Hamilton Workshop Summary – March 30th, 2012

 Art Gallery of Hamilton

On Friday March 30th, MCPI hosted a workshop in the City of Hamilton. This workshop was specifically designed for employees of the City of Hamilton and its cultural organizations. This workshop was the largest out of all nine workshops with registration numbers of 84ppl. It was hosted at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. This was a great workshop to finish up with as Hamilton was the largest city to co-host one of our workshops and really demonstrated that regardless of the size of community the same need for community, municipal and council involvement is needed. This was the first workshop without the presence of any elected official in attendance.

This workshop was essential for this audience to be provided an opportunity to sit at the same table to open dialogue and provide concrete next steps.

Dr. Eddie Friel OBE, expert in residence at Niagara University presented a candid and relevant presentation of his experience working as head of Tourism in Glasgow UK – and its transformation to a Cultural Capital. The emphasis of Dr. Friel’s presentation was on perception of place and what Hamilton can do to move towards identifying itself as a place of culture through its existing cultural assets.

Following Dr. Friel’s presentation, the group was divided into four pre-determined discussion groups-topics having been selected by the participants during registration. This was the opportunity for the group to begin their first discussion and present to the groups their ‘AH-HA’ moments of the discussion.

Following lunch, Dan Taylor presented his experience in Prince Edward County incl.; lessons learned, benefits and experiences. As Prince Edward County has been a strong example of MCP, Hamilton was interested to learn how such a small community was able to rally their assets to produce such strong results. While quite a different region geographically and demographically, it did provide Hamilton with a case study where MCP was successful in an Ontario community.

A second group discussion followed Dan Taylor, with the group again being divided into four working groups. The format was the same – as the groups each discussed a pre-determined topic and presented their ideas to the group as a whole.

The hosts of the workshop are hopefully that the discussions from the day will be helpful in moving Hamilton forward under a cultural lens. They have recently been moved to the Economic Development portfolio of the City of Hamilton – a positive move for Culture in Hamilton!