1 - DO YOU SEE ARTS AND CULTURE AS HAVING AN ACTIVE ROLE IN MAKING VERNON A MORE DESIRABLE PLACE TO LIVE, IN BUILDING COMMUNITY, AND AS AN ECONOMIC DRIVER? IF SO, HOW DO YOU PLAN TO SUPPORT IT IN THE FUTURE?
Candidates for Mayor
VICTOR I CUMMING
Yes, arts and culture is critical to maintaining the diversity of Vernon, which I see as one of the City’s key strengths. This is clearly demonstrated by the success of the Performing Arts Centre and the Vernon Community Arts Centre.
I would like to build a new city hall 4 or 5 stories like Advantage Building, and 1 floor art’s floor, 1 floor museum.
Yes, I believe that the Art's & Culture center will create a huge economic benefit, build connections in our community and create a desirable place for people to call home. I think we need to work with surrounding communities, tourism Vernon and as Council to take every opportunity to promote, support and embrace this new center in our community if that’s what residents vote for come October 20th.
Candidates for Councillor
Arts and Culture and Sports and Parks and Nature all need to part of the fabric of our community. Greater Vernon is achieving pretty fair balance in this regard. We could do it better if we were amalgamated.
The ongoing growth of the arts and culture sector will ensure we continue to be attractive to the young, savvy entrepreneur as well as families. The community’s appreciation and need for arts and culture seems to be growing as the demographic of the city evolves. I will, after much investigation and clarification vote yes to the new cultural centre in Vernon. That being said the voice of the people, not mine, is what is important and what will, or will not grow the arts and culture sector in our community. A new cultural centre in the downtown core will positively impact our economy in the downtown core and that to me is worth a yes vote!
I Identify the value of the importance for communities to embrace arts, culture and heritage.
Multiculturalism, and all that it encompasses, is a Canadian value. Diversity makes an educated and insightful community. These attributes enrich the cultural fabric of community by introducing new foods, music, traditions, beliefs and interests. I believe in the importance of arts, culture and heritage. I would commit to learning more about the City of Vernon’s investment into the arts. [...]
I believe that the arts and culture provide the community and its individuals with autonomy,
individual expression, a sense of belonging to community, and health and wellbeing in society. These benefits have a more measurable impact on our economy. Strong individuals, strong families lead to strong communities.
Yes. Arts and culture is what gives a city life. Everything is arts and culture. Its very important on many levels. One way I will be supporting arts and culture is to vote yes for the Arts and Culture Centre. Another will be support of a new pool. That is also our arts and culture of Vernon. This is a very oversimplified answer for a complex question.
I have always been a firm believer that building an Identity forged from arts and culture is essential in building a strong and diverse community that drives economic sustainability. There was a report done for the City of Kelowna that spoke to benefits of building a strong identity centred around arts and culture, and one way to do this was to build the infrastructure needed to enhance this development. So yes, the new Arts and Culture Centre is a great step in the right direction to building another foundation support in a growing community base. Aside from this, I believe the City is finally acknowledging the economic impact that a culturally diverse community will have on the broader development for a sustainable society. “Participation in the arts has a beneficial social impact. Arts are inclusive and can contribute to neighbourhood renewal. They can build confidence and encourage strong community groups... and make a real difference to health, crime, employment, and education in deprived communities.” The outcome… is an action plan… to ensure that the arts maximize their contribution towards reducing social exclusion and contributing towards neighbourhood renewal.
I see Arts and Culture as very important elements in these areas. People will not move to a town solely based on if their brand of faith is not in a community, if their sport of choice is not available, etc. When I go visit a community I will seek out venues that display their history, their local artistic and cultural offerings. When I have out of the area visitors I take them out to O'Keefe, We go to the museum, I even will take them to the Science Center. In my role as councillor when it comes to all amenities including arts and culture these will be a focus for me. Even if NORDS referendum is approved it will still take nearly a term or more before we see construction begin. I don't see a new center up and running for about 5-6 years (government is slower then a sloth). Much of the role of council is to set civic policy. The city does have small amounts of grants. I believe council can contribute to the Arts and Cultural amenities. As a councillor I will serve and listen to the groups in this arena. I will be their voice in the chambers, and their coach in regards to municipal matters. While other issues may take priority I think Arts, cultural, recreation, and transportation all need their share of attention. We cant ignore one child because another is having a bad day
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The return on investment in culture and the arts has been proven to be very high. Culture and arts are a strong determinant in attracting young families and businesses to our community. The impact on the livability of the city, the deterrent on crime, the social opportunities for youth, and the ancillary economic benefits cannot be ignored. I will advocate that culture and the arts be considered in all development projects and in all city buildings. I will support applications for events and festivals and will encourage the city to partner where ever possible.
