A prosperous city is one where every Edmontonian can build a life and see a future. A prosperous city is a vibrant and connected city, a community that attracts and welcomes locals and tourists through opportunities across all sectors—this includes a thriving arts and culture sector.
Investing in arts and culture is essential to offering a rich civic life to our residents while supporting critical tourism and economic drivers. For Edmontonians, access to culture increases our connectedness with one another, enhancing our diverse neighbourhoods and our sense of community.
Edmonton arts and culture organizations are resourceful and nimble—with limited funding, they need to be. So how can we help them as they continue to provide these important experiences to our community? It’s time we invest in affordable and accessible performance infrastructure. My commitment to Edmonton’s arts and culture community is to partner with them to build or renovate permanent performance spaces for the full range of entertainment and cultural activities in five of our major city parks: Borden Park, Rundle Park, Mill Woods Sports Park, Callingwood Park, and Louise McKinney Park.
These performance spaces can be simple and affordable: a stage with the dimensions suitable for all kinds of performance art, access to power and public washrooms, and a canopy. They would be designed in consultation with representatives from across the arts and culture sector to ensure the spaces are inclusive, practical and adaptable.
We would seek support from other levels of government to fund these outdoor structures that will prioritize the hundreds of professional arts organizations that make up this diverse and vibrant not-for-profit ecosystem. The City would establish a simple booking system* to make securing these locations as easy and accessible as possible for event organizers.
Leveraging the existing city park venues that already offer a range of incredible amenities is a balanced and cost-effective way to showcase and enhance our park network and green spaces responsibly—those places already bringing Edmontonians together for festivals, events, and outdoor fun with family and friends.
If elected Mayor, other ways I will ensure our City recognizes the value of arts and culture include:
One of the things we’ve learned throughout the pandemic is the real impacts of isolation and the elimination of key arts and culture activities on our mental health and sense of belonging—things we may have taken for granted in the past have revealed themselves as essential to our quality of life, to what it means to truly live. By making wise investments in this sector—particularly improving access to flexible and viable outdoor spaces—we’re making an important commitment to this sector today while preparing ourselves for disruptions to daily life in the future.
Edmonton has an arts and culture scene that is the envy of cities around the world. We are Festival City. Let’s make sure our City shows up for the organizations in this community the way they show up for us every single day, and when we need them the most.
I am Kim Krushell, and I am for arts and culture in Edmonton.