Sunday, February 25, 2024

Hamilton Arts Vote 2022: Ward 3 (Hamilton Centre)

It’s election season in the City of Hamilton. Nine candidates are vying for the mayoral seat, and a further 81 are vying for 15 City Council seats. It is not unreasonable to expect that the political landscape in Hamilton is about to shift significantly. 

According to the City of Hamilton, Ward 3 is known as Hamilton Centre, an urban ward situated in the lower city below the Niagara Escarpment. Its borders are the Niagara Escarpment (south), Hamilton Harbour (north), Ottawa Street (east) and Wellington Street North to the west, connecting to Claremount Access. Ward 3 also contains Tim Hortons Field, Gage Park, Hamilton General Hospital and Dofasco.

In a joint partnership between the Hamilton Arts Council and Beyond James, a nonpartisan candidate survey was sent to these prospective leaders to map out their vision for our city. Just three questions have provided a window into what those running for office in Hamilton would do to invest in creativity. 

The Hamilton Arts Council will utilize survey responses to continue conversations with elected councillors following the election.

Laura Farr

Laura Farr.

What arts event is a must do for every Hamiltonian? 

Festival of Friends. Super biased here – I first attended when I was about 5 years old, and volunteered at a family friend’s booth when I was about 8 or 9. For the last 7 years, I have been a volunteer coordinator for the Festival. To me, it showcases not just the beauty of Gage Park, but the musical talent in our city and it’s always been completely free. Music in the park with local artisans and food? Completely amazing. 

What do you see as an opportunity to expand arts and culture in Hamilton? 

The next city Council has an opportunity to listen to all of the arts organizations, stakeholders and creators to support our artists and assist with financing and evolving to be a better partner. The grants processes should also be reviewed as they could be more streamlined. 

If elected, how will you leverage your position as a City Councillor to advance the arts in Hamilton? 

In my position as Councillor, I would advocate and work towards getting increased funding and partnerships with the many artisans in our city. As someone who has been a volunteer for festivals, been a member of the Hamilton Children’s Choir, been in performance art and is a competitive dancer – we have so very much talent here and we need to do more to support and foster that. I would love to see increased partnerships at existing arts events, and also the return of New Year’s Eve at City Hall with opportunities for local artists to be present. As well as helping to fund murals and art installations as well throughout the ward. In short, give and fund opportunities and listen to what the arts community says it needs. Work together to make it happen. 

Campaign website

Walter Furlan

Walter Furlan.

What arts event is a must do for every Hamiltonian? 

Spend your weekends in Gage Park!  Virtually every weekend, all summer long, you can enjoy multicultural arts as well as emerging and established Canadian and International musicians and performers, including Indigenous artists. FrancoFest, the Hamilton Latino Festival and Festival of Friends are among the wonderful arts/culture events you shouldn’t miss.

What do you see as an opportunity to expand arts and culture in Hamilton? 

Artists and cultural practitioners are often drawn to affordable areas of a city. Ward 3 has many relatively affordable storefront and small industrial spaces; introducing more artists into these spaces would create economic impacts and improve the vibrancy of our neighbourhoods.

A major part of my platform is to increase sport and recreation opportunities for kids in Ward 3. I see arts and culture activities as falling within recreation. Arts and culture programming is so important to provide an outlet for creative expression, while also improving resiliency and social capital – all attributes that help to build strong kids.

If elected, how will you leverage your position as a City Councillor to advance the arts in Hamilton? 

Prior to running for council, I established and ran a successful heritage conservation company for 10+ years. In that role, I often had occasion to do artistic work myself (i.e. stained glass construction and conservation, historic moulding repair/reproduction, architectural paint analysis, traditional joinery arts), and to work with some of the top practitioners in the field.  

One of our three storefronts is an arts studio (Barton Arts – Conservatory, 769 Barton Street East) where we create art and do sound recording.

As mentioned, I am a strong champion for improving community programming for kids in Ward 3. I will work with arts organizations to help access available space. I also know a lot of arts organizations were negatively impacted during covid and may need support to re-establish programming.

There are many skills people can learn in arts and culture that are transferable to the labour market. I will work with the arts community to strongly support and encourage arts-based businesses and practitioners in Ward 3. 

Campaign website

Stan Kruchka

Stan Kruchka.

What arts event is a must do for every Hamiltonian? 

Supercrawl is a definite must attend 

What do you see as an opportunity to expand arts and culture in Hamilton?

I see my vision for free public transit for all residents being a huge opportunity for expansion.  Getting ppl around the city is paramount.  I’d personally like to see more art events take place on hamilton mountain as well as my riding in ward 3. Limiting the cost to get to these events could only be beneficial.  

If elected, how will you leverage your position as a City Councillor to advance the arts in Hamilton? 

If elected I would always be available to the arts community to listen to new ideas . I’ll admit, I love attending the events but i’m not much of a planner 😀 I fully support the arts community and their initiatives,  I’d love to be a voice to help with future endeavors. 

Nrinder Nann

Nrinder Nann.

What arts event is a must do for every Hamiltonian? 

Honestly, it is so exciting to get out to so many different arts based events across the city every month. That said, hitting up the seasonal art markets at The Cotton Factory is always such a great way to meet local artists, support their sales, and spend time with friends in community.

What do you see as an opportunity to expand arts and culture in Hamilton? 

I think there is opportunity to leverage existing city facilities and parks to help showcase local artists. I’d like to see every recreation facility feature a new visual artist annually on our expansive wall spaces, support live performances at the Tropical Greenhouse and in our parks, and see more sculpture and murals in our public realm.

If elected, how will you leverage your position as a City Councillor to advance the arts in Hamilton? 

  • My favorite quote about art is by Bertolt Brecht – “Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.”
  • I recognize the role of art in contributing to healthy communities that foster a sense of belonging for all. I will continue to leverage my position as City Councillor to support the arts – individual artists, art based organizations, and continue to ensure funding allocations for the arts integrate an equity lens to ensure all artists in Hamilton feel supported and resourced to continue their contributions.

Campaign website

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