Candidate: Samantha Russell
Ward: Ward 2
What opportunities do you believe Windsor-Essex has to grow our art, culture and heritage sector?
I believe that Windsor-Essex has a rich cultural history and a vibrant arts community. Better promotion and increased awareness of all that we have to offer would help to attract more interest in this sector.
How do you propose to attract or retain artists and cultural workers in your community?
As an active member of the Town of Lakeshore’s Arts Advisory Committee, we are currently exploring ways to better engage local artists, and promote the arts within the community. We have had one public meeting thus far, and hope to collaborate further with community members to brainstorm ideas. I would like to see a physical space dedicated to the arts within Lakeshore, and more opportunities for local artists to collaborate and showcase their talents.
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 believe that arts and culture are currently under-represented in regional promotional activities. We have a multitude of recreational opportunities for residents in Lakeshore, but arts and culture activities are more limited, and not well advertised.
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?
Seeking provincial/federal funding and grants, personally participating in local arts and cultural activities, advocating for awareness and promotion of arts and cultural opportunities, and partnering with local schools to provide opportunities for young artists are all ways that I would support this 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?
It is important to ensure that the Town has appropriate staff in place dedicated to arts and culture so that we can be better informed of provincial/federal initiatives, and actively participate in them.
How do you personally engage with arts, culture and heritage in Windsor-Essex?
I am a passionate community supporter and current volunteer for the Town of Lakeshore’s Arts Advisory Committee, Heritage Committee, and Mayor’s Arts Awards planning committee.