ACES ques­tions to can­di­dates

The McLeod River Post - - Elections 2017 -

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.

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