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Huron County Cultural Plan

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Prepared by: Rick Sickinger, Community Resource Officer

For The County of Huron and Heritage and Culture Partnership

February 2008

Steering Committee:

Laurel Armstrong – Heritage and Culture Partnership Cindy Fisher – Huron County Planning and Development Department Beth Ross – Huron County Cultural Services Department

If we take culture seriously, we see that a people does not need merely enough to eat but a proper and particular cuisine [. . .] Culture may even be described simply as that which makes life worth living.

T.S. ELIOT “Notes Towards a Definition of Culture”

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Page 1.0 CONTEXT........................................................................................4

1.1 Arts, Culture and Heritage in Huron County ........................4 1.2 Need for Municipal Cultural Planning..................................6 1.3 Huron County Cultural Plan Leadership...............................6

2.0 BENEFITS........................................................................................7 2.1 Culture as Fourth Pillar of Sustainability..............................8 3.0 METHODOLOGY ...........................................................................10

3.1 Definition of Culture.............................................................10 3.2 Type of Cultural Plan............................................................10 3.3 Best Practices ........................................................................11 3.4 Timelines...............................................................................11 3.5 Community Consultation......................................................14

4.0 FINDINGS – IDENTIFYING THE ISSUES ...................................16

4.1 Resources ..............................................................................16 4.2 Programming.........................................................................17 4.3 Professional Development ....................................................18 4.4 Marketing and Communication ............................................20 4.5 Geography.............................................................................21 4.6 Climate..................................................................................22

5.0 ACTION PLAN................................................................................24

5.1 Resources – Actions..............................................................24 5.2 Programming – Actions ........................................................25 5.3 Professional Development – Actions....................................26 5.4 Marketing and Communication – Actions............................26 5.5 Geography – Actions ............................................................27 5.6 Climate – Actions .................................................................28

6.0 FESTIVALS AND EVENTS ...........................................................29

6.1 Actions ..................................................................................30 7.0 HERITAGE.......................................................................................30

7.1 Actions ..................................................................................32 8.0 SUMMARY OF KEY RECOMMENDATIONS.............................34

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1. “Different Types of Cultural Planning Projects” excerpt from Creative City Network Cultural Planning Toolkit

2. “Cultural Planning: An Action Sequence” excerpt from Creative City Network

Cultural Planning Toolkit

3. “Work Plan Example” excerpt from Creative City Network Cultural Planning Toolkit

4. Copy of Focus magazine survey “How Much Do You Care About Culture?”

5. Huron County Cultural Directory Listing Form and Optional Survey

6. List of interviews with key Arts and Culture stakeholders

7. Huron County “Population Fact Sheet”

8. Excerpt from 2006 Annual Tourism Report – “Special Events and Attractions

Attendance Record”

9. Results from Cultural Directory Optional Survey question: “Please list three obstacles you or your organization struggles with in reaching your goals?”

10. Results from Cultural Directory Optional Survey question: “Other then increased

funding, what options might offer some solutions to the above obstacles?”

11. Results from Cultural Directory Optional Survey question: “What role/s or services would you like to see Heritage and Culture Partnership play a part in?”

12. Results to Cultural Directory Optional Survey question: “What additional types of

cultural programming would you like to see in Huron County?”

13. Results to Cultural Directory Optional Survey question: “Do you think there is a need for a regional arts council in Huron County?”

14. Notes from Cultural Plan Information Sessions held December, 2007

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1.1 Arts, Culture and Heritage in Huron County The superior quality of life enjoyed by residents of Huron County is in part a testament to the numerous and diverse cultural activities offered by our local cultural community. These cultural activities combined with the rich natural and built heritage found here form the ideal mixture for the creation of a vibrant, successful and economically prosperous community. Theatre is well represented in the County by a number of professional and community theatre companies. The Blyth Festival is recognized as one of Ontario’s premiere summer theatres, and one of the very few professional theatres in the country with a mandate that focuses exclusively on producing and developing contemporary Canadian plays. Goderich Little Theatre, one of Canada’s oldest community theatre groups at sixty, is based out of the Livery Theatre in Goderich. Community theatre enthusiasts in Goderich mount several popular productions each year and also oversee operations at the Livery Theatre. In 2006, Gairbraid Theatre Company was founded in Goderich to provide a summer theatre program that provided employment and training for theatre students and concentrated on a playbill that included classics and local history plays. Drayton Entertainment operates the Huron Country Playhouse, which has become well known for its highly successful summer season program anchored by popular musical and comedy productions. Huron County’s natural beauty and lower cost of living make it an attractive place to live for numerous visual artists and artisans. The Goderich Co-Op Art Gallery is an artists’ collective-run gallery with a membership from all over the County, displaying their work. Upstairs from the Goderich Co-Op is Elizabeth’s Art Gallery, twenty years old in 2007; a commercial visual arts gallery dedicated to the exhibition and sale of paintings and photography. The Huron County Museum produces the annual Huron County Art Show, an exhibition featuring the work of visual artists currently living in the County. Three works from the show, selected by an independent juror, are purchased each year to become part of the Huron County Art Bank collection. Pieces from the Art Bank’s collection are hung in public institutions throughout the County. Hensall-By- Design, a weeklong-juried display and sale of art held in the Hensall United Church is fast becoming one of the notable art exhibits in Huron County with work submitted from artists throughout the County. Huron County artisans: potters, glass blowers, weavers, blacksmiths, jewellers, etc., are gaining recognition for the fine quality and design found in their wares and much of their work is displayed and sold in galleries and specialty stores countywide and across the country.

