Question 6: What will you do to support arts and culture in Calgary? Will you commit to providing a similar level of provincial funding for Calgary’s Creative Campus as that for the Royal Alberta Museum?
Response: I believe the province has lost sight of the importance of arts and culture not only as an essential element that contributes to quality of life but its importance to the economy. On August 2, 2011, I announced that I believe it is time for Alberta to claim its rightful position in Canada as a supportive home and place of distinction for arts, culture and community spirit development. To this end, I committed to restoring the Alberta Lottery Fund to its original purpose which was to support arts and culture, community development, amateur sports and recreation, libraries, fairs, etc. This initiative will reverse the decision by the province earlier this year to divert all lottery funds into the General Revenue Fund putting at risk the funds that would be available for these activities. In the same announcement I pledged an immediate increase of lottery funding for arts and culture effective next April 1, 2012. I also announced a number of other initiatives designed to elevate the importance of arts and culture and to develop long-term strategies for new facilities and sustaining operating budgets for them. I am completely committed to strengthening the importance of this sector through visible support from the province and through activities that will enhance public appreciation and engagement. Alberta has important stories to tell through the visual, performing, literary and multimedia arts. Calgary has a solid foundation on which to build.
I am excited about the Creative Campus concept and am vey much looking forward to learning more about it. It is something that I think fits exceptionally well with what I have been talking about in terms of new approaches and new spaces where we celebrate our artistic and creative achievements and engage in thoughtful discussion. Regarding provincial funding, it seems to me that it is exactly the kind of project that we will want to factor into a provincial strategy for facilities. I believe the most reasonable position when allocating funding is to look at the overall merits of projects and within the context of community-based support. Calgary is a very significant Canadian city and it is important that it has quality facilities that showcase our accomplishments and importance nationally and internationally. Every great city in the world places importance on its pubic spaces, visual aesthetics and our two great cities in Alberta should be no different.
Rick Orman's campaign website - www.voterickorman.com