The Friday morning session of Canwrite 2010 opened with Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin's remarks to the audience. "Arts and culture define our city" he said. "I believe we have the most independent bookstores in the country." " Our city has it's own Poet Laureate. This year it's Linda Rogers."
Mayor Fortin was indeed a man of vision and saw the central role for arts and culture in postmodern society. Victoria thrives on tourism. Tourism has increasingly become a major industry in today's world. Where once the individual depended on big business to supply their 'commerce' from other countries and regions, today, that very same individual goes directly to the source. Why buy from some place in the world at a distance when I personally can visit that place and bring back what I find I want. Why hear second hand about a place when I can have the full esperience first hand. This Canwrite conference talked increasingly about the nature of technology removing middlemen and Mayor Fortin expressed his realization of this.
"Our movement is to see arts and culture thrive", he said, citing the creation of Victoria's "Random Acts of Poetry" series. "We want to fill our city with Random Acts of Art".
"Tourism is so important to our city….where other cities were cutting the budget to the arts we were not."
Mayor Dean Fortin was highly applauded by those in attendance. He expressed the kind of foresight and spirit that are needed today as the world changes from an economy of war to economy of creation.