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Musical concerts of all types are by far the most accessible and regularly produced cultural programming. Most towns and villages in the County offer free outdoor summer concert series, produced in conjunction with local organizations and businesses. Music programming moves to a larger outdoor stage at the annual West Coast Bluesfest and the Kinsmen Summerfest events. The Livery Theatre programs a variety of jazz, folk and blues musical concerts during its fall and winter season. Churches in the County are producing and hosting choral and classical music concerts aimed at both their congregations and the larger community. The Wingham Town Hall Heritage Theatre has continually produced a fall and winter season concentrating on country musical acts in the restored Town Hall theatre since 1992. Community festivals are popular celebrations that draw large crowds of local residents and visitors alike. Huron County can boast that they produce some truly remarkable and successful community festivals and events. The Celtic Roots Festival celebrates our ethnic heritage, Bayfield Writers Festival brings many of Canada’s best writers to the area, the Zurich Bean Festival and the Blyth Huron Pioneer Threshers and Hobby Show highlight the important role agriculture plays in the County. These and the other community festivals and events bring residents together to publicly celebrate our stories and heritage. Providing services to the scattered communities of Huron, the Huron County Library and its branches offer a lesson in effective outreach and partnership with the nine municipalities that make up the County. The libraries put materials and resources into the hands of residents and offer accessible programming within the County’s towns and villages. The Library’s branch locations provide neutral public spaces that act as community hubs and play a significant role in the cultural life of their various communities. The Huron County Museum provides the anchor for the local heritage community taking a leadership role in the conservation, promotion, interpretation and public education of the County’s history. The Museum also maintains and operates three satellite locations – Huron Historic Gaol, Marine Museum and the Sky Harbour Gallery. The School Car on Wheels in Clinton, Van Egmond House in Egmondville, The North Huron Museum in Wingham, and the Seaforth and Area Museum in Seaforth, are representational of the smaller historical significance sites and organizations telling the unique heritage stories of the communities in which they’re found. The work being done by the dedicated and active municipal heritage committees and regional historical societies support the efforts of these institutions. The Huron County Historical Society, Heritage Goderich, Huron Branch of the Genealogical Society, Bayfield Historic Society and the St. Joseph’s and Area Historic Society and many other municipal heritage committees and societies do the important fieldwork of identifying and documenting the history of their respective municipalities in order that it may be recorded and preserved. The Reuben R. Sallows Gallery in Goderich, straddles the historical and visual arts world with its collection of historic photographs. The turn-of-the-century images of Huron County captured by photographer Reuben Sallows can be viewed as individual works of art or as a visual record providing a glimpse into the area’s past.

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1.2 Need for Municipal Cultural Planning Municipal Cultural Planning began in the early 1990’s in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Cultural planning appeared on the radar here in Canada in about 2000. Since then Cultural Planning has emerged as the standard for local cultural development. In Canada, Municipal Cultural Planning has been endorsed as an essential exercise by both federal and provincial governments. Countless provinces, cities and counties have implemented the practice and almost every region in Canada now has some type of cultural plan in place. The Ontario Ministry of Culture has recently partnered with the University of Waterloo’s Centre for Cultural Planning to create a Municipal Cultural Planning Partnership to provide further tools and resources to assist communities in developing cultural plans. The urgency and need for Huron County to catch up and create a written countywide cultural plan was brought to the fore in 2005 when a funding application to the federal Cultural Capitals program was turned down identifying ‘lack of a municipal cultural plan’ as a main factor in their decision.

1.3 Huron County Cultural Plan Leadership Heritage and Culture Partnership initiated work on the development of a Huron County Cultural Plan in 2006 with funding and project support from:

Huron County Planning and Development Department Huron County Cultural Services Department Huron Business Development Corporation Huron Tourism Association – parent organization of Heritage

and Culture Partnership

“A vibrant cultural scene generates economic activity, creates prosperous cultural industries and attracts major employers and new residents.

