To the Editor,
Re: Better use for tax dollars than gallery, Letters, June 29.
As the writer cited lack of attendance and better use of city funding such as road and water service, the reader decrying city council’s approval of the Nanaimo Art Gallery expansion is misinformed.
I’ve been at the gallery several times where it was so packed I had to step outside to get air and space.
In no way does the art gallery take away from funding of city maintenance projects. Council has a budget for maintaining our city and for its expansion and growth as well. To expand they must ensure existing residents stay and prospective new residents and tourists check us out.
Nanaimo offers unparalleled beauty and first-class sports and recreation venues. But culturally, what is there to do? A lot more than there used to be, but we must expand to take advantage of interest from Calgary, Ontario, China and countless other locations from around the world.
Art and culture is subjective, some people pay for what others pay to avoid. The trick is to offer as wide a variety of activities and venues as possible. To complain about funding of a cultural activity one doesn’t enjoy is as ridiculous and selfish as demanding the demolition of the ice center because you never learned to skate.
The private and government-funded development of art and culture such as comedy, music, dance, theatre events, festivals and an expanded art gallery isn’t just good for business, it’s essential.
Last week, our city council recognized this with action, and I thank them for it.