Compiling cultural inventory

Perhaps you host a coffee house at a local restaurant. Maybe you organize a dance event at the recreation centre.

City councillor Louise Wallace Richmond

Perhaps you host a coffee house at a local restaurant. Maybe you organize a dance event at the recreation centre.

Whatever the activity and venue, your input will be needed.

The city’s Cultural Master Plan Task Force would like to take stock of what exists in the community on the way to the development of a cultural master plan.

In January, the city decided to take a lead role in the process of commissioning a master plan as well as facilitating collaboration among varied and sometimes opposing interests.

The initial stage has gone well, according to discussions at city council on Dec. 12.

Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond, chair of the task force, explained that a number of groups in the community agree that an inventory is needed.

Holding an open house for all stakeholders and carrying out in-depth interviews are envisioned.

“It’s hard to know what we need if we don’t know what we have,” she remarked, adding she’s sure the inventory will discover unusual things. For instance, “I often hear arts groups looking for places for storage.”

As well as an inventory, additional funds will be needed before a master plan can be commissioned.

Wallace Richmond said the questions asked in gathering the inventory data “would have to be very empirical.  That’s our goal as a group.”

Councillors  voiced their support for Wallace Richmond.

Coun. Tim Lavery noted how things have changed from a year ago.

“We now have key parties at the table. It’s a tribute to you,” he said, and the others on the task force.

Coun. Alan Harrison added his own accolades.

“I think it’s your integrity that has made this work. It has not been an easy thing to do… I totally support getting objective data.”

Mayor Nancy Cooper said she respects the work of Wallace Richmond and the task force, but added that having recently seen the need for more live theatre space, “I don’t need a plan to tell me that… I think, for that piece of it, we could actually figure it out.”

Coun. Kevin Flynn said he doesn’t want to pre-suppose anything.

“I think that’s key and why we need to have the community involved.”


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