Burlington Election 2014: Arts and Culture

Giving Burlington Artists Access to our Cultural Buildings

Video: Interview with Selina Eckersall-McCall – Arts Person of the Year – about her vision and the future of arts and culture in Burlington

I regularly hear from artists that they can’t find performance or display space for their art. Our first priority has to be helping our artists use the cultural buildings that taxpayers have spent millions constructing and renovating. The city has a facility fee waiver program, to refund the fees for booking space in city buildings, but it doesn’t apply to cultural facilities run by an independent board: The Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Art Gallery of Burlington, Burlington Public Library. Our current fee waiver only applies to community centres and sporting facilities. We need to extend this opportunity to groups using our cultural buildings.

I introduced a motion in the last term to extend the fee waiver to these buildings – it lost on a 4-3 vote. I will bring a similar motion in the next term.

My priority is to invest directly in our artists, rather than build more bureaucracy/staffing at city hall. Much can be accomplished through a Citizen’s Committee on Arts and Culture, with support from the city’s full time cultural planner.