Candidate name: Eric Wood Zhelka
Municipality: Oak Bay
Candidate for: Councillor
1. What is your previous experience with the Arts?:
For an engineer, I have rather extensive experience in the arts!!
I have been a member of several choirs over the years, most recently with the Spirit Rising Community Choir. (I'm a tenor) I play the drum... music is a big part of our family life.
I have performed in plays with VideoCaberet and street performance/parades with Shadowland Theatre. I took part in a multi-year Island to Island Arts Exchange with Peter Minshall in Trinidad where I learned the intricate art of stilt dancing - a skill I taught children and brought to the streets during Carnival and Caribana. I am a founding director of the Swizzlestick Theatre company.
I am an amateur ballroom dancer and have occasionally performed. Most recently, I am expressing myself physically through the defensive martial art of Aikido. I am an assistant with the children's program at Victoria Aikikai.
When I travel, I make time to visit local galleries and museums. (And I love to brag about POV, the conservatory, and the RBCM when I'm in other places.)
2. Will you support increased investment in the Arts? And if so, how?:
Arts and culture, in my opinion, is part of what holds our society together, whether through creative protest or joyful celebration. I will look for ways to support the Arts here as I have elsewhere.
3. What does your campaign propose for the future of the Arts in the CRD?:
The CRD is responsible for implementing the established funding model for the Arts in the region; I'm certainly interested in promoting our support as a participating municipality. The Arts don't thrive and grow without appropriate funding.. especially funding that supports long-term planning.
I will continue to support OakBay’s Arts Laureate position created last year. I'm sensitive to those who may not find arts and culture quite their cup of tea; reasonable time restrictions on sound and light are always needed.
Eric performing in the Victoria Day parade, 2012
Responses from all Oak Bay Candidates can be found here.