Luc 4 Ward 3
Guelph Arts Council Questions:
1. What is a work of art, in any medium, that has influenced you personally?
The collaboration between Micheal Langan, Anishinaabe/Cree artist and interdisciplinary Cree visual artist Kent Monkman to put Monkman's painting "The Scream" onto a series of 5 skateboards I find particularly compelling. Not only does the painting represent the reprehensible colonial treatment of indigenous people in Canada at the hands of the government and their agents (including the churches), but the translation of the painting to the usable and destructible medium of skateboards allows for a tactile experience to go along with thinking about how we might break down the systems that allowed residential schools to happen and continue to racialize and colonialize indigenous people in Canada. The work of both of these artists, in different mediums and in different ways, in deeply important to the ways that Canadians need to thinking about our colonialism (past and present) and its effects on everyone.

What is the last cultural/artistic event you attended?

In August of this year I travelled to Halifax with my partner and we happened to be there during a publicly-funded (locally, provincially, and federally) electronic music festival in a downtown park. For several nights in a row the free festival showcased electronic music and put it on display in a public and accessible location. All kinds of people attended. It was brilliant.

How can local governments maintain or grow the cultural programs in their communities?

Nothing happens without money, so fund them is the most straightforward answer. If we look at the city budget in broad strokes, a very small reduction in any of a number of very well funded city budget lines could go a very long way in funding artistic and cultural programs across the city, and provide access to funding for cultural events that are happening in neighbourhoods across the city that need that funding to expand and attract others.

Will you commit to maintaining or increasing the current arts funding in your community?

Yes, I believe that there are places where we could spend a little less to help fund arts and culture events that the science tells us not only contribute to the economic health of our communities, but also serve to reduce other, less desirable activities that cost money to control and prevent. It is good long-term and community focused policy to fund arts and culture in our city.

Outline your own vision of art and culture's place in Guelph and how, as an elected representative, you will support that vision.

Research on the place of arts and culture, public animation, urban recreation, and inhabitant access to events and public art and culture offerings is very clear that these things contribute in significant and important ways to the health, well-being, and perceptions of cities and their inhabitants. My vision for the place of art and culture in Guelph is integrative, not just in all parts of the city, but of the vast array of art and cultural traditions that we have in this city. As a young adult I was immersed in a thriving metal music scene in Guelph, and I believe strongly that his type of niche culture contributes in really important ways to the city's ability to attract the social and economic value that goes along with art and cultural participation. I would love to see a more public, more accessible, and more used way for the city to promote cultural and art events to all inhabitants, to help us make sure that everyone in this city knows about its rich cultural diversity.
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