Centre Wellington – MCPI Workshop

February 16, 2012

On Thursday February 16th, MCPI co-hosted a Municipal Cultural Planning workshop with Centre Wellington. The workshop was held in Elora, at the Elora Centre for the Arts – a wonderful backdrop for a day to discuss Municipal Cultural Planning – as it is a place that encourages creativity and the spirit of community. There were many surrounding municipalities in attendance including, Guelph, Minto and Mapleton to name a few. The majority of the attendees were municipal employees but there was also a presence of councillors and community stakeholders from varying organizations. The day was dedicated to discussing and thinking about the role of Municipal Cultural Planning in their community.

Session 1 – Panel Discussion


Dan Taylor; President & CEO of the Greater Peterborough Area Economic Development Corporation Greater Peterborough Innovation Cluster

Astero Kalogeropoulos Arts and Culture Program Officer for the City of Guelph and;

Belinda Wick Graham, Business & Economic Manager for the Town of Minto.

The purpose of the panel was to gain insight from those experienced in the Municipal Cultural Planning process and to hear their experiences within their respective municipalities. For the audience, it provided three different perspectives on Cultural Planning and Mapping initiatives– the approaches in the creation of a plan as well as the challenges of implementation. Municipal Cultural Planning is unique in each community – which was demonstrated by the panellists.

It spurred a good question period to an engaged audience. There was considerable discussion during the morning working session about downplaying the word ‘culture’ and instead using ‘community’, avoiding jargon, and developing a good business case or sales pitch to encourage community support for MCP.


Session 2 – Working session facilitated by Carrie Brooks Joiner.

This session was designed to have small groups think through key questions regarding Municipal Cultural Planning and their community.  Dan Taylor, Astero Kalogeropoulos, Belinda Wick Graham and Barb Elias each took a role at the respective groups to assist and answer any questions the groups may have. This was intended to provide the groups with a more intimate question period with the speakers as well as having a sounding board for their observations and ideas from experienced leaders. It helped those engaged in and embarking on, the process, to delve into one specific question with those seated around their table. For the better part of an hour, groups discussed one pertinent question and presented it to the whole group for further discussion. This is an important part of the day as it allows the participants to ask questions, think about the process in the context of their municipality and clarify what MCP really is.


Session 3 – Keynote Speaker Dan Taylor

Dan Taylor spoke to the Creative Economy and what it means in the context of smaller communities and rural areas. Dan Taylor, the former Economic Development Officer for Prince Edward County, presented to us his experience in Prince Edward County which has often been seen as a ‘poster child’ for Municipal Cultural Planning in Ontario. The progression from Municipal Cultural Planning to the topic such as the Creative Economy is a natural one, and one that can be addressed in any community.  Dan’s presentation provided a solid framework for work that can be done in any Ontario community.


To listen to the presentation please click here

This workshop demonstrated the numerous champions within the community and the potential for support in Centre Wellington’s community.

For any follow up with Centre Wellington please contact Elizabeth Bender at Ebender@centrewellington.ca.

For any follow up regarding the role of MCPI or ArtsBuild Ontario please contact Lindsay MacDonald at lindsay@ontariomcp.ca