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Some Canadians don't exactly see our current Prime Minister as a friend to the arts. In 2008, the PM famously referred to artists as people who attend 'rich galas.' And that government had to trim some arts funding to stay on budget. Now here's the interesting paradox: James Moore, the government's minister responsible for arts and culture, is widely seen as a friend by those very same artists.
James, who was born and raised in British Columbia, is many things: Before getting into politics, he worked in radio. He was first elected as an MP with the Canadian Alliance at the age of 24 - the youngest elected MP in British Columbia's history. He's a fan of rap, mixed martial arts, and motorcycles.
At one point, James hooked up with other motorcycle-riding MPs (known as The Hill's Angels, of course). And James doesn't always see eye to eye with his party colleagues, especially on social issues. He's championed causes that have gone against the grain, such as same-sex marriage. And contrary to the broader party message, James doesn't see the arts as an add-on. He says arts and culture are an important part of the economy and that growing the economy means investing in culture.