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In August PineRidge Arts Council, Durham West Arts Centre Foundation and DWAC Inc.
asked the Pickering Council candidates the following question:

If elected, will you vote for the Performing Arts Centre in Downtown Pickering
as previously approved by Pickering Council?

Here are their responses.

Kevin Ashe
Janice Frampton

Bradley Nazar
I fully support the Performing Arts Centre and it is something that is needed in Pickering. I have seen first hand the positive impacts that a Performing Arts Centre can have revitalising a downtown (the PAC in downtown St. Catharines being the one I'm mentioning).

Maurice Brenner
I have and will continue to support a Performing Arts/Visual Arts Centre as part of the vision for Downtown Pickering. As a result of escalating Capital Construction Costs outside the control of Pickering, the Council has put the City Centre Vision on hold and has directed its consulting team to review a range of options for the consideration by the Next Council that can still achieve the commitment Council made for the 3 key infrastructure projects - Senior and Youth Centre, New Central Public Library and a Performing Arts Centre in our Downtown City Centre.

Tom Hayes


Linda Cook
I am a supporter of the arts and a believer in the power of the arts to build community, and enrich a city tapestry. I was invited, years back now, by Colleen Bolen, now retired from the Pickering Library, to participate in the plans to build a new library, community gathering spaces and performing arts centre. I supported it then; I will support it now. That does not mean that I am fully educated on the plans, costs, timelines, etc. - so would most definitely need to be caught up from that perspective.

Ali Marani
As Regional Councillor for Ward 2, my focus would be on making Pickering more livable for residents. Our current plans for growth are unsustainable, as we lack the services and infrastructure necessary to support a population that is set to double in the next 10 years. We need to focus on building roads, improving transit, and doing more to ensure our police, fire, and ambulance services are as robust as they can be. Communities are not built solely on these things, however. Every world class city needs venues to showcase arts and culture, especially one as diverse and inclusive as Pickering. I would wholeheartedly support the Pickering Performing Arts Centre, and would gladly lend my efforts to organizing events there that celebrate our city's wonderfully talented performers.

Gary Strange
As Vice Chair of the Durham West Art Centre Foundation, I have been a long time and passionate advocate for a performing and visual arts centre in Pickering. This community needs a world class facility with world class sightlines, world class seating and world class acoustics to bring the arts of the world to Durham Region and the arts of Durham Region to the world. While I support the City Centre vision, I do believe that we need to ensure that the visual arts are included in this project. This has always been part of the vision of DWAC and should be included in any future project. If elected, I will strongly advocate for prioritization of this project to include both performing and visual arts.

David Pickles
I have always supported a performing arts centre and have voted in support at Council.

Peter Rodrigues
Of course, Yes, a Performing Arts Centre would be wonderful and a welcomed addition to the cultural life in Pickering. As well, it raises the profile of the city for other benefits, such as possible business investment. We are well positioned geographically to host many performances.


John Henry
If the city comes to the region for a debenture he would support it.

Kurdil-Telt Patch

I am so pleased to have heard from you on this! I am actually in the process of reaching out to arts and culture organizations across Durham to determine what supports they are looking for from the Regional Chair, and how, if elected, I could best advocate for them and their needs. Now, to answer your question:


Yes, I will absolutely support a Performing Arts Centre in downtown Pickering. This is long past due and I will work with all of our partners to ensure this facility gets built so that it can be enjoyed by all those in the community. I believe that Durham can be a leader in arts and culture, and that building this Performing Arts Centre will be our first step in enhancing Durham's arts and culture sector.

I have long been a proponent of the arts, and believe that Durham has so much to offer. Not only would it showcase the best that Pickering - and all of Durham - has to offer, but it would also possibly attract other talents from elsewhere to come to Pickering. Although the costs will inevitably be a concern, there is little doubt that this Performing Arts Centre will be a boost to the local economy as it will bring in tourism dollars that can be used to support local businesses and revitalize the local economy. Moreover, it offers opportunities for local talent to showcase their abilities - whether that be in music, dance, live theatre, or anything in between.


Tony Harold
I believe that the arts are an integral part of our community and need to be supported. To that end, if elected, I plan to support the PAC slated for development in Pickering.

Zeynab Kazi
As a City Councillor, I would absolutely vote for the Performing Arts Centre in Downtown Pickering! I believe that the Centre would not only allow Pickering to showcase talented performers from around the world, but will also provide a huge opportunity to foster homegrown talent! If elected, I will take on the responsibility to advocate for practical solutions to the budgetary challenges that this project is being faced with to ensure that the project moves forward.

Raveena Rajasingham
I think having this Arts Centre will benefit immensely in every way, especially for our young people in Pickering. It will bring out the local talents of our kids who have passion for performing arts. Each school has large musical show at the end of the year and I have seen the talent of the kids. I believe having this center would be an avenue to continue their performances.
If I am elected, I would support the Performing Arts Centre.

Karen Sloan
I would certainly be for a Performing Arts centre.
The proposed design looks spectacular.
Once the new council is in place, it will be a matter of understanding exactly why the project has been deferred and what the projected completion will be.

Jeanine Soligo
If elected, I will do my utmost to make sure that this project moves forward. 

Anthony Michael Yacub
If elected, I will be in favour of continuing the previous council's decision in support of a Performing Arts Centre.

James Blair
Absolutely. Supporting the Arts community, in its many forms, is vital to me as a citizen, as it will continue to be if I am fortunate enough to be elected. The value that the Arts community, be it visual, music, or the performing arts, can bring to a community is far beyond turning a profit. I genuinely believe that promoting the Arts community in Pickering and the surrounding area will go a long way to help define our community and will help in many ways bring the numerous individual communities that make up the City of Pickering together for a common purpose.

Lisa Robinson


Frank McGillan
Mara Nagy

Ayesha Sardar
I am a member of the Pickering Cultural Advisory Committee and a member of the Public Arts sub-committee. I have voted in favor of the performing arts centre when the proposal was presented to us, as Arts is an important part of every community which helps us learn new cultures and preserve the existing ones.
If elected I would be happy to vote in favor of a performing arts centre in downtown Pickering again.

George David Turner
That is a very good question. My answer will depend on the final cost of the City Centre projects. I agree that a Performing Arts Centre is required, as well as the new library. I do have some issues related to the location of the Seniors/Juniors building. With limited parking available would a location outside of the City Centre be more suitable.
You are aware that the City Centre project, that the cost estimates have risen from $185 million to approximately $235 million.
I also have a concern as to how these projects be funded, which is the sale of Elexicon shares. We have seen in past where our government (Federal, or Provincial) has sold an important asset which later on has shown to be a poor decision.

Nancy Van Rooy

Dave Currie
I support a performing arts centre in Pickering as this would be a welcoming space for the community to participate and experience arts and culture. It would bring many benefits to the residents of Pickering, including boosting the local economy and must be constructed and funded in a fiscally responsible manner. 


Shaheen Butt
Ali Naqvi

Darshan Sritharan
Yes if voted in, I will vote in favour of a Performing Arts centre.

Damian Williams
One of my key initiatives is investing in local art for the numerous benefits it will bring to our community. I think it goes without saying how important a Performing Arts Centre in downtown Pickering is!


Since 1989 PineRidge Arts Council Inc., a not-for-profit volunteer organization has been dedicated to enhance the quality of life within the community by developing widespread appreciation, support and involvement in the arts.

PineRidge Arts Council
650 Kingston Road
P.O. Box 18258 Steeple Hill Postal Outlet
Pickering, Ontario L1V 1A0

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