We’re encouraging municipalities across Ontario to identify their cultural assets and use them to improve the economic, social and environmental health of their communities.”

Government of Ontario, Municipal Cultural Planning Brochure (2007)

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Heritage and Culture Partnership and Huron County Cultural Services shared the services of a Community Resources Officer position provided through the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities Job Creation Program under the United Way lead Community Matters project to complete work on the Cultural Plan. 2.0 BENEFITS OF CULTURAL PLANNING Municipal Cultural Planning is a holistic approach to community planning that recognizes the need for individual communities to self-identify and address the unique set of circumstances found there. Municipalities that have adopted the practice of cultural planning and invested in the development of local culture have gained positive economic benefits for their communities. Cultural industries create job growth, turn ordinary locales into “destination locations”, create interconnections between arts and business, revitalize urban areas, attract skilled workers and create spin-off businesses. Other proven benefits of integrated community cultural plans include:

Contribute to combating social exclusion in the community; by involving members from every sector of the community

Combat the “geography of nowhere” by providing design opportunities to develop

“pride of place”1

Support community empowerment through community involvement and ownership of local community initiatives

Support democratic cultural policy by better understanding of what people are

doing and want to do

Support the development of working in partnership

Commit to policy making based on a solid research foundation

Result in more and improved programs and services in response to identified community needs

Improve communications and cooperation among arts and other groups

1 ‘Geography of Nowhere” by James Howard Kuntsler, 1994, Simon & Shuster Publishing Group Synopsis: ‘The Geography of Nowhere’ traces America's evolution from a nation of Main Streets and coherent communities to a land where every place is like no place in particular, where the cities are dead zones and the countryside is a wasteland of cartoon architecture and parking lots. It is also a wake-up call for citizens to reinvent the places where we live and work, to build communities that are once again worthy of our affection. Kuntsler proposes that by reviving civic art and civic life, we will rediscover public virtue and a new vision of the common good. "

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Integrate the arts and culture into the larger community better, increasing awareness of the potential of arts and culture to contribute to community and economic development

Improve visibility of a community’s artists and arts organizations

Improve access to the arts and development of large audiences

Provides outlets for citizens to tell and hear their stories through the many forms

of artistic expression

Improve cultural facilities

Sustain or increase levels of public and private funding for culture

Improve and enhance quality of life in the community

2.1 Culture: The Fourth Pillar of Sustainability2 First developed and presented in Australia by Jon Hawkes in 2001, the four-pillar model of sustainability depends on four interlinked dimensions: environmental responsibility, economic health, social equity, and cultural vitality. Cultural vitality is seen as being just as essential to a healthy and sustainable society as social equity, environmental responsibility and economic vitality. Cultural activities are now universally recognized as important ways for individuals to contribute to their community. Culture is an essential tool in understanding the values, shared meanings, and goals of residents within a community. 2 “The Fourth Pillar of Sustainability: Culture’s Role in Public Planning” by Jon Hawkes, 2001 Common Ground publishers

“A strong and vibrant culture strategy is central to ensuring a prosperous and creative economy for Ontario and building strong successful communities. Our vision of strong successful communities is of places that are safe and supportive of all Ontarians; places that recognize and celebrate our heritage and cultural diversity; and places that ensure that citizens are entrepreneurs, as learners and as leaders, can be successful to benefit themselves, our communities and our province. The government recognizes culture as a lever for the province’s socio-economic growth and prosperity, as well its quality of life.” Ontario Ministry of Culture (May 2006)

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This cultural understanding contributes to a knowledge base that allows each community to be nurtured according to its particular needs and reality. Wide and inclusive cultural participation by citizens makes for cultural vitality, which in turn contributes to community vitality in a broader sense and supports the four-pillar model of sustainability. This model of cultural vitality being a key factor in contributing to a community’s economic growth and long-term sustainability was popularized and expanded on by Richard Florida in his 2003 bestseller “The Rise of the Creative Class”3. In it he demonstrated how creativity is playing an important role in the 21st Century world economy. Florida describes a society in which the creative ethos is increasingly dominant. Millions of us are beginning to work and live much as creative types like artists and scientists always have by deliberately choosing to live and work in environments that provide stimulation and nurturing. People who create for a living (the creative class) are already having a huge economic impact and in future will determine how the workplace is organized, what companies will prosper or go bankrupt, and even which cities and towns will thrive or wither. Communities can assure their continued viability by planning and cultivating communities that are diverse, creative and culturally vital and therefore appealing as a place of residence for this new ‘creative class’.

