About 80 people came to the CCC for the “Launch Event” for the Cultural Plan being conducted by Consultant MDB Insight. After a good natured introduction by Councillor Adam Bureau, MDB Insight’s Executive VP Lauren Miller gave a 20 minute summary of what the Cultural Plan is and what it hopes to achieve. The current status is that 1) a Background report has been issued (see Links below) which identified over 400 cultural assets; 2) Cultural Mapping has been done and 3) Telephone and online surveys have been completed. In the second part of the meeting, citizens were asked to give feedback on what they wanted. They did this in workshop style and a representative from each of the 12 tables was then asked to speak about their ideas. One table included Ken Prue, Michael Pepa and Antonio Sarmiento with Ken as the spokesman. More below.
The Mayor and all Councillors were there as were Director Hustwick, Planning Manager Rob Franklin and more. Results from the 150 people interviewed by phone were provided; here is a summary:
Importance of Arts and Culture
- Very Important – 38%
- Somewhat Important – 50%
- Not very important – 9%
- Not at all important – 3%
- As often as you would like – 29%
- As much as you can but would like more – 49%
- Do not participate – 22%
Main Location for Arts and Culture Activities
- In Cobourg – 65%
- In surrounding Municipalities – 20%
- Outside of the Area – 15%
Graphic below shows what people actually did [click to enlarge].
What needs to be improved:
- Communication between cultural groups, creatives and local businesses to find synergies, reduce competition and redundancies and coordination around events
- The downtown is not being leveraged to its full potential
- Signage and facades that are in need of repair
- Retail and restaurants are not open late enough
- Events are not spread throughout the year
- Volunteer recruitment and fatigue, our volunteer demographic averages over 55+ years in age and volunteer across several groups
- We need an effective strategy to bring in new creative workers and keep our existing creative talent. This requires a community that has:
- A vibrant (active) and attractive core (downtown/waterfront)
- A supportive public (attendance, promotion, encouragement)
- Appropriate space for creativity (workspace, makerspaces, community spaces)
- A supportive business community (partnerships)
- We need an effective strategy to promote our cultural assets
- Promotion to residents (volunteer recruitment, daily experiences)
- Promotion to visitors (celebration of Cobourg, attract new residents)
Everyone was then asked to discuss issues with those on their table and come to a consensus on a vision and strategies.
Most wanted more collaboration and some way to communicate ALL events to the public. They generally seemed to agree with the above ideas from Stakeholders. Some commented that we are not serving all audiences (e.g. younger people). All inputs at the meeting will be consolidated with other inputs and will form the basis of a draft report to the Steering Committee in April. This report will then be presented to the public in May with a final report due in June.
Director Dean Hustwick wrapped up the meeting with a comment that “Culture is a key factor” in Cobourg and that the first step is to entrench culture. He said that the Cultural Master Plan will help establish the role of the Town in Culture.
Below are some photos from the Event
- Background report from Consultant
- Cultural Plan Finally gets going – includes info on Steering committee – 30 June 2018
- Cobourg Internet Cobourg Entertainment Calendar (Note: covers Cobourg only – not Port Hope – and is entertainment only, not promotions or group meetings)