Municipal Candidates' Forum
The Kingston Arts Council hosted a Municipal Candidates forum on Wednesday, October 8 at the Centre Culturel Frontenac. We invited the participating candidates to submit their comments to our website.
Here is what they had to say...
"Thank you for the oppurtunity to be a part of the forum Wednesday,I beleive the nessary funding requirements of the arts council can be acheived threw promotion and development, and I feel as Kevin Costner did in Field of Dreams "build it and they will come" Thank You again"
Joseph R. Barr candidate for mayor
"The creative arts Centre with an artist based education outreach program is what missing in our schools and community. The center would become a focus point in the downtown.
Funding for the art's will have a base line of $500 000. This will be capital funding to leverage grants from the federal and provincial governments, since most grant programs require base funds. This will be from the tax base. As I explained on Wednesday night, if we take the funding that is going for the "People Soft Training" and cut our loss in this program, we can restore the base funding needed for the Art's Council. I will bring this point up in further debates."
Jeffrey P. Lowes, Candidate for Mayor For A Better City!
Arts and Culture play a vital role in our community.
It extends beyond an arts exhibition. It is more than a single arts or cultural organization.
Arts and culture is a community, one that includes artists - both those who derive their income from it and those that do it as a hobby, patrons of the arts, and the various organizations that help promote our local talent and bring it into the public light.
But arts and culture is still more than that. It is something that enriches all of our lives, whether or not we directly participate. The promotion of arts and culture by a city promotes social development, but it also acts as a tool for economic development.
I agree with Professor Richard Florida who in an article entitled "Quality of Place" suggests focusing on creating an environment designed to attract talented people of the 'creative class'. By doing so, these creative people will add to the economic prosperity of the city through some of their own initiatives as well as the different kinds of companies that are attracted to communities that have a diverse and creative culture.
From his research, Florida found that the creative class is drawn to centres that offer cultural amenities, have a talented workforce and strong university, are tolerant of diversity of people, and have a wide range of outdoor amenities. By reinventing themselves, cities can attract the right group of people who will add to the economic wellbeing of the city.
As such, I recommend that funding for the arts be made one of the economic priorities of the City of Kingston. Furthermore, I recommend that a set level of funding be provided for a 10 year period - not funding on a per project basis, but funding for the overall promotion of the arts.
Given the expertise in this area that lies outside of City Hall, it is imperative that KEDCO and the Kingston Arts Council, as well as other similar parties, be brought to the table to discuss how best proceed with a long term arts and culture development strategy.
Candidate for Kings Town (District 11)
I want to thank the Kingston Arts Council for providing this forum for debate. J'aimerais prendre le temps pour remercier le centre culturel Frontenac pour leur accueil ici ŕ l'octave.
Let me start with a quotation I used in my most recent article on organizational renewal and leadership.
"Leadership is an act of faith. In an age where no secret is sacred, where fabrications and false confidences are the stuff of daily life, leadership has retained its mystery… and never has it been talked about so much-the best possible proof of its power and enchant."
Why did I choose this quote to start with? Well, first, because it comes from one of my all time favourite applied artists, fashion designer Christian Dior. Second, because we were asked to outline our vision with respect to the place and potential of arts and culture in our community, and I think leadership is what arts and culture can, and should, provide to our community.
I have a diverse background that includes engineering, fashion design, and eighteen years as a naval officer. I'm often asked to explain the connection between these three things. Well, aside from being things that I'm interest in, they are all applied vocations. Engineering is applied science. Fashion design is applied art. Being a senior military officer is both applied history, and applied leadership. I have also studied political science, and my first 21 days in applied politics have so far been enjoyable, and educational.
It has also reminded me of the importance of both formal and informal education. Education exists for the preservation and development of our community, and no one can contribute more to that goal than the artist whose function it is to raise the level of inter-human understanding, and to restore and increase the community's belief in itself, and in the sheer joy of being alive.
But the positions of leader and educator cannot simply be given to an individual or group; they must be earned. Leaders and educators can be developed and helped along the way however, so, if you as artists wish to take up the challenge, I, if elected as your mayor, pledge my help and support to you in the quest to retake these important roles in our proud city. How will we do this? I hope we will have the opportunity to exchange some ideas on this topic this evening. With your support on Election Day we will have three years to work together so we can remind all Kingstonians of the sheer joy of being alive.
"The next generation of leadership"
Please get out and vote on November 10th
My vision with respect to the place and potential of arts and culture within our community.
We are all taxpayers, whether we rent or own. The challenge for upcoming councils will to be to spread around the existing money(taxbase) on the services we have to provide. I don't have the solution, I would like to have money for all groups. That being said if it comes to providing for the arts, or running a Kiddie wading pool for the summer(for example and there are many), I know I will maintain funding for the pool. If you have a solution please tell me, because taxpayers I have talked to so far don't want to pay more taxes. Maybe you can convince them otherwise. I can appreciate that the arts are a vital part of our growth as a civilization, I just don't know how to help you with the current financial situation that the city is in. If elected I propose to hold regular meetings in my Ward area to allow residents to tell me how to vote on issues, or funding requests. I will allow the residents of the Ward to shape my vision.
As always I am empathetic, and am always willing to listen.