites.  KEDCO would be charged with the duty to keep the information up to date, including hours of operation, location on a map and contact information.  KEDCO is close but some of the information on the links is out of date or the physical site is currently closed for the season.

Ed Smith, Williamsville (Incumbent)

My decision-making process integrates environmental, social, cultural and economic benefits resulting in balanced community decisions.

Some Continued Priorities for Next Term

  • Continued policies and programs in support of Arts and Culture in our community


Bill Glover, Sydenham (Incumbent)

Bill Glover’s Vision of  Kingston’s Future

I have been an active supporter of arts, culture, and heritage. As well as being vital to us and our community, it represents 24.35% of our $234 million tourism spending.

My colleagues and I have also shown careful financial management. The last Council had annual tax increases of 5.7% and twice of 6.2%. By comparison, our highest rate was 4.7% deceasing annually to 3.23%. But we still improved parks, increased arts investment, enhanced services and continued infrastructure renewal.

Bill Glover's Council initiatives 2007 – 2010

  • Increase in arts funding February, 2007: At the 2007 operating budget discussions, I moved that arts funding be increased to a total of $500,000. It had been a campaign commitment, and received unanimous support.
  • Arts Advisory Committee October 16, 2007: During the election campaign there had been a huge all candidates meeting titled “Focus on Arts.” The need to establish an arts advisory committee had been clearly identified. I worked on terms of reference for such a committee, and brought the proposal to the Arts Recreation and Community Policies Committee on 23 August. Arts, Recreation and Community Policies Committee approved it on September 27 and Council adopted the ARC recommendation on October 16. The Committee began meeting early in 2008, and has provided valuable work since then.
  • Arts grants review February 17, 2009: This motion called for a review of the criteria by which organisations would be deemed eligible to apply for the City’s arts funding. I had three specific questions, and asked that they be brought before the public at a meeting of the Arts, Recreation and Community Policies committee. They were subsequently discussed by a committee of the Kingston Arts Council when they were updating the grant process as part of their business plan.

My promise going forward

  • the cultural plan needs to be supported with related investment…
  • I have made significant initiatives, for example in improving transit and furthering arts, culture and heritage – all vital elements of Kingston's fabric and our overall economy – and I want to see the new Council follow through on all of them.

Queen`s Performing Arts Centre

Council unanimously passed Councillor Bill Glover's Motion to have Queen's enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the specific role their new Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) would play in Kingston's cultural spectrum:


Floyd Patterson, Sydenham

Culture, the Arts and Heritage

Hockey, Soccer, baseball, football, golf, the triathlon drive sports tourism at an ever increasing pace; we have now discovered that culture, the Arts and Heritage can become a bigger economic driver; the next Council, with the new Community Cultural Policy Plan to guide it, will have the challenge of empowering creativity and heritage conservation to make Kingston a cultural  earning power, and an entertainment destination, that will be the envy of other cities.

When the thriving creative arts, fascinating museums,  and unequaled stock of historic  architecture are added in, Kingston, neighboured  by the UNESCO-designated World Heritage waterway, the Rideau, including the Fort Henry fortification at one end and the present national Capital, Ottawa, at the other, has the makings of a cultural economic driver that few other tourist centres can match.  The next City Council’s mission is to re-work our  identify into an arts and history destination that will garner unprecedented wealth from world travel.

[From his blog:]

Kaleidoscope: Celebration of the Arts

by Floyd Patterson

Kingston Arts Council’s “Celebration of the Arts” at Renaissance last night showcased music, poetry,dance, craft, film and theatre. I found it to be a wonderful spotlight on the rich cultural life of the Kingston region. Thanks to Barbara Linds of the Advocacy Committee and Ted Worth, Grants Director, and many others who put this event together, we were treated to engrossing poetry, read by its author, Steven Heighton, and the Kingston Symphony’s Triola musical ensemble.

The Kingston Community Cultural Plan, a consultant’s study to raise arts and culture to a significant economic driver in Kingston, has a wealth of artistic creativity to help launch this plan.It will take some months for the next City Council to figure out the best ways to implement this new approach to boosting the cultural life of Kingston.


Rob Hutchison, King's Town District (Incumbent)

Rob’s approach has been to balance community and economic development through balancing the four pillars of sustainability – economic, environmental, social and cultural.

Rob will continue to support and develop the work of the Kingston Arts and Design Centre downtown to help develop more community art and anchor our downtown economy.


Richard Moller, Pittsburgh District


I was pleased and honoured to be part of the FOCUS Kingston committee when Council accepted our recommendation to set the goal of making Kingston Canada's most sustainable city.  Many people have an idea about what sustainability means to them.  Commonly I hear people talking about the "four pillars" of sustainability:  Economic, Environmental, Cultural, and Social.  These four areas, I believe, are key to developing a sustainable city, but "pillars" are static and entrenched.  We need a more energetic view of our goal.  Perhaps it is my time at sea with the navy, but I see sustainability as parts of our Ship-of-State.

Clearly the economy is the engine that will drive our ship forward, but it is our culture that provides the keel on which everything else is built. The hull of the ship creates the living environment for us. It is our social conscience that guides where we are going and how fast we should get there as we stand on the bridge.

If all four elements work together, our city can sail into whatever future we choose.  If we ignore even one aspect, we will stall and stagnate and our entire city will suffer.