In 2012–2013, the City of Barrie received funding from the Province of Ontario's Creative Communities Prosperity Fund. The funding allowed the Department of Culture to undertake a cultural mapping process.
The Cultural Inventory will serve as a baseline to measure growth in the arts sector, as well as to measure the impact of the cultural economy in our community.
A Cultural Inventory Coordinator was hired to create a framework for data collection, and the project took the cultural mapping process to the next level by creating a portal and database that serves the City of Barrie, the local arts community, and its patrons.
The database houses information on the following information collected from arts organizations, festival and event organizers, arts facilities, and individual artists:
- Number of artists employed
- Number of employees and volunteers
- Number of exhibitions, film screenings, readings, and displays
- Number and ages of attendees
- Number of memberships
- Publications and educational programs offered (workshops, seminars, classes, and conferences)
- Funding sources (Federal, Provincial, and Muncipal)
- Financials, such as annual revenue
The information collected was summarized into a report, including the Culture Report Card which was presented to Council in 2013. The Report Card provided key information around cultural activity in our community and it will serve as a framework for future reports on the arts.
Funding for the project was provided through the Province of Ontario's Creative Communities Prosperity Fund (Ministry of Tourism and Culture). Over the past decade, the Ontario government has encouraged municipalities to undertake cultural planning in an effort to strengthen culture's role in building vibrant, prosperous, and livable communties throughout the province. In 2009, the Creative Communities Prosperity Fund was launched and $9 million was invested in the initiative over 4 years.
The cultural planning process involves comprehensive community engagement in the following five key areas: mapping community cultural resources; developing strategies to strengthen and enhance these resources through a cultural plan; introducing new governance systems for planning and decision-making regarding cultural resources; integrating culture into policies and plans across all departments; and promoting cross-sectoral collaborations with business and community stakeholders.
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