Ken Blackburn has put his name forward for the 2021 municipal by-election for city council. Photo provided

Ken Blackburn has put his name forward for the 2021 municipal by-election for city council. Photo provided

Campbell River Municipal By-Election 2021 Candidate: Ken Blackburn

Ken Blackburn introduces himself to the electorate

The Mirror reached out to all eight candidates running to fill the open seat on Campbell River city council in the by-election to replace Michele Babchuk, who vacated her spot after winning a seat in the provincial legislature in last fall’s provincial election.

In the first of what will be an ongoing series, we simply asked the candidates to introduce themselves and why they are vying for the position on council in 350 words or less. Their responses have not been edited.

Stay tuned for more from the candidates between now and general election day, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 24.

KEN BLACKBURN

I have lived and worked in Campbell River for the past 17 years. I am currently the Executive Director of the Campbell River Arts Council and Program Manager for the Museum at Campbell River and I hold a BFA from Queens University and an MFA from the University of Windsor.

I have spent most of my career working within Community Development, including 10 years working internationally. I have worked in Japan, Israel, Egypt, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam and Ecuador. I understand the essential need for strong community partnerships. Collaborations, across social, economic, cultural or environmental sectors assure that diverse voices are heard within any community discussion. Inclusive, value-added thinking must be at the heart of community planning.

I support prudent financial planning that aligns with our community’s vision and strategic plans.

I believe that Community Health must be measured across a wide range of indicators. These include physical, mental and emotional health with the recognition that the challenges of poverty, addiction, abuse and marginalization are key factors in how we measure health.

I support an equal relationship between the private sector and the not-for-profit sector within a community. Both contribute to a local quality-of-life and are dependent on each other for economic success.

Our not-for-profit sector is our greatest strength. I am running for Council because it is time for the not-for-profit sector to have a larger voice within community management.

I have sat on numerous City committees over the years. I have been responsible for over 700 community programs within Campbell River, including the Living History Program for the Museum and the Art and Health Initiative for the Arts Council. I also manage the Annual Haig-Brown Festival, Annual Haig-Brown Lecture, Art+Earth Festival and the Sybil Andrews Cottage. I received the Local Heroes Award for Arts Advocacy in 2019 and was a Provincial Arts Champion in 2014. I am also an active scuba diver and sports enthusiast.

Campbell River needs to build administrative capacity within its Arts, Heritage and Culture department. I am running to be that voice.

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