Chair Monica Parkinson – letter to editor of Golden Star

Blog post from Monica Parkinson, Chair of Golden District Arts Council / Kicking Horse Culture.

I have sent this letter today to the Golden Star in response to their Nov. 13 article ” GAI void not being filled next year “. I’m restricted to 300 words so there’s so much more I could add to help inform the discussion. However, both myself and our executive director Bill Usher provided annual reports at our recent Annual General Meeting. Please find the documents  here  (ED’s report) and here  (Chair’s report.) Together, they will give you a comprehensive understanding of what KHC does on behalf of the community. While you’re at it take a trip back through the past and take a look at an amazing selection of posters from many of the shows and events that KHC has produced in the past 9 years.

We’d like to thank editor Jessica Schwitek for her well expressed editorial “Cultural Activity” in the Nov 13 issue. On the Op Ed page, the Star is polling the community on the question: “Do you think the Town of Golden should support Kicking Horse Culture financially?” We don’t think the question is well positioned. As you see from my letter below, our service delivery agreement has been a combined initiative of both local governments – the Town and CSRD – since 2006. In fact, of our 800 Members more than 50% live in the regional district. Regardless of how the question is stated though, and whether you wish to vote yay or nay, we ask you click on over NOW to the Golden Star , scroll down the page, and make your voice heard.

Golden Star editor:

As all who attend our events know, KHC never misses the opportunity to thank both our local governments for their crucial operational support. Since 2006, both the Town and CSRD have contracted with KHC via Golden Area Initiatives to deliver year round arts and cultural activity that helps make Golden a great place to live and visit.

In 2014, KHC will be in the last year of our current 3 year agreement. With the changes at GAI, both the Town and CSRD have confirmed the agreement and funds will continue through 2014. Both local governments recently requested KHC submit a proposal to renew the agreement for another 3 year term beginning January 2015 – which we have done. We have asked that discussions take place in the first few months of 2014 so we can plan and budget before KHC starts our new fiscal year in June 2014.

It’s important to note that the Town of Golden has mutually beneficial agreements with KHC on a variety of initiatives including Summer Kicks and the operations of the Civic Centre. Our relationship with Town Council and staff just couldn’t be any better.

Since 2004, local government has supported the operations of KHC with $600,000 and that investment has helped create revenues totaling $3,700,000. We’ve created full-time jobs and supported part-time work efforts for dozens, if not hundreds of local people and suppliers. In September, our executive director presented these facts during a keynote presentation at the Union of BC Municipalities conference earning warm applause and envy from communities around the province.

I recommend you go to our website at kickinghorseculture.ca and read my blog post for more detailed information and see why KHC has been ranked by the BC Arts Council in the top handful of 75 BC communities for the last 5 years running.

Monica Parkinson,
Chair, Kicking Horse Culture