Monday, September 19, 2011

More information about Alberta's PC Leadership candidates and the arts

Now that the field is down to three, here is some information gathered by PACE (Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton) about the candidate's opinions about the arts in Alberta. 

The next (and likely final) vote for the leader of the Alberta PCs and the new Premier will be on Saturday October 1, 2011.  VOTE!  It only costs 5 bucks and any Alberta resident 16 and older can vote. 

Here is the information from PACE: (please note the information has been parsed to only reflect those candidates who remain in the race and who have spoken to PACE)

Gary Mar
 • Gary said he always has time to meet with arts professionals.

• Gary pointed out he had been minister responsible for culture and so can speak about the arts from an intrinsic perspective as well as economic.

• He talked about the benefit of fine arts in the schools. Arts and culture can teach empathy, give us pride as Albertans.

• Gary noted that every dollar invested in the arts, yields $8 to $10 back. He looks at investment in the arts not as a cost, but as a value.

• Gary said his commitment is not to permit any more cuts to the arts and to meet with arts groups to see what they need to make arts and culture flourish in Alberta.

• He considers supporting arts and culture as higher priority than sports, for instance, and talked about how the creative class can drive a knowledge-based economy.

• Gary remarked that the amount going to the arts isn’t even the equivalent to a rounding error in health care. He vowed he would not stop support for the AFA.

Alison Redford

• Alison said she supports the ArtsVote mandate of education, celebration and advocacy.

• She said she believes in a holistic and integrated approach to developing arts and culture in the province - an appreciation for arts and culture should be built into the fabric of our society.

• Alison indicated she would support a dedicated ministry if that was the best solution to the current challenges facing the arts in Alberta.

• Alison stated she strongly believes arts appreciation starts at a young age and getting funding for artists to work in schools is essential.

• As Premier Alison promised to bring attention to the importance of arts funding, saying we cannot and should not assume businesses and individuals will fund the arts.

• She said she would be looking to partner with groups who demonstrate that they have the support of stakeholders and that they have a plan.

• She explained that she believes that arts and culture leaders from our province are internationally recognized and could play a huge part in telling our story and raising the profile of the values that Albertans espouse and hold dear.

Doug Horner’s office said he would not meet with PACE. Doug’s campaign staff told us that he prefers we engage with him by e-mail or in public venues.

For more information on PC Alberta’s upcoming leadership convention and the six candidates, go to

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