Ryan Donn is one of the first candidates for city councillor to hold a formal announcement drawing attention to his candidacy in November’s election, but soon many will vie for time in the limelight.
Today marks the first day candidates can file papers at city hall to secure a spot on the ballot.
“My biggest decision of when to announce was just not to announce when I was out in front of the community for work. I wanted to keep the two separate,” said Donn, who sets up the Parks Alive free concerts and stages major events, like the public New Year’s, as program coordinator for Festivals Kelowna.
Donn is a musician by trade and worked in the school system helping children write their own songs, before taking on his role with Festivals Kelowna and launching his own initiatives, like Music in the Park in West Kelowna. He is billing himself as an ideas man, and included a public input forum, ideasforkelowna.com, to encourage the electorate to help shape his representation.
“If you talk about ideas and you allow your ideas to be added to…other people can make (those ideas) a little better,” he said, in an interview following his announcement at the Bike Shop Café Friday morning.
Election signs are now appearing on local lawns, with Dayleen Van Ryswyk among the first to post a prominent board at the base of the W.R. Bennett bridge.
Van Ryswyk runs Okanagan Koi & Water Gardens Inc. and attracted provincewide media attention during last year’s provincial election when she was forced to resign as an NDP candidate over racist comments she made on a public forum.
Under a 2009 thread entitled “Strip Them of the Status Card,” a commenter by the name of Dayleen posted: “It’s not the status cards, it’s the fact that we have been paying out of the nose for generations for something that isn’t our doing. If their ancestors sold out too cheaply, it’s not my fault…” in reference to First Nations peoples.
Van Ryswyk went on to run as an independent, securing five per cent of the vote, running against Liberal Steve Thomson, NDP candidate Tish Lakes and Conservative candidate Mike McLoughlin. McLoughlin, who earned 13 per cent of the vote, has also indicated he will run in this civic election.
Actually filing the papers to run for a seat on Kelowna city council takes considerable effort. Candidates need 25 people to sign the nomination form, must make an appointment with the city’s chief election officer, Karen Needham, and can only ask residents to post two signs per property to endorse their candidacy.
Successful candidates now sit for a four-year term, meaning those elected this November will hold the seat until fall of 2018.