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Arts Centre

In January Pickering will hold a by-election for Ward 1 City Councillor. PRAC, DWAC and DWAC Foundation posed this question to the 12 candidates.

As a City Councillor for Ward 1 candidate and if elected, PineRidge Arts Council, and Durham West Arts Centre and Foundation are wondering if you/will you support an arts centre in Pickering?

Govindar Jit
Growing up in Pickering, I've always thought that Pickering was missing something, I've been to the library, the museum village and it still didn't seem enough. The first time I heard of the idea of having an Arts Centre in Pickering, I was excited like I still am. So for the question, Yes I definitely would support an Arts Centre. We need one in our community.

Maurice Brenner
This vision to bring together the Arts, for an Arts Centre in Pickering has been a dream for the Community for decades. As a former Ward 1 Councillor, I was proud to play a role during what were challenging times building the foundation for this dream.
As a Candidate for Ward 1, my commitment remains unchanged.

Tate David Besso
As Ward One Councillor I would enthusiastically support the creation of the Durham West Arts Centre.
I feel the arts are a worthwhile investment for growth and development in Pickering. An Arts Centre would boost Pickering's profille in the GTA and contribute to economic growth.
I also feel that the arts contribute to the sense of community a city can experience. It would help make Pickering an even more attractive place to live.

Lisa McFarland
Yes, I firmly support the development of an arts centre in Pickering!
My family and I understand the importance of the arts to the enrichment of our life in Pickering. We have supported a multitude of art related events and local artists, through Artfest, live theatre, and art tours. We have ensured that our children have learned to value the arts through their active engagement in performing arts (music and dance) and visual arts (painting, pottery and other).
An arts centre in Pickering would be a critical cornerstone for the enrichment and diversification of our community!

Gary Strange
In response to your question, my answer is YES!

I am a strong advocate for the promotion of the arts in our community as I believe the arts are one of the core values that make this community strong and cohesive. We need a world class performance space that will allow us to bring the arts of the world to Durham and the arts of Durham to the world. This performance space will include world class acoustics, world class sightlines and world class seating and will house both visual and performing artists.
It is for this reason that I joined the governing board of the Durham West Arts Centre Foundation and have been extremely fortunate to work with such a talented array of like minded individuals who share this vision.
This project was the dream of two members of the Pickering Rotary Club over 30 years ago who realized we lacked proper performance space in Durham West. We have moved that dream closer to reality with the recent acceptance of the staff report by City Council 7-0 to move forward with a revised feasibility project. I was very proud to be part of the team that worked extremely hard to achieve this 7-0 vote and I look forward eagerly to our next steps in this process.

Nancy Granados
Yes, I will support an arts centre in Pickering. Many people think art is a dying industry in today’s day and age and I simply do not believe in such notion. I believe an art centre will be beneficial in the community for all residents, from children to the elderly, as art brings a sense of community. I have had and still maintain many connections to art through various branches. When I was young I attended the Ontario Academy of Music and at Dunbarton High School I was in the music theatre program. An art center would bring people together over their same passion and enthusiasm for art. As someone who works with growing youth, I know art in its different forms helps teenagers express themselves in ways others cannot, while allowing them to have a stress free environment away from the pressures of being a teenager. Such a diverse and growing urban centre such as Pickering needs and deserves an art centre.

Lisa Robinson
I will support an arts centre in Pickering.


Chris van der Vliet
I support artists of all genres. As a small business owner, I hang local artist work to promote their talents, we have had book readings and signings, and host weekly open mic nights for local artists to showcase their talents in a welcoming environment. We were nominated in three categories of the 2014 Durham Art of Transition Creative Awards. My children have participated in several arts events over the years in Pickering. I support the city’s Cultural plan, the PineRidge Arts Council, and the DWAC Foundation which recommends a multi-purpose Arts Centre in Pickering. Pickering needs an Arts centre that partners with corporations and the Arts Community as a whole, as we lag behind as a City, for this much needed venue.


Anita Otto
I would absolutely support having an Arts Centre in Pickering – I am a huge proponent of benefits of the Arts and the cultural wealth it brings to our lives. An Arts Centre will help to celebrate our community, its past and its present. The Arts Centre will increase opportunities, through festivals and other events and bring an economic sustainability for local artists and artisans to be showcased from our community. I imagine that it would also allow local groups to commemorate their local history and heritage. Arts, culture and heritage make a substantial contribution to Canadian society and have a positive impact on the lives of many Canadians which includes the local residents of Pickering, Ward 1.

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Since 1989 PineRidge Arts Council Inc., a non-profit volunteer organization has been dedicated to enhance the quality of life within the community by developing widespread appreciation, support and involvement in the arts.

PineRidge Arts Council
650 Kingston Road
P.O. Box 18258 Steeple Hill Postal Outlet
Pickering, Ontario L1V 1A0


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