Before your Vote.

Here is some information that you may want to review before you cast your vote.  I just received an email from The Arts & Culture Collective of Burlington and thought I would share it with you.  Have a read as there may be some information in here that will help you determine your choice when you go to cast your vote.  Keep in mind that this does not address all city concerns but may lead you to investigating more about your candidates and their stances on all issues.

The mission of the Arts and Culture Collective of Burlington is to advocate for the arts and culture of Burlington, ON and to increase appreciation, support and involvement with arts and culture in the community.

Our organization was founded to bring the voices of the Arts and Culture in our city to be heard in City Hall.  We are aiming to help shape the Cultural Action Plan, and receive budgets and execute the ‘Action’ in the Plan.  In order to keep moving forward with this plan, we requested responses to these four questions from all registered candidates.  They had the opportunity to respond and responses were published to our Collective.  Their replies were distributed throughout the contacts and social media membership of the Arts & Culture Collective (over 360 local members).

QUESTIONS: 1. What is your platform on Arts & Culture in Burlington? 2. The Cultural Action Planned passed unanimously in Council in 2013, yet the first new budget item called for by the plan – establishing a City Cultural Manager – was defeated. Please comment on this vote and state your intention moving into the next term on the role of a City Cultural Manager. 3. A funded external body (for example, an Arts Council) is the second item called for in the approved Cultural Action Plan. If such an organization is properly researched and consulted on, would you vote to fund this external body in the next term? 4. Grants is the third major budget item in the Cultural Action Plan. Would y…ou vote to fund a granting program for artists in the next term?




  1. I want to continue with the arts and culture investments that the city currently makes. The Art Gallery of Burlington, Burlington Performing Arts Centre, the Museums, Student Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Theatre Burlington, the Teen Tour Band along with investment in the Sound of Music Festival and our twinning relationships with Appledorn, The Netherlands and Itabashi, Japan all contribute to making Burlington a culturally vibrant city. We need to leverage our investment with the objective of broadening the reach of our various cultural programs and proceed with thoughtful implementation of the Cultural Action Plan.
  1. I did not support the Cultural Manager as I want to see how we make out this year now that we have a full time cultural planner. Council will revisit this during the 2015 budget discussion.
  1. I am definitely interested in exploring the idea of an Arts Council type of structure. We need to be very clear about the purpose and how the organization will fill its mandate.
  1. I know Oakville has a granting program. I need to understand more how a granting program would work. What type of artists would be eligible? What is the objective of the grants program? Would the grants be for new artists or emerging artists?


  1. Arts and culture are an integral part of any strong and diverse community. Enhanced quality of life for the people of Burlington is the reason I am running for Mayor, and underlies all elements of my platform. With smart growth comes enhanced arts and culture opportunities. When we build upon our already diverse and rich community, when we attract new revenue, when we recognize the importance of arts and culture and fund it accordingly, we further enrich our city and the people who call it home. We can and should capitalize on Section 37 to provide arts and culture funding within a defined radius of any new development, together with council input and desired priorities.
  1. I don’t understand the defeat for a cultural manager position after having conducted all that consultation and study work, but,

I would have to review the job description and how that position would fit into the overall organizational structure at the city before committing to

supporting a full time staff position. Also, it may be that more than one position would be required to satisfy the intent of the cultural action

plan. However, if the city was managed in a more fiscally responsible fashion, then perhaps the funding of such a position and/or department would not be such an issue. Overall, I support the continued efforts at raising the relevance of Arts and Culture in this city.

  1. My support would depend on the role of an Arts Council relative to the roles and responsibilities of a City Cultural Manager. It depends on what the funding demands would be, who would be made accountable for the management of the arts and culture department. It would be ideal if there was a plan that could make the department self sustainable with the support of the city. It would also be helpful if the Performing Arts Centre which is a big part of the issue, an entity that could generate profit to assist in further funding the arts and culture initiatives in this city. This city needs to stop spending money on further studies and simply get on with letting arts and culture flourish.
  1. This city has a lot of urgent need priorities dealing with pressing issues like healthcare, poverty, and housing, that may promote stronger

justification for funding allocations from the community than for arts and culture. I would like to provide grants, but, it may require a stronger

relationship working with private sector funding sources. There are many provincial and federal grants available to artists; the city may be better focused helping to direct local artists to existing grants.


RICK CRAVEN (incumbent)

  1. I support proper funding and implementation of the Cultural Action Plan.
  1. I was the only member of Council to vote in favour of the Cultural Manager as part of the 2014 budget and will do so again when the issues comes forward in 2015.
  2. Yes.
  3. I accept that we need a lot more discussion about how this will work, but in theory I agree we must move in this direction.


To the Arts and Culture Collective of Burlington

As an artist myself I have a strong interest in supporting and promoting arts and culture in Burlington. Art and culture enhance our lives on many levels and a strong arts community helps to make Burlington a more enjoyable place to live. We cannot however be blind to reality. This past year has shown us that we have some major challenges ahead, particularly with infrastructure. The way we handle arts and culture needs to be done in the most fiscally responsible way possible. What I would like to see is an easily accessible website that lists all arts, culture, recreation and leisure groups in one place so people can find groups they are interested in quickly and easily.

