Culture Days and the importance of arts in the community

Council candidates are getting many requests to attend events, sign pledges and answer questions about a range of issues. Since Culture Days* are this weekend and because I was celebrating Franco-Ontarian day today, I thought I’d share my answer to the Guelph Arts Council’s question:

If elected, how would you support the arts on City Council?

 

Here’s my answer:

As the researcher and author of a  special report on Art & Belonging for Community Foundations of Canada, I understand the vital importance of a vibrant arts community - not only for its valuable economic impact but also its intrinsic contribution to the overall wellbeing. Whether people are actively engaged in creation or performance, attending events or even just aware of what’s going on, the presence of the arts build a sense of place and of pride.

Municipalities have an important role to play in providing facilities where the arts can flourish, including libraries which often have an important role in Culture Days. If elected, I will support partnerships with the arts and the maintenance or enhancement of our current facilities. I will ensure the arts have a role in our economic development and tourism plans. I will also encourage arts programming to include people of all ages and backgrounds and believe the River Run Centre did a great job in including diversity in its programming this year.

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Will I see you at Culture Days this weekend? There are 46 FREE activities. I can’t wait to see what KIAM, Guelph’s Artists in Residence came up with for their Ward projects.

And… did you know that in 2015, 2016 and 2017 Guelph was ranked amongst the Top 10 Cities for the number of culture day events among cities its size? Let’s show our support and appreciation :)

Vibrant arts and culture are important for community vitality.

Dominique O'Rourke