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L to R: Andy Letham, Brian Junkin, Gord James.

KLAC wants to work with new council to advance tourism, development

in Community/The Arts by

The Kawartha Lakes Arts Council and the Kawartha Lakes Heritage Network are looking forward to working with the new council to further strengthen cultural tourism and economic development in the municipality.

The groups were interested in electing candidates who support the cultural sector and who believe that long-term investment in the culture of the Kawartha Lakes is vital to economic and social growth.

The arts council advocated for solutions to the three significant current issues facing the sector; sector sustainability, operational leadership and building towards the future. ArtsVote 2018 emailed all the candidates seeking office in the October election to respond to a series of questions with their answers and how to address these issues.

All members of the newly elected Council took the time to consider the background material on the artsVote website and responded to their questions. Of the 40 candidates running for Council, 27 candidates responded with all four of the mayoral candidates; Andy Letham, Gord James, Brian Junkin and Peter Weygang, responding.

Responses from all candidates are posted here.

In late September the Kawartha Lakes Arts Council held a forum inviting the mayoral candidates to speak to their positions on support for the cultural sector through a series of prepared questions. Mayoral candidates Andy Letham, Gord James and Brian Junkin attended with Peter Weygang declining. Roderick Benns, publisher of The Lindsay Advocate was the evening moderator.

The forum was open to the public with about 200 people in attendance. Candidates were asked a series of questions highlighting their understanding of the dynamics of the economic value and challenges of our community’s cultural sector as well as their level of support and strategy for the future of the cultural sector in our community.

While all three candidates acknowledged the value of the sector, Candidates Andy Letham and Gord James supported municipal budget support as a viable means to strengthen the sector with Letham presenting a definitive strategy for the future of the sector.

Kawartha Lakes Arts Council will continue to advocate for strengthening the arts, culture and heritage sector with the new council in 2019, and will be commenting on the upcoming Municipal draft budget.

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Roderick Benns is the publisher of The Lindsay Advocate. He is the author of 'Basic Income: How a Canadian Movement Could Change the World,' and is also Vice Chair of the Ontario Basic Income Network. An award-winning author and journalist who grew up in Lindsay, Roderick has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Canada, Senators, and Mayors across Canada. He also wrote and published a series of books for youth about Canada's Prime Ministers as teens.

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