Before I could agree on a paid General Manager I would need to look carefully at what supports are already in place at city hall and to make sure we are not duplicating services.

While a paid arts council would be nice I think we would be better served right now by a volunteer arts advisory committee such as we have for other interests such as heritage. The money saved on salaries could then be put towards grants which would directly help those in the arts.

I do believe in grants in particular towards helping groups become self-sustaining.


  1. I believe that the City has some valuable Artistic and Cultural physical assets (ie: drama centre, Art Centre, Performing Arts Centre) The City is also blessed with some wonderful groups (Teen Tour Band, various Guilds and Performance organizations etc.), I think that these groups are best left to manage themselves without interference or oversight from the City. I would also like to see them be as self sufficient as possible.
  2. I assume that there was a reason for this, without knowing the behind the scenes efforts on both sides I have no idea why it was defeated. At first blush it would seem that if the Plan was approved, then funding considerations should have been part and parcel in the decision making process.
  3. The previous question sounds like it puts the entire CAP on hold. If the Plan is in place but the funding is being defeated by the current City Council, the question is what is wrong with the overall picture ? Logic suggests that if there is a problem getting funding for the first item then the same problem will exist for subsequent items.
  4. See answer to item #3


  1. Arts & Culture is an essential part of the health & vibrancy of this city. The development and implementation of a viable, sustainable Arts & Culture community is something I fully support and would encourage all council members to support vigorously.
  1. A. I couldn’t comment on what motivated people to vote one way or another. I think that sometimes council may make decisions based on their personal choices rather than the evidence in front of them or what their constituents may

want. My intention would be to support the hiring of a person who could deliver on the objectives through a variety of means. All I would ask for is to see several viable options on the table prior to casting a vote.

  1. There are several comparisons made throughout the documentation to other cities. Other cities have 4,5 6, 12 employees and X amount of funding. This sounds like a Rick Goldring thing. Lets think outside the box and collaborate on an idea or ideas that will have an impact that is visible. I want to support a proposition that is different than other cities, one where something unique is happening. Wouldn’t it be great to be known as the Arts & Culture centre of Canada?
  1. Again, with a variety of options presented that are sound, viable, sustainable, I could get behind the project. Perhaps a graduated pilot project might be the answer to the negative council vote. Show me something different that doesn’t take tax dollars away from essential services. We are a rich community and need the Arts but we also need to be able to generate revenue for the city on a cost recovery basis through these activities.

4.. Government grants are great and I would be looking to the province or the federal government for those grants. Endowments, scholarships, small business initiatives are all great ways to support the Arts. My voting would support some sort of creative initiative in terms of funding; one where the taxpayer does not carry the full load.


Marianne Meed Ward (incumbent)

  1. Vibrant local arts and culture contributes to our city’s quality of life, economic prosperity, social inclusion and vibrancy. The majority of the city’s cultural investment has been in buildings; we need now to focus on people who provide culture. I support a citizen’s committee on culture to foster collaboration and oversee grants; expanded criteria for facility grants; and single oversight of grants for festivals and events with clear criteria. The downtown has a unique role to play in culture, and as the councillor for downtown I’m committed to exploring a cultural district downtown, as recommended by the Downtown Task Group.
  1. The Plan did not call for the manager position in the first year. Staff advised council that through staff realignment they can find the additional cultural manager position within the existing staff complement. I support that approach as council’s goal city-wide has been to find new positions by staff realignment. I did support the increase in cultural staffing from half to full time. My first priority for additional cultural investment is directly to artists to defray performance space cost (See item 4).
  1. I am open to exploring options for an external granting body, for example a citizen’s committee on culture, with budget and staffing support. This committee could do for culture what Heritage Burlington has done for heritage – overseeing grants, loans and rebates to heritage owners, fostering heritage appreciation and awards, collaborating with heritage owners on preservation and more. This group is citizen-led with staff support and a budget over $100,000. This model could work for culture, bringing all the city’s grants to groups and events under single oversight with transparent criteria and budget, and fostering cultural collaboration.
  1. Yes, subject to further definition of eligibility. The focus should be on venue space for local groups and events. Culture is already happening in Burlington, but artists have told me it’s difficult to find affordable, appropriate space, whether it’s a venue for a play or film festival, space to display art, or a venue for modern art. The Burlington Performing Art Centre is cost-prohibitive for some local groups. The city’s existing facility fee waiver program excludes city buildings operated by an independent board, like the BPAC, Art Gallery of Burlington or libraries/museums. Facility grants must change to include these buildings.

Philip Papadopoulos

  1. I am a whole-hearted supporter of the arts and have been my entire life. The arts are a core building block of any community and like all special interest groups in the city, it deserves a fair share of attention.
  1. As with any issue faced by council, there are a number of factors that determine whether a plan is moved forward in a timely manner. These factors need to be carefully considered at the proper time. Just because a budget item is defeated does not mean that it will not surface again in the future to be looked at. If the conditions are right, a motion will pass. I cannot comment on specifics as to why each councillor voted the way they did and their reasoning.
  1. The prudent thing to do would be to see what the results of the research are before making a decision on this. Proper research and consultation does not equal a positive result. The research may find a positive result but it also may find a negative or indifferent result. What the city needs are leaders who are open minded and willing to listen before making an informed, responsible decision about how taxpayer’s money will be spent. Recklessly agreeing to something without considering the ramifications would be irresponsible.
  1. As with the second and third questions, there is more to consider about an issue before lending your support to it. I am willing to listen to what people have to say, I will meet with them to discuss issues and try my best to educate myself on each topic to make an informed decision.

