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Moving towards an Arts & Culture Policy for Thunder Bay

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THUNDER BAY, ON -----   September 24, 2010  -----  The common area of Confederation College’s Callie Hemsworth and Todd Dufresne Shuniah building was the site of a public forum the developing Arts and Culture Policy for Thunder Bay. The event was organised by Leah Bailey, arts and culture co-ordinator for the city of Thunder Bay.

Naturally the room was full of people interested in the Arts of all descriptions. In this photo, Callie Hemsworth (Coordinator Recreation and Culture Planning, City of Thunder Bay) is in conversation with Todd Dufresne (Director of the Advanced Institute for Globalization and Culture). Todd’s group will present Lewis Milestone’s classic 1928 silent film “The Garden of Eden” Saturday September 25th at Lakehead University’s Centre Theatre 1017. The silent film will be professionally accompanied by Andrei Streliaev at the piano. The free event begins at 7:00 pm.

Reana MussatoLeah Bailey had her entire staff present for this event. One was Reana Mussato, Public Art Coordinator, City of Thunder Bay. Over the years the city has acquired a significant art collection, it includes the art that we see in public places, our sculptures and so on. It also includes artwork found in many public offices.

The city is invested in Arts and Culture, Thunder Bay developed it's first Arts & Heritage Policy in 1991, which was replaced in 2005 by our Cultural Policy.   

Antonio Gómez-Palacio, a planning and Urban design specialist from Toronto is assisting in the development of a civic policy tailored to Thunder Bay. While the creative process was nicely laid out on billboards throughout the commons area, the next step in the process will the presentation of a draft policy for the city to consider. The planning process is going on now, so now is the time for interested groups to provide their input. The public presentation on Thursday was advertised. If all goes well the city council of 2011 will deal with the final draft of the Municipal Policy on Arts and Culture in January of February.

Since the City is heavily invested in the Arts, it makes sense to have a current civic Arts and Culture policy. Another reason to foster the Arts; for every dollar spent on the arts, there is three dollars in economic benefit. One problem that has yet to be solved is the people who contribute the money to the arts are not the people who reap the rewards. Perhaps a creative Arts and Cultural package could address this issue. One thing is certain, by creating conditions whereby an artistic community can grow Biljana Baker_and thrive we will increase the quality of life in our city while at the same time create jobs. Events such as the Bluesfest, and the total subscription sales of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra create jobs and enjoyment in our city. Our city is one of the most beautiful in the country, our Community Auditorium is second to none.

Watercolour specialist Biljana Baker laughs as she poses with a collegue. As part of Culture Days Canada this weekend, she will be presenting a watercolour demonstration. Biljanna has established herself as a city artist. Her work stands out from the rest in the many places it is displayed across the city. A good civic policy might soon move her from the category of local niche artist to a global artist, as a sound Arts and Culture policy will begin to promote the best that we have in the region. Our artists can stand out; increasingly the world is becoming a smaller place and Thunder Bay can express itself artistically.


Bert Rowson
Arts Editor: LakeSuperiorNews.com

 

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