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Municipal Cultural Plan

What is a Municipal Cultural Plan?

A Cultural Plan is a municipal government-led process approved by Council, for identifying and leveraging a community‘s cultural resources, strengthening the management of those cultural resources, and integrating them across all facets of municipal government planning and decision making. Municipal cultural planning is part of an integrated, place-based approach to planning and development that takes into account four pillars of sustainability: economic prosperity, social equity, environmental responsibility and cultural vitality.

Municipal cultural planning (MCP) is guided by 5 assumptions:

  1. Cultural resources – MCP embraces a broad definition of cultural resources that includes creative cultural industries, cultural spaces and facilities, natural and cultural heritage, festivals and events, and community cultural organizations.
  2. Cultural mapping – MCP begins with cultural mapping, a systematic approach to identifying and recording a community‘s tangible and intangible cultural resources.
  3. Adopting a ‘cultural lens’ – MCP involves establishing processes to integrate culture as a consideration across all facets of municipal planning and decision-making.
  4. Cross-sectoral strategies – MCP requires new partnerships or shared governance mechanisms (such as Cultural Roundtables) to support ongoing collaboration between the municipality and its community and business partners.
  5. Networks and engagement – MCP involves strengthening networks across the cultural sector and comprehensive and ongoing strategies to support community engagement.

...And includes

Local vision and values
Roles and partnerships within the community
Strategies and Action

What is a Cultural Roundtable?

Cultural Roundtables have proven extremely effective mechanisms in other communities (including Prince Edward County) in advancing a creative economy and cultural agenda. The key to success is understanding the group not as an advisory group but as an action-oriented group dedicated to taking on specific projects and tasks (often through the striking of task-driven working groups). The Roundtable also provides a forum for the continuous exchange of ideas among a cross-section of groups and individuals in the community.

While there is no ‘one-size-fits-all‘ model for Cultural Roundtables, there are a number of consistent elements and conditions for success. 

What is the goal of Minto’s Cultural Roundtable?

To provide strategic direction and key decision making regarding the ongoing cultural development and implements projects and tasks related to the Cultural Plan.

What steps did Minto take to establish their Cultural Roundtable?

June 2005:  Minto began attending Municipal Cultural Planning Forums (Cambridge, Strathroy & Chatham)

October 2010:  The planning process was launched and was overseen by a Steering Group comprised of members of the Town‘s Arts, Culture and Tourism Committee.

The consulting team of AuthentiCity, Millier Dickinson Blais, and Applied Geomatics Research Institute supported the planning process.

November 2010:  Local meetings were held to introduce the project to the community

March 2011:  Community Forum to secure feedback for the vision of the final Cultural Plan

December 2011:  Establishment of the Terms of Reference for the Minto Cultural Roundtable

February 2012:  Inaugural Cultural Roundtable meeting.

September 2012:  Treasures of Minto Website launched

What is the mandate of Minto’s Cultural Roundtable?  

The mandate of the Minto Cultural Roundtable is to give guidance and input related to culture and to implement the Cultural Plan for Minto.

It does this by:

  • Supporting community led solutions to issues identified by the Roundtable or the community at large.
  • Encouraging leadership and innovation.
  • Facilitating networking and information exchange.
  • Serving as a sounding board for ideas and actions.
  • Reviewing policies related to culture.
  • Supporting the integration of cultural development plans into related Town plans (i.e. Official Plan and Strategic Plan)

Who are the members of the Minto Cultural Roundtable?

The Minto Cultural Roundtable consists of 12 - 15 members:

  • One member of Council
  • One member appointed by the Minto Arts Council
  • One member appointed by the Grey Wellington Theatre Guild or the Norgan Theatre Board
  • One member representing one of Minto’s Heritage Groups
  • One member appointed by the Harriston-Minto or Palmerston Agricultural Societies
  • One member appointed by the Minto Chamber of Commerce
  • One member representing the County of Wellington Museum, Archives and Libraries
  • One member representing Youth (Age 15 – 24)
  • Four to Seven members of the public (preference will be given to cultural entrepreneurs)
  • Manager of Economic Development
  • Recreation & Marketing  Coordinator
  • Treasurer
  • Ministry of Tourism & Culture Regional Advisor

What has the Cultural Roundtable achieved so far?

LaunchIt Minto - Business Incubator – Officially opened in May of 2014, the business incubator is an opportunity for new businesses to receive low rent, mentorship and support to launch their new business
Various storytelling events:  Ghosts of Minto Past, Local history nights during Culture Days – these various events have been held in conjunction with Culture Days as well as on their own.  They provide an opportunity for the community to share the oral history of our area.
Family Movie Series – Once a month the local theatre offered family friendly films at a ‘pay-what-you-can’ rate.
Annual participation in Culture Days – Various walking and bus tours have been arranged throughout the community to highlight all the area has to offer.
Murder Mystery nights at local B & B – A new event, and already immensely popular, the Cultural Roundtable purchased a murder mystery package.  For $25, participants enjoyed a roast beef dinner, dessert and drinks, all while creating their own entertainment as characters in a murder mystery.
Sip ‘N Chats – These events have been held at various locations and offer an opportunity for community members to network and socialize.
Community Gardens – Another relatively new initiative, the community gardens opened in Harriston in spring of 2014 and all plots were sold out. Clifford Community Gardens open in sping 2015 with 5 plots currently available. 
Community Concerts –  Began summer of 2014. These free concerts will take place at various locations within Minto and feature local artists throughout the summer of 2015. 
Treasures of Minto Website – This website includes an interactive map and information on all the local ‘treasures’ of Minto. Check out the new interactive home page.  (
Creative Economies Summit 2013 – In the fall of 2013, the Creative Economies Summit brought people from around the province to Minto to network and engage in positive and effective strategies to improve rural economies by focusing on culture.