Kelly Arnott

  1. Arts and culture is more than a “nice to have”. A vibrant arts scene contributes to the quality of life of all residents, helps to retain our youth, and bring people and businesses here. Evidence of creative expression throughout a city is one of the indicators of a healthy, thriving community. Fostering an environment that allows arts and culture to thrive is especially important in our downtown. A lot of time, research, and expertise has been put into the Cultural Action Plan, and it’s time to start implementing and funding some of the recommendations, on a gradual basis.
  1. Burlington’s investment in human resources specific to culture is lower than other municipalities, so the recommendation that we hire a Cultural Manager is not unreasonable. I will support it. I would however, due to budget constraints, consider the possibility of the position being something less than full-time, especially since a position for an Arts Coordinator has also just been posted with the City. If an external body is formed and funded, I think a Cultural Manager and Planner working together with this arts council would be most effective, in helping our arts community to move forward.
  1. Yes. I think this is important. From what I understand the Arts Council in Hamilton is very effective and would be a great example to follow. I’d like to see a variety of funding sources though—not only the City of Burlington. The Province and the Ontario Arts Council should also contribute to funding.
  1. Yes, although we’d still need to discuss how this will work and how much the City can afford. If and when an arts council is created, it would seem to make the most sense for that council to include someone who is experienced and qualified in applying for grants from various levels of government. If there are opportunities to work with the business community, those should be explored. (i.e. funding of arts scholarships, sponsorships of special events like Cirque etc).

Andy Porecki

I have been a strong advocate for arts and culture in Burlington as a direct participant as well as a supporter. Volunteering for the Sound of Music Festival for more than 7 years, (currently I am the festival President), has given me a greater appreciation and understanding for the need and value of arts and culture.

1.I believe that Arts & Culture in Burlington helps to form the bedrock of a vibrant community. It’s through Arts & Culture initiative that Burlington has become known for it’s community feel. With new arts organizations choosing Burlington as a home, I intend to foster and grow these relationships.

  1. As I was not a sitting council member during these deliberations I cannot comment in detail on why this motion was defeated. However, moving forward I would support a critically considered arts council or cultural manager. This is not a simple process, and as was mentioned in public articles previously, the decision cannot be made lightly. The right person, and the right volunteers would need to come together in harmony to create a sustainable future for this aspect of our city.
  2. A question in broad terms is difficult to answer simply yes or no. Based on a viable fiscal plan, involving the right people, and sensible budgets, I would absolutely support such a committee. However I will not support it without a diligent plan to create something that’s sustainable, and garners a viable return to our city.
  3. Again, based on research and a plan, I will always support the artists of our city. Whether that involves granting, or other potential incentives, I’m willing to work with my fellow council members to promote and foster arts in our community.


John Taylor (incumbent)

While infrastructure repair and renewal and economic development are the two top needs in Burlington, I believe it is important to start to implement the City’s Cultural Plan. Therefore I am committed to establishing the position of Cultural Manager and an Arts Council in the next term. However, a substantive business case would have to be presented before I would consider grants to individual artists. The City has many financial challenges due to declining development plus commitments to a new 20 year infrastructure repair and renewal programme and a renewed emphasis on economic development. Not all needs can be met by our present financial plan, so they must be prioritized and partially funded from corporate restructuring nsavings and redeployments.John Taylor (incumbent) While infrastructure repair and renewal and economic development are the two top needs in Burlington, I believe it is important to start to implement the City’s Cultural Plan. Therefore I am committed to establishing the position of Cultural Manager and an Arts Council in the next term. However, a substantive business case would have to be presented before I would consider grants to individual artists. The City has many financial challenges due to declining development plus commitments to a new 20 year infrastructure repair and renewal programme and a renewed emphasis on economic development. Not all needs can be met by our present financial plan, so they must be prioritized and partially funded from corporate restructuring nsavings and redeployments.


Jack Dennison (incumbent)

1.I certainly attend arts and culture events in Burlington on a regular basis, including the recently completed Sound of Music Festival, AGB and the BPAC (a favourite is the Burlington Concert Band) and Drury Lane Theatre (where I have been an advertiser for decades).

Burlington is a community with significant infrastructure needs; in particular, road, sidewalk and curb repairs and as long as that is the case, then I will continue to not support arts expenditures like $100,000 for the orchids on Upper Middle Road, the artists benches on the Centennial Bike Path at approximately $10,000 each in comparison to standard benches for $1,000 each, the artists bike racks instead of standard racks that hold more bicycles more securely.

  1. The 2014 budget was a challenging budget trying to balance all of our community needs and wants and still maintain a budget increase even close to inflation which is what the majority of our constituents want us to maintain as an upset limit.

