Yellowknife Council candidates offer ideas at industry-focused forum | Catch My Job


Convert Yellowknife’s aging pool into an arts center and waive fees for arts events in city parks — those were just some of the ideas offered by city council candidates at a forum dedicated to the arts Thursday evening at Makerspace Y.

All 16 candidates appeared at the forum hosted by the nonprofit Yellowknife Artists Run Community Center (YK ARCC).

They all pretty much agree: the arts are a key component of a thriving community, and public art will bring new life to downtown.

About 40 or 50 people gathered to hear what the candidates had to say about supporting art and artists in Yellowknife.

In the first hour, candidates were asked questions claiming a solid understanding of city planning and strategies about what they would do to make it easier and possibly profitable to create or use art in the city.

Crowded room, people in folding chairs.
Dozens of people gathered to hear what Yellowknife City Council candidates had to say about the arts. (Walter Strong/CBC)

One question was: “Where do you see opportunities for arts and culture initiatives to help achieve the goals and recommendations of other plans being developed and implemented by the city?”

in answer, Garrett Cochran spoke of several arts projects aimed at reuniting the city and fulfilling the city’s revitalization goals.

“As a proud LGBTQ+ Métis and city resident, both of these strategies mean a lot to me,” she said.

Cochran suggested turning the Ruth Inch Memorial Pool into a dual art space and library and establishing an Aboriginal Cultural Center where the library now stands.

Ruth Inch Memorial Pool in Yellowknife on August 27, 2020. On Thursday, City Council candidates discussed the idea of ​​turning it into an art gallery. (Walter Strong/CBC)

He suggested the city create two artist-in-residence programs: one for indigenous artists and one for artists who would “beautify the downtown core.”

Finally, he said, the city should change its bylaws to allow buses.

Several candidates soon saw the opportunity for an arts center in the former pool.

“I see there’s a lot more space dedicated to sports and entertainment, and I think it’s time we give the arts community some, and maybe a little more space,” said Rob Foote, voicing his support for the idea. .

John Fredericks, Tom McLennan and Steve Payne were also in favour.

Creating and showing

Candidates proposed various ways the city could create more space for artists to perform, exhibit and sell art.

Ben Hendricksen points to the obstacles artists face in renting city-owned space.

“The cost is prohibitive, even for outdoor access,” he said. “It’s something the city can deal with. They can waive it.”

Payne suggested that more artwork be displayed at City Hall and other city-owned buildings.

“We can support artists by promoting their material at our facilities,” he said

McLennan said online tools for listing and searching art spaces are “just [make] It’s easier for artists to both find and access space.”

Dwayne Simmons suggests using the Folk on the Rocks site for art events throughout the summer.

Kat McGurk, who is the president of Makerspace YK, says that for arts groups to grow, secure operational funding is essential.

McGurk noted that Makerspace YK, the forum’s venue, received three years of funding “and because of that, we had a lot of security. We didn’t have to look for another grant to maintain operations.”

The next Candidates Forum hosted by the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce is Friday at 7pm at the Explorer Hotel.


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