Last week the members of the Residents of the Exchange District here in Winnipeg had an opportunity to meet with Mayor Brian Bowman. He told us about some of his visionary ideas for the city and we talked to him about our concerns and questions.
One priority for the mayor is increasing funding to the arts. Since many galleries, studios and performance venues are located in the Exchange District this could be particularly important to our area of the city.
Mayor Bowman told us for every dollar you invest in the arts you get an $18 economic return. The average Canadian city invests $35 per person annually in the arts. Winnipeg invested $5 when Mr. Bowman took office. His first budget raised it to $7 but he’d like to continue to increase that in future budgets.
In particular Mayor Bowman feels it is important to fund initiatives that celebrate and foster the further development of the arts and culture of indigenous people. He says investing in the arts is a good way to create jobs in any city.
As someone who has a part-time job at an art gallery and has family members who are professional musicians, Mayor Bowman’s belief in the value of the arts is encouraging.
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