Municipal Cultural Planning Workshop  – Region of Waterloo

February 3rd, 2012

On Friday February 3rd, the municipalities of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and the Region of Waterloo, co-hosted with Municipal Cultural Planning Inc, a day dedicated to exploring Municipal Cultural Planning and collaboration amongst municipal departments and across municipal boundaries. The workshop was held in the beautiful and new Waterloo Region Museum in Kitchener. The audience was comprised of mainly municipal employees, councillors and community organizations in the respective municipalities, with representation from other municipalities including, St. Thomas, Guelph and London to name a few.

The goal of the day was to have municipalities and its various departments sit down together to discuss ways of engagement and steps, to collectively move towards cultural integration within their municipalities. The speakers and the panellists were chosen to educate the participants and to provide them with the knowledge to move forward.

SESSION 1: Keynote Speaker Terri Donia, Project Manager, Niagara Region Integrated Community Planning

Terri Donia spoke to Niagara Regions’ Regional Cultural Plan and the benefits of harnessing a champion and engaging their community at all levels of planning. This provided the group with concrete example of a Municipal Cultural Plan that spanned across municipal boundaries by engaging all municipalities. Terri provided relevant and successful examples of the planning and implementation process in the Niagara Region.

To view Terri Donia’s keynote presentation please CLICK HERE

To listen to Terri Donia’s presentation please click here

SESSION 2: City/Region Planning Snapshots

All partner municipalities (Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and the Region of Waterloo) each briefly presented the status of their municipalities plans and the role that culture plays within those plans. The goal of this exercise was to get the audience up to speed on the status of the various plans with the municipalities – for a better understanding. As each municipality had only a brief window to present their plans, please click on the links below to review their presentations!

City of Cambridge
Reg Weber, Director of Community Recreation Services – presented – Arts and Culture Master Plan snapshot please CLICK HERE

Elaine Brunn Shaw, Director of Policy Planning – presented – Planning and Economic Development snapshot please CLICK HERE

City of Kitchener

Brandon Sloan – Manager, Long Range & Policy Planning, City of Kitchener
Silvia DiDonato, Manager, Business Development
Cheryl York, Arts/Culture Co-ordinator

Kitchener snapshot please CLICK HERE

City of Waterloo
Marlene Coffey – Director of Economic Development
Janice Mitchell – Policy Planner
Beth Rajnovich – Coordinator/Analyst – Culture Plan

Official Plan, Economic Development and Culture plan snapshot  CLICK HERE

Region of Waterloo

Kate Hagerman – Cultural Heritage Principal Planner

For the Region of Waterloo’s snaphot please CLICK HERE

To listen to a recording of the entire panel please click here

SESSION 3: Roundtable Discussion

Facilitated by Carrie Brooks Joiner, this roundtable discussion was aimed to gather municipal staff from their respective municipality – to discuss “What are small achievable steps in our Municipal Cultural Plans”? The opportunity to sit down with colleagues from other departments is rare and this provided the opportunity to discuss amongst departments what they can do to have a successful Municipal Cultural Plan.  Each municipality wrote down their responses and presented them to the room. This enticed engaging conversation amongst the group.

To view the full transcription of the ideas please CLICK HERE

SESSION 4: Working Session – Opportunities for Collaboration and Action

Facilitated by Carrie Brooks Joiner, in this exercise the groups were mixed up and the municipalities were dispersed amongst the tables. The aim of this exercise was to discuss and engage with colleagues from other municipalities to develop thoughts and ideas on Municipal Cultural Planning.
The groups were to answer two specific questions:

1. What could a multi-municipal approach to Municipal Cultural Planning Look like?
2. What are some small first Steps?

Again, each group wrote down their answers and presented them to the whole group.

To finish off the day the entire room was asked to indicate what they thought was the most valuable answers or ideas – by placing a sticker next to the idea. For some municipalities this could be a great place to start in developing action items and next steps in developing work across the four municipalities.

To view the full transcription of the ideas please CLICK HERE

With a great turnout and tremendous participation, this was an incredibly successful and hopeful beginning to potential collaboration and steps to action in Municipal Cultural Planning amongst the four host municipalities: Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and the Region of Waterloo.