Continue to encourage the Arts Council of the North Okanagan in its role in being a resource for the Arts Community. I am past President of the ACNO.
Yes, absolutely! A vibrant arts community will significantly enhance our ability to attract economic development, migration to Vernon as a place to live and play and to recruit skilled workers and professionals in health care, education and technology.
Arts and Culture initiatives are limited only by our imagination and should be part of our economic development plans. Greater Vernon is an ideal community in which to nurture enhanced education opportunities for music, art and design, theatre, film and emerging digital technologies.
At a personal level, I am committed to securing a license from the CRTC for the establishment of a new not-for-profit FM community radio station, which will present an opportunity to showcase local singer-songwriters and to present a variety of music from genres not now available on over-the-air radio station.
Arts and Culture have a role in Vernon.
I do see arts and culture as having an active role in making Vernon a more desirable place to live. Arts and culture is also an economic driver that will help to attract and retain younger people and families to live, work and play here. This is another reason I support the borrowing for a new cultural centre downtown. This will make a statement that Vernon is serious and gets behind its art and culture today and well into the future.
I have publicly stated I support the Arts and Culture Center because we have to have different amenities to bring young families and business to Vernon.
It is a known fact that for every dollar spent in the Arts there is a $7 return.
Yes I see arts and culture as having an active role in making Vernon a more desirable place to live. Statistics have proven that for every dollar a community spends on art and culture the return is seven fold.
Yes, it is critical. Arts and culture are making communities unique as they reflect the history of an area and showcase the talents and skills of residents. A fe great examples of our area are Valley Vocal Arts, our dance studios, Vernon & Area Community Music School, and Creative Chaos.
Yes, I see arts and culture as having an active role in making Vernon a more desirable place to live. If by economic driver you mean that arts and culture can add to the economy, I do. If you mean that it would be of the magnitude of an industry like agriculture or forestry, I believe it has a way to go. Although not artistic myself, I support and endorse programs and events that celebrate, commemorate, promote arts and culture. However I am unlikely to add further to my extensive art collection.
Yes. The cultivation of arts and culture in our community is directly related to our ability to attract and supply employees to innovative new start ups.
WILL YOU VOTE ‘YES’ IN THE OCT 20 GREATER VERNON REFERENDUM ON BORROWING UP TO $25 MILLION FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONSTRUCTING A NEW CULTURAL CENTRE IN DOWNTOWN VERNON?
Yes, I am now a supporter of the Greater Vernon Culture Centre Proposal. During an earlier proposal, that I carefully reviewed, I was not a supporter because both the capital and operating requirements had not been clearly thought out. I now believe that the concept as it has been proposed with shared financing between Greater Vernon taxpayers and senior levels of government, will be good value for money spent creating solid social and economic benefits for the community. It will also provide significant dividends to our downtown.
I would vote no as a new city hall 5 stories high could be leased out to the Regional District and the tax payers wouldn’t get stuck with the payment.
I will be voting “Yes” on Oct 20 th for the Art & Culture Center and allowing the City to borrow up to $25 million. The key is the long-term economic benefit we will see from the center, the ability to promote the City on a new level and a sense of inclusion of all. After touring the Art Gallery in Vernon it’s clear why the need for the new center is a top priority so they can provide a service to the community that they are more than capable of. This has been a priority for many years in our City since the late 80’s with a new facility that was suppose to come in the early 90’s so I believe in the importance in Arts and Culture in our community.
Candidates for Councillor
Hard question. I wanted and want the cultural center but I do not like the current plan. I supported the old cultural center that we had.
When this was first proposed, including the library, I supported that, but the three entities could not agree. Then the art gallery was going to go on the vacant lot where the Vernon Flower shop was, beside the bus turn around, that seemed reasonable. We now have a request for a 45 million dollar building (I say 45m because I expect budget overages).
Try and put that in context.
The whole new arena cost 13 million.
The brand new 6 storey, 100 unit, underground parking…. Apartment building downtown cost 36 million. So are we going to build an Art Gallery 25% larger than that massive apartment building ?
I propose a public private partnership. Our OCP supports growing vertically, with residentialabove the lower commercial, service levels. Lets do an 8 storey building with residential above and now a cultural center would actually be generating money.
As of today yes. It’s a big ask but I feel the community will benefit both economically as well as socially from the yes vote. (see:
I do not have a strong personal opinion regarding the development of a new Greater Vernon Cultural Centre. The project will cost the average Vernon household $48 per year for 20 years. Vernon households are currently paying an average of $36 per year towards the original Kal Tire Place and Performing Arts Center which will be ending soon, so the actual increase will ultimately be closer to$12 per year for an average household.
