Candidate: Dwayne Ellis
Ward: Ward 3
What opportunities do you believe Windsor-Essex has to grow our art, culture and heritage sector?
I think there is a significant opportunity in Windsor-Essex for growth in combining art with our areas rich history. Merging the two would enable us to preserve our history as well as to educate and entertain in new and exciting ways.
How do you propose to attract or retain artists and cultural workers in your community?
I think to attract and retain artists/cultural workers in our community we need to insure that it’s sustainable as a career. This could be accomplished by encouraging promotion and exposure so there is an audience for the art/cultural work and that there is monetary return for their efforts.
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?
Art and culture literally change the landscape of our region so the role is important. For example, imagine the Windsor Riverfront or Lakewood Park, as a tourist destination, without the sculptures, plaques and monuments. Art and culture help to create an experience, and that is what tourists are looking for in a destination.
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?
Encourage our youth to participate. Engaging young people and getting them acquainted with the value of art, culture and heritage will insure that it remains an important and integral part of their communities. Utilize and support programs like Culture Days as well as other festivals and events.
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?
Dialogue, education and participation. Its important to just be able to have a conversation with the other levels of government amid the myriad of other areas that require capital investment. Educating the other levels of government as to why sustainability and growth is important in our communities using tangible examples of improvements and positive outcomes. Participation would include the other levels of government being invited to take part in, and experience, the cultural projects and efforts in the communities.
How do you personally engage with arts, culture and heritage in Windsor-Essex?
I currently sit on two advisory committees for the Town of Tecumseh, the Cultural and Arts Committee as well as the Heritage Committee. On a personal level, I enjoy Lakewood Park and the sculpture garden on the Windsor riverfront as well as the many outdoor plaques, monuments and murals delineating our areas history. I am also an avid 3d artist, using computer modeling and rendering to generate digital artwork of our very own Lancaster Bomber.