Well, it’s official. We go back to the polls on April 23rd to vote for our new provincial government. With the PCs facing some nontrivial opposition for the first time in a while, Albertans can expect political candidates to be paying more attention than usual to the mood of voters. And for many Albertans, it’s also an opportunity to spend a bit more time than usual becoming educated about political issues, and carefully evaluating the ideas that prospective leaders will advance in the next few weeks.
For many of us, finding ways to bolster the health of the arts eco-system in Alberta is an important part of the political conversation. If you feel this way, there are a couple of organizations in Alberta that exist for the purpose of advocating for the arts and for making it easier for arts-friendly citizens to connect.
In Edmonton, you can connect with PACE (Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton). Calgary has its own advocacy group called ArtsVote Calgary, an organization that was quite active in the last municipal election. Both PACE and ArtsVote have in the past held town halls and gathered responses from political candidates with a special emphasis on policies pertaining to the arts and culture—in fact, ArtsVote has already begun to gather and make public candidates’ responses to arts-related policy questions. There are plenty of opportunities to become active in both groups as the provincial election heats up.
I’ll be keeping an eye on the websites of these organizations, and will pass on regular updates. If you become aware of any arts-relevant political events, discussions or articles that you think readers of this blog would be interested in, please pass them on, and I’ll do my best to disseminate the information (you can email me at email@example.com).
I’d also appreciate hearing about any other arts advocacy groups that might exist in regions other than Edmonton or Calgary.