by Jazminn Hintz
As the Regina civic election developed into a one-topic election focused around the new stadium, discussion about the arts fell by the wayside, according to arts advocates.
If mayoral candidate Marian Donnelly had it her way, arts would have been talked about much more than it was.
“I think arts should have been on the platform but we have had a one issue election. We have hardly talked about any of the other issues, the infrastructure, the transit, the recycling,” Donnelly said.
“It’s sad but it is what it is, we can’t turn the clock back and we can’t make people talk about things they don’t want to talk about.”
Donnelly ended up coming in second to new Mayor of Regina Michael Fougere.
Arts was an issue voter Linda Tate wished would have been talked about more during the campaign. She says it should have been a big part of candidate’s platforms.
“Yes a big part...because we are urging people to come and live here but if we are a sterile province then what good is it, (they’re) coming to what? They’re coming to a community that is not interested. To me books, arts, culture are very important.”
Speaking before the results were final, Tate said if Donnelly lost, she hoped things wouldn’t be worse for the arts community than they already were.
“I hope that they will maintain the levels or up the levels. There are many grants which organizations can apply for now for the arts but there are only small but I would hate to see them wiped out completely.”
The Art Gallery of Regina is partially funded by the City of Regina and gallery director Karen Schoonover said she hopes Regina City Council will be the new voice of arts in the city.
“I think there are several new members on city council all of whom seem to have more of a focus on arts and culture than the current council so I find that encouraging,” Schoonover pointed out.
Despite losing the mayoral race, Donnelly remained in high spirits.
“It is what it is, right? I am not one to cry in my drink or anything like that. I accept what the planet has in store for me and it’s all good,” she said following the election results.