HRM has a long and wonderful history of arts and culture. We are the heart of East Coast Music and the centre of many great events and festivals. Nocturne is a wonderful way to experience the arts in the entire city, and has been a wonderful addition to autumn in HRM. The Buskers are a great celebration of the waterfront and encourages people to get outside. The Tattoo has been a staple in this city and province for as long as I can remember. The Pop Explosion and Jazz Festival are great celebrations of the music culture that exists in this city.
Funding of arts and culture is very important to the future success of this city. As a municipality, we need to continue to support the arts as much as possible. There are budget issues that need to be considered. Sometimes government funding for any project can lead to complacency. This needs to be avoided in order to continue to have the arts and culture grow and thrive in HRM. This is not an excuse for the clearly low-level funding that HRM gives to arts and culture relative to other municipalities in Canada. The government needs to be better at funding arts and culture, and the members of the arts and culture community need to be better at promoting themselves not only within the city, but in the province, in Atlantic Canada, and in the country as a whole. The city needs to engage the people in this city that are experts in these areas, and make the best decisions possible.
Through my travels, not only in Canada but around the world, I have realized HRM has a great reputation for music, poetry, and for exporting a general culture that is unique around the world. We need to encourage rather than run from this. Our general culture comes from hard work and tough living here on the east coast of Canada. As we continue to grow and prosper, it is important to not forget where we came from and the struggles we have had in the past. A great step going forward would be to do something related to the 100 anniversary of the Halifax Explosion. I think a park or some sort of green space in the North End would be a very cool idea. Coming up with something original would be a great addition to our culture.
Amalgamation is not going away. This is a potential opportunity to celebrate the old cities and communities that now make up HRM. I think by encouraging the growth that is coming to the centres of all the cities that now make up HRM would be great way to inspire those cities to maintain an identity. I have always thought the fish market in Eastern Passage was a wonderful place to visit. Could we look at developing fish markets in other areas in the city? Just as people like visiting farmers markets, people like to visit fish markets where they can meet fishermen and build their community. We have a proud history with the ocean, and that should be encouraged.