The manager of Cultural Services proposed position included an expense of $136,000. I believe that having the current cultural planner in Parks & Recreation is an appropriate start to improving our Arts & Culture program and that we should reevaluate as part of the 2015 budget, the need for the addition of Manager of Cultural Services. I am supportive of such a position as long as it can be funded within the existing staff complement.

  1. Assuming in 2015 Budget we are again struggling with a realistic budget increase, I would be looking for budget reductions in other areas in order to have funds available for this incentive. Council’s history shows that new programs get added in but underutilized programs do not get dropped. There are activities that are included in the city budget that are not required. I will continue to look to balance demonstrated needs versus underutilized wants.
  2. I think we should be going through a logical, balanced and sustainable progression. First the dedicated staff position approved in 2014 followed by the cultural Manager, followed by a funded Arts Council and finally by a grant program while always coming forward with a responsible budget that balances our community needs and wants with fair, taxation.

Doug Wilcox 1. I have always supported the Arts and Cultural community. When I was on Municipal Council in Orangeville I secured a $750,000 Provincial grant to fully restore the 100 year old upstairs theatre in the Town Hall, we hired Jim Bettes to start up and run what is now known as Theatre Orangeville, I sat on the board for many years. 2.As mentioned above Orangeville Council hired a full time person to run Theatre Orangeville. 3.Yes I would. 4. Yes I would.

Carol Gottlob

When I moved to Burlington in 1995, I wasn’t entirely familiar with the arts and cultural scene, and to be honest, I wasn’t even expecting it. What a pleasant surprise! At the first opportunity I became a volunteer at the Burlington Art Centre. Art and culture are the hallmarks of a living city. Why else would I be visiting New York City right now, if not to take in a Broadway show, visit the museums and galleries, stop in at a jazz club and delight in the street life? I think over the years, Burlington has quietly demonstrated that art lives here. The Burlington Art Centre (now the Art Gallery of Burlington), the Sound of Music Festival, the Teen Tour Band are all hallmarks of this community. Therefore, they deserve to be supported by patrons, business and the C.O.B. alike. Historically, I believe the community artists and historians took care of the “business” of art and culture, and did so in a very fine way with very little government support. It is now, only after being widely recognized as a creative centre in the province of Ontario that we need to look for ways to sustain the success of Burlington art and culture. So, in answer to the second part, regarding the position of City Cultural Manager, it is my belief that perhaps the time for that is yet to come. It is apparent that other cities such as Kingston and Mississauga spend considerably more on support of the arts and culture in their communities, but again, this begs the question, if we have been doing so well, why do we need a City Cultural Manager? The answer is in the ever increasing expansion of the art world in the city. Not only that, but the nature of art is changing by virtue of technology. So, a City Cultural Manager? Yes. When? Not sure, but in the not too distant future. In the meantime, we have existing people in place to look after the needs of the city, so we are not abandoning the cause. Meanwhile, an Arts Council makes a lot of sense to me. I also very much like the idea of a spokesperson for each ward. It is important that the activities across the city be coordinated, and a spokesperson in each ward would guarantee that no party is left out. I would vote in favour of a grants program, as long as it is monitored to evaluate the success/failure, and limited to a period of assessment. So, in closing, I would say that art/culture is equally important to the life of a community as business is, and that they are not mutually exclusive. If there are programs in place to support business, there should be programs in place to support Art/Culture in whatever way possible because human expression through music, dance, film, theatre and visual art has proven itself unstoppable. I thrive on change. It is essentially the reason I am running for office. I don’t believe in change simply for the sake of change, but change as a channel for improvement and development. The question I ask myself when considering changes to existing policies, programs or delivery of programs is this: “Is this progress?” If so, let’s give it our support. If not, let’s reconsider. Which is why I’m hoping the people of Ward 4 will chose to change the existing leadership, and explore other possibilities with me.


Paul Sharman (incumbent)


