Preserving, promoting and developing Wellington North’s unique cultural resources to build a vibrant community and a prosperous economy.
The Township of Wellington North recognizes the practice of cultural planning as an essential economic development tool. Cultural planning is essential to supporting Wellington North in attracting investment, supporting creative talent, and boosting tourism. The Municipal Cultural Plan provides a strategy and recommended actions to leverage local cultural resources to grow the economy, to improve quality of life, and to build and sustain a sense of community cohesion and pride.
To this end, in August 2012, the Township of Wellington North Economic Development Committee obtained Council approval to move forward with a Municipal Cultural Plan. An application for funding was made to the Creative Communities Prosperity Fund of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and in January 2013 word was received that the application had been successful. During February and March 2013, a Request for Proposals was distributed to a number of consulting firms to assist the Municipality in completing the Wellington North Municipal Cultural Plan. AuthentiCity, a division of Millier Dickinson Blais, the firm who had recently completed the Wellington County Economic Development Strategy, was chosen and council approval to hire AuthentiCity was obtained in March 2013.
The Township of Wellington North has completed an update to its 2013 Municipal Cultural Plan to ensure continued support for cultural development. The 2021 Municipal Cultural Plan Update reflects on the mandate of the Cultural Roundtable and considers the lasting impact of COVID-19 on local businesses and the community as a whole. It includes a more targeted action plan to develop and invest in cultural resources and serves as a strategic guide for leveraging these resources to advance other economic and community development objectives.
More and more small rural communities across Canada recognize that creativity, culture and quality of place can be powerful generators of economic development in changing rural economies. The Township of Wellington North joins leading small municipalities across Ontario and across Canada in seeing the potential of leveraging its rich cultural assets to grow a creative rural economy.
A major factor driving many communities to see the potential of culture-led economic development is a basic shift in assumptions about what drives local economies. A traditional economic growth model in which the attraction of large-scale business investment attracts jobs and people is being turned on its head. Instead, we understand that if we build communities in which people want to live and work, business and investment follow people, not the other way around. Places with strong community amenities and a range of cultural assets and entertainment options attracts people, which in turn attract business investment. With these conclusions comes the need for new strategies to cultivate cultural resources to drive economic development.
Wellington North Cultural Roundtable
Cultural Roundtables have proven extremely effective mechanisms for advancing a cultural and economy agenda. The Roundtable is an action-oriented group dedicated to implementing cultural initiatives that is made up of various individuals from the community with interests and expertise relevant to cultural actions. Anyone interested in learning more about being part of Wellington North's Cultural Roundtable should email Dale Small, Economic Development Officer.
In this video, Gord Hume discusses the importance of municipal cultural planning as an essential tool for Ontario municipalities in reinventing and regenerating local economies.