ProArt Alliance Survey

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!!

My first job was at Nelvana, an animation studio in Toronto.Working there got me through university, allowed me to rub shoulders with Lou Reed and Rush, even garnered me some film credits.

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
Eric performing in the Victoria Day parade, 2012; Municipal, Election, 2014, Arts


Responses from all Oak Bay Candidates can be found here.


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