James Smith

  1. – “Challenging” is a tired and cliche expression too often used in contemporary art & culture. I want the Arts & Culture in Burlington to “Challenge” us with BBFD projects (Bold, Beautiful, Fun, Delightful) so more members of the community actively support Arts and Culture – As a Design Consultant, I want Burlington to mean something to the wider world or Art, Design and Culture – when I tell clients this where I’m based I want this to mean something so I want to see the more accessible, BBFD Arts and Cultural events and we need to tell the region, the province and the world Burlington is a place practice, show and learn about the arts and culture – The cultural Action Plan (I participated in one of the sessions at the Art Gallery) is a baby step in the right direction; my one criticism is it’s too general and the call to action needs to be bigger – ie More Action, less Plan – Arts Community needs to get out and connect more and directly with everyone in Burlington – Arts & Culture Pitch night in February – think TED Talk meets Dragon’s den – 3 minutes to pitch one’s Arts and Culture ideas; here are my five pitches: – A kid’s chalk art festival – Self playing Musical devices (Singing Roads, Whistling Break Wall, Pedestrian Carillon Steps) – Art Installations on the Bike Paths – A prize to make the Hydro Towers on the beach COOL – Tens of Thousands of people will be coming to the GTHA for PAN AM. We are on the main route from the USA to Toronto, we are also on the main route to one of the largest tourist attractions in the world, Niagara Falls, the Arts & Cultural community in Burlington should promote temporary Art & Cultural installations in time for PAN AM this will take some quick action by the city of Burlington For Burlington to attract the best and brightest citizens and businesses we have to have cultural activities throughout the city and not just centred in the downtown. My Vision East idea would encourage those involved in the cultural community to spread the wealth in our East End neighbourhoods.
  2. – While I support the creation of a CEO or Cultural Pooh-bah position I don’t think this should be a city staff position but be head of an arms length organization with a board and funded (in part) by the city – Rejecting the position is a far too typical technique at Burlington City Hall; agree on a direction, then don’t act when the resources are asked for. If I support a direction, like the Cultural Action Plan, then I’ll support the recommendations, and in this case the creation of a Cultural Manager – If elected, I’ll work with the Arts & Cultural community to put to city council a more focused plan with more clear goals and objectives to prove to council the benefits for the city of a Cultural Pooh-bah. -This position should be willing and able to work with, and help co-ordinate efforts with the CEO’s of the Museums, Art Gallery, Festivals, and Performing Arts Centre
  3. – This should be the first priority for Arts & Culture – set up the council – it should be a citizens committee or not for profit, run under a Joint Venture Agreement with the city (City Staff can assist in setting this organization up & should help fund it) – In principal, I support this, however; I see an Arts Council having a marketing, management and evangelizing function for Arts and Culture – Not just a cheque writers we need cool kids shaking you and me & my neighbours up and out of our work-a-day malaise
  4. – Again, in principal yes, perhaps a hybrid model is called for say a cross between the Toronto Arts Council The Burlington Community Foundation and ARTSCAPE so it is partially self funding


Blair Lancaster (incumbent) 1. During my term on Council I have been excited to participate in the successful projects that have been approved so far. I am actively involved in engaging Ward 6 in the creation of the Mural at Haber and was very proud to find a home at Haber for the Art that I located at Hansen Brick. Arts and Culture is extremely important to me as I feel it contributes greatly to the vibrancy of our community. I would like to develop a program that not only celebrates arts but promotes the Artist.

  1. A solution to advancing arts and culture in our community is not as simple as hiring someone. We have been down this road before with little to show for it. I would prefer to spend the money on projects that would provide visual results and net community benefits. The proposal to hire for this position left a lot to be desired as there was no money allotted for projects. We need a more comprehensive solution to advancing the Arts.
  2. In our discussions regarding the Cultural Manager Position, I clearly articulated that a committee could easily manage a plan to promote Arts and Culture in our community. I would prefer to see funding going to actual projects rather than to a salary. Allowing Artists to participate in this funding would offer an opportunity for them to perform, showcase their Art and help them build their portfolios and therefore promote their artist talent.
  3. In my view we must find a way to overcome prohibitive legislation that currently prevents us from limiting fund participation to local groups. Currently when a request for proposal is issued, it must be extended to anyone in the World and cannot be exclusive to Burlington. I would like to enter into discussions with staff, legal and the Arts community to find funding solutions that will promote local artists.

Angelo Bentivegna

Thanks for the opportunity to have my voice heard on the Cultural Action Plan and my vision on the future planning and management of this very important program that will give our City distinct character and attitude.

1-As a 30 year resident of Burlington and a local business owner here in our city for over 25 years, I believe it is time to move forward to create and implement a unique and dynamic Cultural plan in our City. I have raised four children, all of whom have had many positive experiences with the arts, theater, at local events, and sports. We now have grandchildren…and the time has come to step it up.

2-I completely support a position of a City Cultural Manager. Our neighbourhoods are all maturing and we need to take a leadership role in molding the approved Cultural Action Plan. Our goal is to keep our residents connected in our City, wanting more and having fun in our City.

3-I support the need to hire a qualified consultant to explore and guide us with the knowledge and help us drive this bus. Staff and Council can then take appropriate action and direct energies to bring this plan to fruition.

4- I will collaborate with my council colleagues to solicit all levels of government, including our municipality,as well as local industry and build partnerships to generate granting funds. I would also suggest creating an annual awards program/evening (gala) to highlight accomplishments of Burlington’s most creative achievers and acknowledge excellence. Scholarships can be awarded to young local artists or contributors to the Cultural environment with funds going toward continuing their education in their field.

Jennifer Hlusko

  1. Cultural development has been a top priority for me, as evidenced by all the years of music lessons, rehearsals, summer camps, and the musical instruments etc we have had has gone towards the cultural development of my children. Chamber music, ballet, opera, symphony, these are the ways my family spent time together, but these events were nearly always found outside of Burlington. I really believe that the future of the arts is dependent on building an audience. I understand first hand that if you don’t build the audience with children, by making it accessible to families, you lose the arts. There are so many opportunities for more arts here, but people have to be exposed to it. It is so disappointing that Burlington institutions have been so negligent in hiring and highlighting local talent. As soon as you involve local residents, you instantly have access to their network of audience. People are less likely to invest in something they have had no exposure to. Additionally, as the owner and restorer of a heritage home, I value the cultural heritage of Burlington architecture. I am also passionate about the horticultural arts. My gardens are a celebration of Ontario’s diversity with a focus on less common native plants and trees. I have invested myself fully in designing and growing my gardens and I view them as my art.

