Advocacy and Awareness
The Kawartha Lakes Arts Council makes great progress in support of Arts and Culture (Posted Summer 2016)
Over the past six months your KLAC team has been working extremely hard on your behalf. The three tenants of our mission are Advocacy, Education and Programming. Recently you may have noticed that our program offerings have been a bit on the ‘light’ side. This is the result of a very concerted effort by us involving many hours of work to advocate for the Arts and Culture sector in the City of Kawartha Lakes. We feel we are on the right track and that we have garnered some significant understanding and support from our municipal council. Read on to see just what we have accomplished on your behalf.
Development of the Culture and Heritage Roundtable
The Kawartha Lakes Arts Council has been working closely with the Kawartha Lakes Heritage Network over the last year as many of our concerns and objectives are closely aligned. To strengthen this collaboration the two groups created the Culture and Heritage Roundtable, an advisory body to facilitate discussions and investigate funding opportunities that will ensure the sustainability of our local Culture and Heritage community. This committee includes members of each organizations board as well as representatives from various arts, culture and heritage organizations in the city of Kawartha Lakes. It is a non-decision-making body that reports to the boards and acts as a liaison between the two organizations as well as the city.
This group has proven to be an invaluable resource to both organizations. In fact, it was largely because of the hard work by members of the CHRT that the city agreed to create a task force to look into the adoption and implementation of the 2012 Heritage Masterplan and the 2013 Cultural Masterplan. Our folks spoke one on one with all of the city councillors last fall to promote the need for this task force and in the end it came to fruition.
City of Kawartha Lakes council approves a Culture and Heritage Task Force
In November of 2015 as a result of the combined efforts of KLAC and the Heritage Network (through the CHRT), the City of Kawartha Lakes agreed to establish a Task Force to review the 2013 Cultural Master Plan and the 2012 Heritage Master Plan (which had previously only been received but not adopted by council) and to provide recommendations for their adoption.
Task Force members included city councillors, KLAC representatives, as well as heritage sector and community representatives. The following group of individuals met regularly over the last six months.
Pat Dunn – CoKL Councillor and Chair of the task force, Jim Garbutt – Heritage Victoria Representative, Penni Holdham – Community Representative, Rob Macklem – CoKL Councillor, Tom Mohr – Heritage Network Representative, David Morrison – KLAC Representative, Pat O’Reilly – CoKL Councillor, Susan Taylor – KLAC Representative, Andrew Veale – CoKL Councillor
Municipal Cultural Development Models Panel Discussion
One of the most important milestones for us on the way to the presentation to council of the Task Force’s report was a Roundtable event on May 6th that was hosted by KLAC, the Heritage Network, the CHRT and the city’s Culture and Heritage Task Force. This cooperative effort brought together over 60 community members to hear presentations by representatives from other similar municipalities across Ontario.
The event presented a panel session which provided examples of cultural sector development models that have been implemented in other municipalities similar to the City of Kawartha Lakes. The presentations provided insights into the challenges and successes that the municipalities of Greater Sudbury, Chatham-Kent and Norfolk County have experienced.
The following links will connect you with relevant information from that event:
• A Municipal Cultural Services Community Comparisons report
• The Power Point presentation by Greater Sudbury
• The Power Point presentation by Chatham-Kent
• The Power Point presentation by Norfolk County
Also on YouTube under the following titles you will find:
• “CKL Cultural Development Models Abbreviated Panel Discussion” - A short edit with the key points from the three guest speakers
• “CKL Municipal Cultural Development models Full Panel Discussion” - The entire two hour discussion
The May 6th panel discussion was very well attended by our municipal councilors and is seen by many as a turning point in our ongoing journey to make the municipality aware. The Arts and Culture sector is an important economic driver in the City of Kawartha Lakes and deserves a place at the table when development plans are made and investments contemplated. Although each of the presenting municipalities managed the Culture and Heritage sector differently one thing that was clear was that they all saw it as a powerful and emerging development piece that warranted significant investment (as you will note in the linked documents above).
The Task Force’s Report is Adopted in Full
The group’s final report was presented to city council for approval on June 28th and was passed through council with the overwhelming support of 15 out of 16 councillors. This represents a real step forward with respect to municipal understanding and engagement with the creative sector.
In short, council approved the Culture and Heritage Task Force’s final report in its entirety including:
•the creation of a permanent full time Arts, Culture and Heritage Development staff position in Economic Development •the preparation of a 2017 budget for arts, culture and heritage, •that a Committee of Council be established for arts, culture and heritage •the endorsement of the 2013 Cultural Master Plan and the 2012 Heritage Master Plan and the adoption of the updated Implementation Action Plans for both Master Plans as presented by the Task Force.
The City’s decision to assume a formal role in the development of the cultural sector is recognized as an important step in building the local creative economy. The new Arts, Culture and Heritage Development Officer will be responsible for heritage conservation under the Ontario Heritage Act and will also work closely with organizations, businesses, entrepreneurs and the broader community to build networks and foster collaboration and partnerships that will strengthen cultural sector outcomes. The overall objectives are to expand employment and business opportunities, to coordinate and enhance existing cultural organizations assets and capacity, and to facilitate the creation of new cultural activities and events that will strengthen the creative economy and cultural tourism in Kawartha Lakes.
In the process of its research, the Task Force received a report summarizing the strength and volatility of cultural sector volunteering in Kawartha Lakes. The report revealed that the community contributes 5,325 hours of volunteer time in an average month during 2015. If this was paid out at $17.00 an hour it would amount to $90,537.00 per month or $1,086,44.80 per year.