Lambton Workshop Summary – MCPI Workshop

Research Park – Sarnia, ON

March 1st, 2012

On Thursday March 1st, MCPI co-hosted a Municipal Cultural Planning workshop with the County of Lambton. The workshop was held at the University of Western Ontario – Research Park. The content of this workshop was specifically developed for municipal employees, community organizations, businesses and the municipal councillors.

A third of the audience was comprised of municipal employees, with the other attendees comprised of councillors, community organizations, volunteers, key business owners and funders. The aim of this workshop was to share with all participants the numerous initiatives currently taking place in Lambton County, and to highlight the importance of collaborative effort amongst the community organizations and the municipality.

Session 1 – Panel

After greetings from Robert Tremain (lead organizer and General Manager for Lambton Cultural Services),  Bev McDougall – councillor and Anne Gilbert, MCPI – the day began with an informative panel to update the audience on the various planning initiatives and processes currently underway in Lambton County. This was a great introduction as it allowed the entire audience to begin the day with uniform knowledge about the direction and the municipally-led vision for Lambton County.

Robert Tremain – Lambton Cultural Services – Lambton’s MCP Process

To view Robert’s PowerPoint please click here

To listen to Robert’s Presentation please click here

Kevin Edwards – Sarnia Planning Dept – Sarnia’s Emerging Downtown Cultural District

To view Kevin’s PowerPoint please click here

Dave Posliff – Lambton Planning Dept – Culture and Lambton’s new Official Plan

To view Dave’s PowerPoint please click here

Jim Kutyba – Lambton Infrastructure & Development – Lambton’s Integrated Sustainability Plan

Ron Van Horne – County of Lambton CAO – Cultural Focus in Lambton’s new Strategic Plan

Session 2 – Keynote Speaker – Bob MacFarland

With this background information set the stage for Keynote Speaker Bob MacFarland – a retired municipal employee having worked for such municipalities as Oakville, City of Waterloo, Mississauga and Woodstock. Bob provided a candid perspective on MCP, its benefits and lessons learned along the way. Bob was an excellent speaker and engaged the audience. The examples used in his presentation were relevant to Lambton County – and again enticed a good question period.

To view Bob’s presentation please click here

To listen to Bob’s presentations please click here

Session 3 – Facilitated working session – Imaging the Future of Sarnia Lambton

The afternoon session was opened by the following three speakers, providing the audience with a glimpse of what was taking place beyond the municipal framework for culture.

Robert Tremain – ‘Lambton Libraries as Cultural Hubs’

To view Robert’s presentation please click here

Bev MacDougall (Councillor) – ‘Lambton’s new Creative County Committee’

To view Bev’s presentation please click here

George Mallay – Sarnia Lambton Economic Partnership – ‘Creative Industry and SLEPs new Economic Blueprint’.

Jerry Smith our facilitator led the participants through a working exercise that allowed them to discuss the challenge of applying MCP principles and values of a collaborative, networked and sustainable approach. The participants were divided into four groups to discuss one of the following topics

1. SUSTAINABLE GROWTH – The Lambton 4-Pillar Model of Sustainability, green energy, public transport

2. PLACE MAKING – Sense of Place, given assets of geography & natural heritage, public art, landmarks, places for assembly, branding

3. CELEBRATING OURSELVES – historic and all achievers, festival and event tourism, storytelling, identity

4.  CREATIVE SOCIETY – cultural industry, software, design, innovation, bio-research

To view the transcribed group notes – please click here

The day was well received by the audience and the turnout of relevant participants was very high. There was  a high level of community involvement observed from organizations active across Sarnia-Lambton, that will be instrumental in pushing the Municipal Cultural Planning initiative forward.