I believe that I am the perfect advocate for Arts & Culture in Burlington, as I have seen the lasting impact the arts have had on my family. The Cultural Action Plan report is very well written and logical. I completely support the strategy.

  1. Having thoroughly read the Cultural Action Plan, I do not feel like the roll out needs to include a Manager at this time. Had the City staff made a more compelling business case for the strategic need for the role this year, I would have supported it. The cost benefit needs to ensure that a large salary, such as the one indicated in the budget proposal, has concrete and measurable deliverables in year one. Going forward, I would support a Manager role that is phased in at the recommendation of the Cultural Plan. I think the money would have been better spent on initiating a granting program. Spreading that money amongst 20 arts groups would create more art experiences and develop a greater audience.
  2. Yes, there has to be a council. I would look to municipalities that have done it well, to see how they run it. Certainly in music, a performing musician would not have the time or necessarily the strengths required to carry out the critical administrative duties required to access the grant dollars and keep the organization running smoothly. There are lots of great arts lovers and advocates, many of whom have been artists themselves, who would have the skills required to run such a council.
  3. Yes. Without a grant, there isn’t any point following a Cultural Action Plan. Grants are how you support the local little guy. There are so many exciting ways to build and develop the arts in Burlington that need grants to execute. Imagine funding a group of world-class local musicians to do unique ensemble music for ten year olds, pairing unusual instruments, like the guitar, the harp, and the piccolo! Grants are essential to creation and experimentation. I would vote to fund a grants program, especially with a strategic focus of offering grants aimed at building an arts appreciative Burlington audience.

Jim Curran

Burlington has a rich and diverse arts and cultural community. All three of my children are involved in the Arts in one way or another. Even my five year old takes classes at AGB throughout the year.

As an elected Councillor for Ward 6 I will Endeavour to assist in sustaining worthy initiatives within a framework of fiscal responsibility.


Shark Week starts on Friday!

Shark Week is

Curtis Hayes – MC
Ben Mitchell – Guitar/Vocals
Luke Mitchell – Drums
Steve Burrell – Bass/Vocals

a rock/hip hop/reggae band formed in February 2010 and located in Oshawa/Toronto, Ontario they have a distinct sound and energy. For fans of Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Sublime, Dirty Heads, illScarlett, Down With Webster and many more

I first had the pleasure of seeing these guys in Kitchener on the Don’t Stop Us Now tour with I’ve Got Gloria and Halfway to Hollywood with local support from Keep The Change. A tour put together by Lance Ryan and Break Loose Entertainment.

This is their Wake The Neighbours Tour in support of their new EP Fire on the Beach now available on iTunes (Click Here) This tour (also a Break Loose Entertainment presentation) should prove to be better than the last.

The tour starts on Friday the 19th in Oshawa at the Moustache Club moves to Toronto on the 20th and the 21st, Hamilton on the 26th Kitchener on the 27th and London on the 28th.


You can get ticket for the show in your area from Ticket Scene visit the page here. Do me a favour if you are buying tickets for the Kitchener show when asked for a Name put or add KTC as Keep The Change will be playing with them again at the Kitchener show and you might just get a free T-shirt or CD. Tell your friends about the tour, Some of these re intimate shows with a band that is about to take off, a chance that may never come again.

The above tune is a free download, also check out the track Tidal Wave off their Nobody Famous EP, I couldn’t post it here as a stream. Peace out.

Attica Riots Getting Ready to Release

So about a year and a half ago I came across a band while trolling for new music. I came across this Video published a few months before

I was totally blown away, wanted to know more: who they were, when they would be playing a show in my area etc… well it wasn’t that simple.

Turns out Dave, Kyle, Anders Erickson three brothers from Winnipeg have been playing the scene for well over a decade. I Dug deeper and the short lived YouKnowIKnow monicker was preceded by the Name Inward Eye.  They got there first big recognition opening for the WHO back in 2006 as Inward Eye.

The followed up with a Tour with Burlington’s own Finger 11 in 2007

Constantly writting and touring the band

In 2012 They again hit the spotlight at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010

Why had I not heard about them before? They have played CMW many times but  tied into a contract with well known Record Company that for the last 8 years basically refused to release their music they were left to DIY sharing new streams but nothing that I could Buy. They have changed their sound and name over the past few years in an effort to appease the powers that be into releasing something. Doesn’t matter to me what name these guys go by as their talent far outweighs the need to know.


That being said they have added Bobby Desjarlais to their line-up and now go by the name Attica Riots. They have just returned from recording in LA.  Soon to be free from their previous label I am looking forward to them releasing their new album and throwing some support their way.

You can stream some of their new music on their SoundCloud.

find them on FaceBook

Previous reviews and articles


Burlington Indie Music Night

Burlington Indie Music Night

Burlington Indie Music Night

Tuesday night Burlington kicked off it’s first Indie Music Night at The Dickens Pub on Elizabeth Street.  This is something that I have been hoping to see ever since I moved here.  Burlington is a hotbed of musical talent with limited opportunity to showcase your chops.  Ben Rispin of Burly Calling has stepped up to the plate again along with Chuck Coles of the Organ Thieves and thrown together the first month of acts.  I say first month as the plan is that if this is successful it will become an ongoing production till Death due us part.   If last night is any indication the program is off to a great start. Chuck got things started with an amazing acoustic performance.  I have always been a fan of the Organ Thieves

and it was great to see Chuck in such an intimate setting.  Chuck will be hosting the event every Tuesday going forward changing things up by having locals join him for a few tunes to warm up the crowd for the evenings feature band.

