Cultural Plan sets the stage for culture to grow and evolve in Oakville

Wed, 06 Apr 2016

Council approves Cultural Plan 2016-2021 that will target all corners of the community

Over the next five years Oakville’s arts and culture scene will become even more vibrant and exciting thanks to an updated Cultural Plan that was approved by Council at the April 4, 2016, Council meeting.

“The town is both a provider and a supporter of cultural programs and services that make Oakville a great place to live. Our Cultural Plan sets a clear direction for how we will ensure creativity and culture continue to grow and evolve throughout the community,” Mayor Rob Burton said.

The Cultural Plan 2016-2021 builds on the significant progress of the original plan developed in 2009 and expands on its vision of creating a community where culture inspires, engages and thrives. The updated plan will see the town implement several key initiatives including developing a public art strategy, creating new programs to engage the community, developing public sector partnerships and increasing private sector engagement to support the arts in Oakville.

“This plan identifies that culture simply means people expressing their creativity and heritage,” said Nina de Vaal, director of Recreation and Culture. “We’re very excited to reach out to all corners of the community with this broader, more inclusive definition of culture that encourages everyone to express themselves in a way that benefits their community.”

The town retained Webb Management Services Inc. to update the Cultural Plan in consultation with an external focus group of stakeholders and based on input gathered through public meetings and an online survey. The updated Cultural Plan sets out the following eight recommendations, each with a set of supporting initiatives:

  • Reach and engage the whole community.
  • Develop a public art program.
  • Leverage the corporate art collection to engage the wider community.
  • Invest in “cultural anchors” that provide and support creativity in the community.
  • Develop public sector partnerships.
  • Increase private sector engagement and partnerships to support the arts in Oakville.
  • Ensure arts and culture are in more facilities throughout the town.
  • Consider how arts and culture can help achieve broader town goals by applying a “Cultural Lens” approach to all projects and programs.

Staff will begin implementing the plan’s recommendations in 2016 using current staffing and budget. Future funding and staffing requests will be deferred to the 2017 budget process.

The town also continues to work on the Downtown Cultural Hub (DCH) which is exploring opportunities to create cultural and performing arts spaces and new riverfront park that will become the cultural, social, and economic heart of the community. Staff is undertaking further research and public consultation on these potential DCH opportunities before reporting back to Council later this year.

The DCH, along with the Downtown Transportation and Streetscape Study make up the town’s exciting Downtown Plan which aims to create an attractive, active, animated and vibrant downtown that will bring people together while maintaining the beautiful historic downtown streetscape.

For more information or to review the complete Cultural Plan 2016-2021, visit the Cultural Plan page.