Councillor: Brian Houston
Ward: Ward 4
What opportunities do you believe Windsor-Essex has to grow our art, culture and heritage sector?
There is a big opportunity for us to build this sector in our community. For the last 2 years I’ve been a member of our Arts and Cultural Committee and Heritage Committee. From hosting events to showcase local talent to organizing spaces to allow our local artists to work within, we have unlimited potential locally.
How do you propose to attract or retain artists and cultural workers in your community?
I believe there’s opportunity to enhance our local culture days events, and working with our schools and community groups to include more presence of local artists and local culture in all of the ongoing community events. I also believe we can partner with private business to promote and provide spaces for artists to work and showcase their local talent.
What role do you see for arts and culture in the promotion of the region both as a destination for tourists and as a place of permanent residence for youth, families, and retirees?
I see arts and culture as being a key driver in the development of local tourism campaigns as well as providing our local residents an opportunity to explore their own communities. Each region locally has something different to offer and if we can develop road map for both our residents and tourists to follow, we can being to develop vibrant destinations that will attract both local and outside traffic.
In what other ways could you use your position as an elected official to help support the arts, culture and heritage sector outside of using municipal funding?
I believe we can provide a great network of ideas and contacts to the many issues that cross the council table. Interacting with local businesses and bring ideas and contacts to the discussion table is an invaluable way council can be a positive conduit for the sector.
What is your perspective on the best ways to collaborate with other levels of government to ensure sustainability and growth for the cultural sector of our community?
The best way we can collaborate and grow the sector is always being mindful, through all the discussions and issues that council takes part in, to advocate and be voice for the sector as a whole. Through the many events, conferences and contact points council will have, there will always be an opportunity to include, speak for and engage the arts, culture and heritage sectors through out the decision making process.
How do you personally engage with arts, culture and heritage in Windsor-Essex?
I’m currently a member of our Tecumseh Cultural and Arts committee, as well as our Tecumseh Heritage committee. As a father of a young family, we are always attending local community and area festival and events to take in everything that our area has to offer. We enjoy our local parks showcasing the artwork, plaques and sculptures and our local museums.