Last nights feature band was Burlington’s Penske File.  As you all know I am a huge fan and last night they did not disappoint.

Playing many favourites , I was glad to catch these guys again before they explode and move onto the next level which they are more than ready for.  The entire evening was … wait for it …..Free! Thanks to the Dickens Pub, and sponsors Burly Calling and Piston Head Lager and Sailor Jerry Rum it will continue to be Free every Tuesday night.

Upcoming feature bands are

September 16th Beautiful Nothing (Genre Alt Rock,) Burlington/Toronto

September 22nd Voltang (Raunchified and shredded sounds of beer-flavoured rock’n’roll) Hamilton

September 30th Aitch (Genre Acoustic Rock) Burlington

Share this with everyone you know and get the word out.  It’s success is dependent on Us and will only succeed with our support!

To Keep abreast of upcoming acts follow me on twitter as I will continue to promote it or better yet follow one of these on twitter



If you would be interested in playing come down hang out on a Tuesday and chat up Chuck.


Canada’s Next Folk Legend?

I spend my hobby hours scouring through new music on various sites. When I find good music I share it through Facebook, Twitter Soundcloud etc… When I find amazing music I reach out to find out a little more information. A few months back I came across Dylan Turner aka Whale Eye. I was delighted by his sound and needed to know more! My initial search for info on his backstory drew many a blank. So I reached out to learn a little more about him. We played a little back and forth as he has been quite busy. By now many more have more than likley introduced to him through his recent flurry of deserved appearances at the many ongoing summer music festivals. So if you too are curious then here are a few tidbits I found out.


JimmyWould love to share a little about you, would you be interested in answering some questions over the next few days? if so here would be round one. If you want to include Pictures with replies that would be cool too…..So I have searched the web and found very little about you. I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions. Who What Where When Why How?


WhaleEyeHey Jimmy! I’d love to! I’ll get back
to you with your answers ASAP!

Who: Whale Eye (Dylan Turner)

What: Musician, Folk/Rock Singer Songwriter

Where:Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON Canada

When: I started this project a little over a year ago & I just released my debut EP

Why: To find happiness

How: With a guitar, my voice, & my brain (sort of)


JimmyFor someone who has such refined talent you must have been playing for some time, when did you start playing?


WhaleEye I first picked up the guitar in grade eight. I must’ve been 12 or 13. I didn’t really play it much until a year later when I started singing. I never really had an interest in music before that.


Jimmy My family has a musical background, nothing professional, it’s just that my Dad came from the days before TV (at least in his house) and entertainment was sing along around the kitchen table so he would probably be my biggest influence, not in the style of music I play but why I play. Who or what would you say in your life was the biggest influence, the one that got you to follow your musical path?


WhaleEye Many people, artists, & instances have had an extreme impact on my life & on my music. It’s very difficult to narrow it down to the “biggest” one. I would say that one of the most recent ones would be a friend of mine that asked me why I played music. My first answer was something she thought to be satisfactory, “Because I want to make people happy.” She pointed out that I should make music to make myself happy & I shouldn’t need to worry about what anyone else thought; I agree with her. Her advice dramatically changed my perspective on how I write music.


Jimmy Your EP is amazing and I find it hard to believe that this is your first kick at the can. Have you played with any bands in the past and if so where can we find any of your
earlier work?


WhaleEye Thank you very much! I really appreciate the kind words! This is my first try at writing music entirely by myself & in this particular style. I played in a couple of alternative rock bands before I started Whale Eye, so this is something completely new for me. Waterbodies ( is still kickin‘ it as a three-piece & I am loving their new sound. As Above, So Below ( was my high school band & consisted of songs I wrote in my mid-teens. I have spent time in various cities so far in my life, living in Ottawa, Vancouver to name a few,

Jimmy I see you are based out of Niagara, is Niagara where your roots are or have you settled there from somewhere else? ie, where has life’s road taken you.


WhaleEye I was born in Toronto, but raised in Niagara. I love Niagara, but think it’s time for something different fairly soon. I plan to move to Toronto before the end of the year. I lived in Melbourne, Australia for eight months last year & I am already missing the city life. Thanks again for the interest, my friend 🙂 please lemme know if you’d like anything else!!!


Jimmy Round 2 sorry for the delay…. So I went and checked out some of your older music and I must say you have reason to be proud. There has been a definite improvement through the years but even your High School band’s recordings were great quality. Where do you normally record and how involved are you in the recording process?


WhaleEye You are definitely very generous with your compliments. Thank you! Each recording has been an incredibly unique experience, but each time I’ve involved myself as much as possible. I love composition; it’s probably what I love most about music. Seeing the songs come together in the studio is always exciting.


Jimmy. Went and checked out Waterbodies… again, impressed!. As you mentioned they are continuing to play and might a say with some great success. It would seem to me you still have a great relationship with the guys as I have noticed you have been on the same bill with them over the past few months. When you are on the same bill do you ever get up and play with them?


