Originally published November 3, 2014
Arts are often seen as a "nice to have" amenity, but for a community such as Oak Bay, Arts form a vital pillar of our long-term success.
First, a disclaimer: the Arts are near and dear to my heart. Prior to entering Engineering at the University of Victoria, I did a dual major in high school in Mathematics and Fine Art, followed by a one-year certificate program in commercial art and design. I am still an amateur enthusiast photographer and sometimes sketcher. In addition to volunteering with local art events it has been a privilege to serve on the Greater Victoria Library Board for the last six years, helping develop the inter-relationships between the Library, Art Gallery, Symphony, Museum, and other institutions.
The arts are in important part of our community and an important part of individual development. Our arts-related businesses and events draw people from the region and around the world to Oak Bay, boosting our local economy and contributing to our community vibrancy. These include:
Art galleries that showcase both local and international artists
The Canadian College of Performing Arts (CCPA), which brings 85 performance-arts students from across Canada and over 20 supporting faculty to Oak Bay, bringing around $2 million in direct financial investment
Grass-roots organizations hosting arts-related events
We need, as a community, to support the modest leadership position Oak Bay has attained as an arts destination, and believe the creation of the Arts Laureate is a great start.
My priorities for the Arts include:
Help grass-roots community organizations and the Business Improvement Association (BIA) host events that promote Oak Bay artists and galleries to the broader region
Support the Arts Laureate with the ongoing visual public art programs
Aide in the promotion of local galleries and their efforts to see Oak Bay as a commercial fine-arts destination
Finding a new home for the CCPA in Oak Bay
Host more community-wide open-air events like “music in the park”
Encourage the many musical and theatre productions held in church halls, high school theatre, and Oak Bay Beach Hotel David Foster dinner theatre
Support he many fine art-related events such as the Bowker Creek Brush-Up and Artists’ Studio Tours