Saturday, March 25, 2023

Hamilton Arts Vote 2022: Mayoral Candidate Keanin Loomis

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. 

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 five 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 officials following the election.

What arts event is a must-do for every Hamiltonian? 

As past Chair of Super Crawl, I’m going to avoid that obvious answer and say the HPO’s Hometown Holiday concert, which has become a tradition for our family.

How will you leverage your position as Mayor to advance the arts in Hamilton? 

  • Support the arts through the City’s budget process.
  • Ensuring strategic leadership occurs to:
    • Update and finalize the City’s Culture Plan
    • Align City funding to implement the Culture Plan
    • Increase funding through the Community Enrichment Fund
    •  Ensure the City has a Cultural Facilities Plan, with funding, to supports the arts sector

As Mayor, how would you advocate for investment in Hamilton arts and culture community during the City budget process?

  • provide a $500,000 increase to the Community Enrichment Fund, with a 5% annual increase per year of this term of office
  • focus 50% of the funds on growth of new organizations who have not accessed the City’s Community Enrichment Fund

How will you ensure working artists are able to continue building Hamilton’s culture?

  • Invest $100,000 per year of this term in driving the music sector, with a focus on grants to musicians to record in Hamilton.
  • The Future Fund is needed to support the arts community recovery from the pandemic.  I will support the review of the Future Fund, which has been on hold, so that it includes consideration for its role in helping the cultural sector rebound from COVID and become a world-class arts community.
  • See answer to question 3.

In the last few years, artists have lost a number of venues to showcase their work, including Artword Artbar, This Ain’t Hollywood, The Pearl Company and more. What role do you see the City of Hamilton having in fostering and expanding the number of accessible arts venues? 

  • The City needs to finalize the Culture Plan so that the community, Council and City staff have guiding direction for our City’s Arts and Culture sector.
  • As part of the Culture Plan, we need a task force solely devoted to cultural facilities and the development of a cultural facilities plan for the City of Hamilton.
  • In addition, as part of the West Harbour development, I commit to:
    • Ensuring that the institutional development happens at Pier 8 as promised.
    • Ensuring the HWT Discovery Centre building remains in City ownership.

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