WhaleEye Yes, in fact I got the chance to make an appearance with them on stage at SCENE Festival this year. It was great to share the stage with those guys again as they are all incredibly talented musicians. Hopefully again sometime in the future!


Jimmy I must say congrats on your recent success i.e. scenefest and rock 102.1 top 20 next best thing and you seem to be landing gigs on a regular basis these days. How easy/hard is it for you to get shows, and what is your favourite venue to play?


WhaleEye I work two full time jobs & try to gig on my days off as often as possible (which leaves very little time to actually book the gigs themselves). Erik & Tim over at IndoorShoes
as well as a few friends have been more than helpful with landing me some spots on some really fun shows. I can’t say I have a favourite venue… yet.


Jimmy Many musicians indulge in more than one art form such as photography, painting, etc… Is this also the case with you?


WhaleEye I love cooking & I’ve always had a passion for the marriage of wine & food. It’s knowledge that I believe I will be able to use for the rest of my life.

JimmyNow for the cheese aka speedround Are you a cat or dog person?

WhaleEye I love all animals, but dogs hold a special place in my heart.

Jimmy What is currently number one on your playlist?

WhaleEye Tove Lo – Habits

JimmyWhat band would you like most to see in the very
near future?

WhaleEye Queens of the Stone Age

Jimmy If you could collaborate with anyone
who would it be and why?

WhaleEye Anyone better than
I love learning.

Jimmy Coffee or Tea?

WhaleEye Depends on how tired I am.


Jimmy What is next for Dylan? Where do you hope to be and what do you hope to be doing 1,2,3,4,5 years from now? …. How can fans help?


WhaleEye We’ll see what happens. I’m not dead set on what I am doing right now. Maybe someone can convince me otherwise. My only definite plan is to make music that I am proud of.


Jimmy You can support Dylan by buying his album on Bandcamp Click Here. You can also show support by liking his Facebook Page and following on Twitter If you want to follow me that would be ok too! 🙂


On September 30, 2008 The Harold Family, friends and the Welland community lost someone special and dear to them. Owen Patrick Harold “The young bass player who loved music… was a dedicated environmentalist…a one-of-a-kind friend …who ..had a beautiful outlook on life” lost his life in a car crash in at the age of twenty two.

In 2009 to keep the memory of their beloved son/brother/friend alive, many of those close to him decided to put together a tribute concert dubbed “Ownenpalooza”. This was to be a festival of music done as eco friendly as possible (two of Owens many life passions) to celebrate his life and memory with proceeds going to a Scholarship in his name at Notre Dame College in Welland. The tribute has become a tradition and turned into an annual event.

The Owen Harold Memorial Scholarship (OHMS) recognizes a Notre Dame Catholic High School student in their final year of grade twelve studies, who demonstrates active engagement in their community and evidence of a strong commitment to leadership and improving the state of the world. The Scholarship board chooses a well-rounded, dynamic individual who shows enthusiasm toward learning both in and out of the classroom, demonstrated compassion and integrity toward others, and who serves as inspiration to those around them. Of particular focus were secondary students interested in issues dealing with human rights, various social, legal, and political institutions, ethics and social justice, or environmental issues.

For more on the Scholarship visit

Since its inception the event has seen such artists as Ron Hawkins, USS and Hollarado. This year the lineup includes Xprime, Jessica Wilson, Whitney Pea, Ivy Coast, Bratwurst Days, The Balconies and Rural Alberta Advantage.

Tickets for the July 26 concert are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Doors open at 6 p.m. Proceeds from the 19+ event will benefit several charity initiatives including the Owen Patrick Harold Memorial Scholarship at Notre Dame.

Visit the event FB Page

#BlackFrameSpectacle New Single

New Single from one of my favourite bands The Black Frame Spectacle as they post “The Vow” said to be the first of 4 new songs they have recently recorded (Pun Intended?).

The Black Frame Spectacle are

Ian Sullivan- Vocals/Guitar
Adam McNeill- Drums/Backing Vocals

yup that’s it, just the two of them.

I first came across these guys when my son started out back in 2010/2011.  Say what you will about the Supernova organization but it was….(and a I guess still is as it has receded but not gone) a great place to find new music and for a band to get started.  These guys threw support behind my kids band through the site and other social media.  I was blown away by their support for new artists and the amazing sound they brought to the stage with just the two of them.  Bitter sweet from their early 2011 release The “Grady Sessions” was the track that got me interested in their music.  

Ian’s vocals and voice control make it an addictive listen that never gets boring. The album was followed up Just over a year later with 

Grady Sessions II 

Including Bust out Boogie


They have been spreading their music throughout South Western Ontario and growing their fan base. Recently winning over enough fans at UWO to take home the CHRW battle of the bands.

Keep it rocking guys!  I am looking forward you keeping the vow and releasing next three!

Catch them at this years Lachie Fest Ontario’s biggest outdoor camping and music festival. Canada Day Weekend June 27-29 @ Cayuga Speedway, Hagersville, ON. Tickets on sale now

Find Black Frame Spectacle 

on facebook

and on YouTube