Arts and culture are an important part of the fabric of every city. The evidence is overwhelming that in Canada, investing in arts and culture produces healthier, more prosperous and more livable world-class cities.
For every $1 invested in Arts and Culture by a municipality, you can expect another $3 to $5 in funding from other levels of government, $3 to $5 from the private sector and $4 to $6 in earned revenue from art sales, ticket sales, program fees, venue rentals and bar and gift shop sales.
Much like fostering growth in small businesses in Windsor, supporting the development and growth of a thriving Arts and Culture sector is an important part of an economic diversity program. Windsor has and does produce many top notch artists in many different fields, but more often as naught, a lack of community support forces them to leave our city.
If elected I will:
1. Move to eliminate the position of Sports Tourism Officer and the associated budget of approximately $400,000 dollars and transfer that position to Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, where they can work in collaboration with all tourism sectors and access the full range of tools to make Sport Tourism successful. I see this as a way to conduct Sports Tourism in a fiscally responsible way while helping ensure it's overall success.
The $400,000 previously budgeted for Sports Tourism will be transferred to the City of Windsor Arts, Culture and Heritage fund, at $100,000 a year, to provide a second tier of funding opportunities for our cultural sector. This 2nd tier would provide grants of up to $25,000 per year or multi-year $30,000 dollar grants, declining by 1/3 each year (eg. $30,000 in funding in Year 1, $20,000 in Year 2 and $10,000 in year three.) Larger grants will afford the opportunity for organizations, like the Raindance Centre or Sho Art, Spirit & Performance, to grow their initiatives, provide resources for other artists and ultimately provide jobs in the community.
2. Move to cancel our yearly $50,000 funding for the Detroit Grand Prix and transfer that money to the Arts and Culture department to develop a "Street Art" competition and festival for Windsor. Many of Windsor's Business Improvement Areas (BIA's) have successfully used Street Art and Murals to rejuvenate their districts and reduce graffiti at the same time. Windsor is home to many world-class artists who regularly display their work in New York, Los Angeles and beyond.
In partnership with the private sector, we will develop a Street Art festival, from a local to a destination event, with a competitive component. City buildings in parks can be enhanced with this art and protected from graffiti. Community involvement in the various projects throughout the wards would be strongly encouraged. The concept of the festival is such that it can be hosted in different areas of the City, with a unique local aspect to each year's festival. For example, in year one, it could be hosted in conjunction with Ford City's "Dropped on Drouillard" festival, which already has a street art component. In the second year, it could be shifted to Remington Park and a third year would see the Street Art Festival visit Sandwich Towne. It can be grown to provide further opportunities for new sculptures, public art and can be extended to include future plans for our new Civic Plaza in front of City Hall.