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Local musician talks about government support for the arts and what the downtown proposal is missing

Andy Sparling is the band leader for 'The Commodore Orchestra'. [1]

Andy Sparling is the band leader for ‘The Commodore Orchestra’.

By Bevan Hamilton

BELLEVILLE – Local musician Andy Sparling says the government shouldn’t be expected to support the arts community.

QNetNews spoke to Sparling, band leader of ‘The Commodore Orchestra’, as part of our Municipal Election Project.

Sparling talked freely about the arts industry. He says the education system is where government has done the arts wrong.

(A note about the sound quality in these clips. There is too much wind noise in some parts of what you’ll see. We apologize for that, but felt that what Andy Sparling had to say was worth hearing.)

While Sparling believes the arts are important, he doesn’t think the government should be responsible for their success. We asked him if governments should step in to help art organizations that are struggling.

“Art organizations are going to fail. To me, that is a personal choice from people who consume the arts. If people like, respect and feel the arts are beneficial to them, then they will support them.”

Sparling did have some thoughts about how the government can support the arts without spending money.

Sparling also shared his thoughts about issues he sees in Belleville as a whole. Here, he talks about the need to provide jobs and the importance of connecting the waterfront to downtown.