Candidate: Mayor John Paterson
What opportunities do you believe Windsor-Essex has to grow our art, culture and heritage sector?
I believe most of our communities in Essex County can develop their individual art, culture and heritage sectors and hopefully, one organization can pull them altogether when promoting the area. Leamington has invested heavily in the Arts over the last few years. Our Amphitheatre on the waterfront has generated a great positive vibe for the musical arts. Our investment into The Bank Theatre will enhance the already great selection of the performing arts in our Uptown Core. The continued investment in our Art gallery will help us showcase local and visiting artists. The newly created “Taste of Leamington” will showcase that diverse selection of ethnic foods available in Leamington. And our local ethnic groups continue to offer their individual celebrations which add to Leamington’s cultural and heritage promotion.
How do you propose to attract or retain artists and cultural workers in your community?
By continued investments into the infrastructure Leamington owns. The saying “Build it and they will come” rings true. We have witnessed great results in our first full year of operation of our waterfront Amphitheatre.
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?
It is one of the main tourism pillars on which every municipality should focus. By providing opportunities for the performers and for the audience to witness that talent that exists, will only encourage more people to participate in the Arts.
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?
LOL!!! Actually doing some of the performing! I have played a few times at Dales Coffee House and will continue to do so if asked. Attending the various events and bringing greetings from the Municipality shows support. Ensuring that as many members of Council attend the events is also a positive enhancement.
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?
Continued lobbying with all upper levels of government.
How do you personally engage with arts, culture and heritage in Windsor-Essex?
Personal performance, attending events, promoting events on social media.