ACES questions to candidates
How do you feel arts and culture enriches our community?
Greg Pasychny: Arts and culture enriches our community by enhancing our quality of life and providing a much-needed balance to our everyday routines.
Kevin Zahara: Arts and Culture are vitally important to community spirit by bringing people together and allowing individuals to express themselves through visual and performing arts. Without the arts, I think the world would be a very bleak place. We’ve seen how the arts brings the community together through Rotary Sundays and other events in our community. Thanks to all the volunteers and sponsors that make this happen.
Krystal Baier: Arts and Culture enriches our lives in a variety of ways. It encourages creativity and free expression. Culture can connect humanity by breaking down barriers, such as the elephant in the room. It can develop perspective and enhance your mood by viewing or being a performer. Although the benefits are not as tangible as physical exercise, they can come in the form of strengthening or enhancing mental and emotional stability.
Trevor Bevan: I feel that Arts and Cultural compliments all other activities in our community
Gean Chouinard: I feel Art and Culture is very important to the enrichment of our community
Jacqui Currie: I feel arts and culture enriches the Town of Edson by bringing the community together in a positive manner that bridges generation gaps and encourages the youth to express themselves in a creative manner. The greatest example of this, is the Rotary in the Park events; they are a true example of the community coming together to enjoy the arts in a healthy, positive environment that is both safe and inclusive.
Troy Sorensen: The arts are a critical pillar of our society because they always remind us what is important in life: love and friendship, joy and happiness, creativity and inspiration, the confidence to express ourselves, the beauty of nature, and the importance of family/community.
Johnny Walker: The performing arts enrich our lives by helping us experience different parts of the world and different times in history. The stories told through drama, music and dance not only entertain us, but give insight into human nature throughout our existence. The arts present an opportunity for the talented members of our community especially young people to show their skills and hone their craft. Most importantly, performing arts give us a wholesome reason to come together and have a good time!
Janet Wilkinson: As a teacher, I am aware of the benefits that art has brought in a child’s learning. A colleague once pointed out that there is nothing that cannot be learned if it is accompanied by music. Our community has many art and culture event such as the Palette and Pottery Exhibit and Arts on Fire.
Classes are offered in different mediums through the arts center located at the library. We have many talented artists and potters in the community who share their talent as instructors. I have attended most of the Rotary in the Park performances. I am a season ticket holder for the Chautauqua performances and often attend activities that are offered at the Red Brick as well as the library.
Doug Woodhouse: As a long time supporter of the Arts in Edson I feel that the Arts enrich our quality of life. They give us balance and create a sense of wellbeing and happiness. The Arts are a great reliever of stress The Arts also help develop creativity and grow our creative understanding.
Do you support a new performing arts centre for Edson and the surrounding area?
Pasychny: I do not support the performing arts centre that you have on your website nor will I support any stand-alone Performing Arts centre. What I would support would be a performing arts centre attached to another facility like a School or possibly as a late phase of a multi-use facility.
Zahara: It is no secret that I’ve long believed that we have a facility deficit in our community and I’m very much in favour of increased theatre capacity. In a perfect world I would like to see us develop a mult-use centre that brings both recreation and performing arts under one roof to maximize efficiencies and find cost savings. To get there we need a comprehensive plan that looks at the big picture including the current and future tax implications of such a venture so we have a clear understanding of all the details so we can make informed decisions. Attracting and retaining professionals to our community in one of the largest challenges Edson faces. Many youth don’t return to Edson after college and university. The reason often given is due to the fact that Edson does not have some of the amenities that other communities have and so they choose to live elsewhere.
Baier: Yes, I do support this venue as it would benefit people of nearly all ages. It would encourage families to remain in Edson as well as support local business and attract professionals. However, I think that is needs to be a part of another facility and not a stand-alone project. This can help reduce capital costs as well as reduce on-going operational costs. There are suggestions that it can turn a profit, but I think it is foolish to plan for that. By joining it with another facility, whatever that facility might be, can also encourage people to use it, who might not participate in arts or culture otherwise.
Bevan: I’m committed to the construction of a Multi use facility
Chouinard: Yes I support an art Centre, but not as a stand alone
Currie: I support the development of a community growth plan that provides clear information and facts around budget, tax increases, user fees and accessibility. I believe it is the responsibility of the town and the council to create this plan through a process that includes extensive community engagement and involvement to ensure it meets the needs of the entire community. I would expect a new performing arts centre to be a part of this plan.
