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 8 is an urban ward, situated in the west end of Hamilton on the Niagara Escarpment. Its borders are the Niagara Escarpment (north), hydro corridor (south), Upper Wellington Street (east) and Garth Street (West). Ward 8 also includes Mohawk College, Chedoke Hospital and the Chedoke Rail Trail.
In a joint partnership between the Hamilton Arts Council and Beyond James, a nonpartisan candidate survey was sent for 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.
What arts event is a must do for every Hamiltonian?
Hamilton is fortunate to have many fabulous arts events from Supercrawl to the annual Arts Awards. However, my personal favorite way to connect with the arts in Hamilton is the Art Gallery of Hamilton. The AGH permanent collection is one of the top gallery collections in all of Canada and has global significance – yet it rarely receives the attention it deserves. I find the Canadian Collection particularly resonates with my personal interests with work by Canadian icons like Alex Colville, William Blair Bruce, Lawren Harris, Emily Carr and Norval Morrisseau. The AGH is a must for every Hamiltonian!
What do you see as an opportunity to expand arts and culture in Hamilton?
Over the years, Hamilton’s arts scene has thrived through access to affordable studio and living space and a collaborative, engaging arts community. As the cost of commercial and residential accommodation continues to rise beyond the means of many artists it will be critical for the City to develop communities where everyone can afford to live and work. While earning a living as an artist has always been a challenge, significant new opportunities for artists and creative professionals are growing through Hamilton’s booming film industry – both directly and in spin-off industries.
If elected, how will you leverage your position as a City Councillor to advance the arts in Hamilton?
I have been working to celebrate and promote the arts in Hamilton since I was first elected in 2018. I sit on the Board of Directors for the Art Gallery of Hamilton. I am a member of the Hamilton Arts Advisory Commission and I served on the Mayor’s Taskforce for Economic Recovery which focused on supporting the arts following COVID19. I am also a working commercial photographer with a strong insight into the challenges of earning a reasonable income as a creative professional. If re-elected I intend to continue leveraging my personal experience and my work in these areas to support Hamilton artists and their work.
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