Where I struggle, is not whether it is a great project or not, nor is it with a $12 annual household tax increase. My struggle with voting yes is that if we as a city are going to borrow $25,000,000 is this project the priority? I don’t believe it is. I would personally be more than happy to have my household taxes increase by the same amount to partner with the province to build affordable housing for low and middle-income families. However, the question asked is not should Vernon borrow $25,000,000 and if so where do you think it should go?
Ultimately, as a voter, I do not personally view it as a priority. I do, however, understand that it will not hinder a future aquatic center which is important, and I do believe it is a good project for Vernon, overall. It will add to our social infrastructure beyond athletics and will draw future investments to revitalize the 30 street and 34 avenue area of downtown.
Therefore, I will be voting yes in support of a new Greater Vernon Cultural Centre.
As mentioned in the previous, building a strong economic foundation in a community can take time. There are many social and economic facets that a civic government must employ to get it right. Arts and Culture is one of those areas that a strong and diverse community must instill. Kelowna created their arts and culture hub in their downtown core decades ago which has now helped transform the shape and feel of that area and of their community. There’s a feel that none of us can deny when walking on Water street. But to show their citizens how powerful this change has been, they prepared an economic assessment report (UBCO) which outlined the economic benefits of investing in the people for the decade prior. When looking at the direct cost it’s equally important to look at the indirect benefits - the development of a “strong and vibrant community that builds economic opportunity.” So yes I fully support the borrowing up to $25 million for the purpose of building a new Arts and Culture Centre. It is also important to keep in mind that this doesn’t mean the City will need this much, there are opportunities for grant dollars and other outside investment that could assist with the construction of this complex thus reducing the direct cost associated with this development.
YES. Its only about $1 a month more. 25 cents more then I am currently paying. That is if the building actually costs about $40 million. I think we can get it built for a lot less. For example the loan is based on the notion of Vernon selling the land to NORD. Vernon could keep the land and enter an agreement to let NORD build and operate the center. While it wont boost the coffers it wont add to the burden of the cost of the facility. Its a thought not a position. I'm not married to this idea but it is something to look at.
I will be voting YES in the referendum.
I will vote yes and hope that referendum passes.
Yes. This is an exciting project, worthy of strong community support.
Yes is my vote. A few people I have talked to have said to me that they are not in favour and that we are mortgaging the future of our children and grandchildren. The vast majority of people I have talked to see this as an investment for our children and grandchildren. This is also my view and why I support this. The Arts and Culture sector is a key economic driver that will contribute to our local economy by building a strong and vibrant downtown as well as creating civic engagement. This is a positive investment in our future.
Yes, with educating others that we can bring 30 million in grants to Vernon! We should only need to borrow ten million, I will work with the Province to secure more funding.
I will be voting Yes. I have been a huge proponent since I was first elected in 2014. Preserving history, through the telling of stories expression is essential for any community’s growth. It will also be a huge economic driver to the community. It will be a great way to preserve and showcase history. To have OKIB be a part of this project alone is a good reason to vote yes.
I will vote Yes in the referendum and hope everyone else will do so as well!
I will vote yes on the referendum. If the referendum is voted down then I will support that decision by residents and I won’t push through the current plan through an alternative process like others have done with projects in the past.
Unless I see some business plan for how operating costs are to be recovered I will not vote “Yes” on the referendum to borrow $25 million dollars to construct a new cultural centre. There are a number of those $25 million facilities, lovely as they may be, that do not attract enough visitors. The Kay Llnagaay Haida Heritage Centre on Haida Gwaii, The Cowboy Museum in Cochrane, Alberta and the Siksika Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park come to mind, where there are more staff present than sightseers. The Guggenheim Museum in Balboa, Spain, is a fabulous structure, but when I visited there with friends, in 2000, none of us found the exhibits very interesting. A great building does not make for great exhibits. Whereas in Barcelona, whether it was the Naval Museum, the Ceramics Museum, the Catalonian Museum or several others they really knew how to make one feel involved with the exhibits, despite plane looking buildings on the outside. One does not have to look far for well-presented exhibits as found at the Historic O’Keefe Ranch, but their attendance is not as great as is befitting its offerings. The Vernon Museum has good exhibits but I am not aware of an overflow of visitors that having a bigger facility is going to justify a new facility. As mentioned in my Issues, Concerns and Goals (and in response to other queries) if the referendum fails I would advocate for putting the Art Gallery in the old Library Space to have synergies of the Museum and Art Gallery being adjacent to one another. I am not actively against the referendum but I have given an honest answer. There are a number of attractions in the area that might benefit from collective marketing and package deals including the Museum, Art Gallery, O’Keefe Ranch, Planet Bee Honey Farm, the Log Barn,
Davison Orchards Country Village, Kangaroo Creek Farm and Allan Brooks Nature Centre.