A Vernon woman has been recognized as one of the world’s top-40 young global cultural leaders.
Amanda Shatzko was selected from more than 1,000 nominations as a participant in the Global Cultural Leadership Programme by the Cultural Diplomacy Platform.
Shatzko will represent Canada at a gathering in Amsterdam in late October, coming after the Oct. 20 municipal elections, where she is a candidate for Regional District of North Okanagan Electoral Area C (BX-Silver Star) director, and the referendum for Greater Vernon voters on whether RDNO should borrow up to $25 million to help pay for a new cultural facility in downtown Vernon.
In Amsterdam, Shatzko will be developing cross-cultural partnerships and collaborations with selected leaders from Brazil, China, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, USA, and many European countries.
The goal of the meeting is to be a starting point of a long-term process that will enhance cooperation and co-creation among cultural leaders and the working fields and communities they operate in from their home countries.
Regarding the upcoming referendum for the new Greater Vernon Cultural Centre, Shatzko is in full support.
“I have a unique opportunity where I will be able to immediately share the news of the facility with cultural leaders from around the world, encouraging them to visit, and establish collaborations, along with the other Canadian sites and programs,” says Shatzko.
“Most tourists and creators from other countries already know about Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto as creative hubs, it’s time to give the Okanagan some recognition,” says Shatzko who is vice-chair of the advisory team at the regional district regarding the Greater Vernon Cultural Plan.
“If the new bylaws are adopted (yes vote at the referendum), we can leverage provincial and federal cultural grants which usually end up going to communities outside of the Interior. That grant money originates from our income tax. It would be good to see that money return to our area, and the only way we can access it is through cultural infrastructure.”
Shatzko’s past ambassador positions include being the BC Arts and Culture Ambassador at the National Culture Congress (2015), Canadian delegate at the National Youth Ambassador Caucus (2017), presenter at the 13th Annual International Arts in Society Conference (2018), and a Canadian delegate at the International Symposium of Cultural Diplomacy at the United Nations headquarters during the General Assembly (2017).