Sorensen: Absolutely, a new multi-use facility that includes the performance arts is one of the five areas of focus for my campaign. In addition to the current and immediate need for the performance arts, I also think it should be promoted as a conference center to diversify our economy. As the Past-President of the Rotary Club, we are always looking for a better venue for our fundraising projects, and none of the current public facilities meet our needs.
Walker: I absolutely support a new performing arts centre in Edson. Whether that means a new building or major renovations of an existing one, I think it is time we solve this problem. I remember this was a key issue from the last election and it was long overdue then! 10 years have passed since the Arts Center for Edson Society was formed and I know they are not lazy. So, let’s work together and make this a reality now.
Wilkinson: I fully support a multi use facility. As a Town Council we partnered with our fellow municipality and conduced a very extensive needs survey. I will be very aware of what the community wants and we will endeavour to fulfil their wishes.
Woodhouse: I support enhanced performing art centre for the region. I would like to see the capacity of a performing arts centre grow. Chautauqua’s Season has been sold out for the last 5 years which indicates to me that we could use a larger venue.
If elected, how do you plan to work towards a new performing arts centre for Edson and surrounding area?
Pasychny: I will not work towards a new stand-alone performing arts centre, I stand firm on this, It is very clear in your minutes that you have a several candidates in this election that would work towards that goal and are in support of your A.C.E.S. ‘WHY’ campaign. If reelected I will be working towards a New Multi-Use indoor facility, the focus will be built around a New Pool, Hockey Arena, Indoor recreational space and it would be designed for future growth in phases. A performing arts centre may be a part of it but it will not be the main focus nor will the facility be built around a performing arts centre. Financially speaking the Town of Edson will only be able to afford so much, because of good governance we are in a position where I believe we can do this without an increase to town taxes. With only one vote, municipal politicians cannot make promises so I am making a commitment to work with the incoming council towards this goal. If the past is a reflection of the future then the residents of Edson know that when I commit to something it gets done!
Zahara: We need to bring the community together and develop a plan that address the needs of all parties including our regional partners, Yellowhead County and our school divisions. While on council in Athabasca I was on the original Athabasca Regional Multi-plex committee with another Town Councillor which lead to the development of a beautiful facility in a town much smaller than Edson. The Town and County came together, set and original budget amount and told the community to come back with the facility they’d build. 30 dedicated community members worked on it and after dozens of meetings and some agreements between the Town and County regarding funding they accomplished the goal. We can get this done by working together but it takes leadership and partnerships by your municipal councils along with buy-in from your community.
Baier: Collaborating with other partners is what I believe to be the key to making this a success. I am a strong believer that working with others towards a common goal is more effective than trying to achieve it on your own. Ensuring it is built with fiscal responsibility is also another advantage by working with other groups or partners. I would certainly be in favour of enhancing our relationships with other officials around our Community to develop a plan for this facility to come to life.
Bevan: I’m committed to the construction of a Multi use facility
Chouinard: As a want of the community, and it could be a part of a multi-use building, I would give it the same concertation as the other want in town , I will work toward the plan for a multi-use building with the cost of not only building ,put can we afford the operational cost that is the most important factor,
Currie: I would work towards it by advocating for the detailed community growth plan to be completed; a comprehensive plan is the first step in any community development and is a necessity for facility growth to happen.
Sorensen: Unfortunately, the whole topic of facilities has divided our community when it should have brought us together under strong leadership. In the past, stakeholder groups were asked to design their dream facilities, then Council looked at their small annual budget and that was the end of the discussion. I believe Council should quickly adopt some facility objectives, form a committee with members from all stakeholder groups, come up with a strategic plan, and then determine the best way to finance that plan. There are a dozen ways to finance a big capital project, don’t let anyone tell you it has to be through an increase to property taxes.
Walker: The first order of business is to get council in alignment with ACES. Council needs to look at the many options ACES has designed and pick one! Once we have come to a compromise suitable for both sides we can find the money required to fund the project. This will need to come from various sources but I don’t think it will be too difficult to fundraise for such a worthy cause. Finally, we build the thing and enjoy the benefits of a rich cultural community in a modern, comfortable facility.
Wilkinson: If elected as a councillor I will work at getting a facility under construction. We were hampered by the debt load we were carrying. I feel we are getting our debentures paid and we will have the money to proceed with a facility. It may be in stages. Hopefully we will be successful in grant applications and any fund-raising activities groups proceed with.
Woodhouse: I will continue to advocate for enhanced performing arts centre for Edson.