The County of Huron Planning and Development Department is currently embarking on a Sustainability Framework and the review of the County Official Plan in 2008. Culture appears on the Sustainability Circle as 'Social and Culture', in addition to the other two circles of 'Environment ' and 'Economy'; this is illustrated in the diagram below. In addition, local municipalities such as the Town of Goderich are recognizing culture as the fourth pillar of their economy (in addition to the economic pillars of agriculture, manufacturing and tourism). In the draft Official Plan for the Town of Goderich (2007), 'Community Culture and Economic Development' is a section of the draft official plan. Culture is clearly taking its place in the municipal sphere.


Community Sustainability Framework

3 “Rise of the Creative Class: and how it’s transforming work, leisure, community and everyday life” by Richard Florida, 2003, Basic Books

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3.1 Definition of Culture Culture means many things to many people. The broad and unfixable qualities embodied by the word prevent a common understanding and reference point of what is meant when we use the word culture. Pinning down a manageable and workable definition of the word was one of the first challenges faced in moving forward in the development of the Huron County Cultural Plan (HCCP). For the purposes of the Huron County Cultural Plan, a number of activities dealing with sports, leisure and recreation were excluded from the definition as it was felt that the lower-tier municipal departments adequately addressed these activities. Natural heritage assets are considered important but were also not included as part of the scope of this plan. These categories merit further study and support in a later document. The definition of Culture as it relates to the Huron County Cultural Plan, includes the following categories:

Arts – Performing (e.g.- music, theatre, dance), Literary (e.g.- writing, publishing, libraries), Media (e.g.- photography, film, video), Visual (e.g.- painting, drawing, sculpture, crafts), Design (e.g.- architecture, graphic, landscape)

Heritage – Buildings and Structures (e.g.- monuments, buildings, structures),

Resource Collections (e.g.- museums, archives, historical societies), Natural Heritage (e.g.- vistas, woodlots, lakeshore, valleys)

Social Culture – Community Festival and Events (e.g.- community celebrations,

agricultural events, holiday celebrations)

3.2 Type of Cultural Plan There are many templates available to assist with the creation of a municipal cultural plan; some types integrate the culture into a larger municipal Strategic Plan or Official Plan while others can deal with only single-issue plans – e.g. performing arts, heritage conservation.

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For the purposes of the Huron County Cultural Plan, the model that best exemplified the stated objectives of the HCCP, as set out by the planning partners was a Comprehensive Detailed Cultural Plan. Defined as: a community-wide plan based on broadly defined understanding of culture with integrated goals compiled through community consultation. This is the model that was followed and referenced during the creation of the HCCP. Exhibit #1 - “Different Types of Cultural Planning Projects” excerpt from Creative City Cultural Planning Toolkit

3.3 Best Practices There is a large volume of information and study concerning the methods and benefits of Municipal Cultural Planning. In order to locate the most relevant information and narrow down the wide range of available material, it was decided that the parameters would be limited to manuals and websites of Canadian origin and where possible material that dealt specifically with Province of Ontario examples. A number of these source materials were consulted prior to beginning work on Huron County Cultural Plan in order to establish some baseline practices and procedures, which could be clearly thought of as ‘best practices’. These guidelines were written into the project outlines and offered guidance in carrying out the work. Best practices were adapted from the following sources:

Municipal Cultural Partnership - the Government of Ontario together with its municipal, non-profit, private sector and academic partners. www.ontariomcp.ca

The Creative City Network of Canada - is an organization of people employed by

municipalities across Canada working on arts, culture and heritage policy, planning, development and support. www.creativecity.ca

Canadian Cultural Observatory - founded in 2003 the CCO is an information

service for all who are interested in Canada’s cultural development. www.culturescope.ca

Cultural Plans and case studies for - Bayham, Hills of Headwaters, Owen Sound,

Prince Edward County, Strathroy-Caradoc.

3.4 Timelines Timeline goals were based on a model found within the Cultural Planning Toolkit available online through The Creative City Network of Canada. The toolkit plots a nine-step process with accompanying timelines totalling 13 to 20 months as the average length of time needed to complete a comprehensive cultural plan.

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The Cultural Planning toolkit also provides a 15-month work plan template. These targets are based on having the necessary staffing and funding in place before beginning the planning. Exhibit #2 – “Cultural Planning: An Action Plan” excerpt from Creative City Cultural Planning Toolkit The Huron County Cultural Plan commissioners and the project coordinators encountered a number of obstacles that negatively impacted the work progress and timelines.

• Time and resource allocation constraints by project partners. While recognizing the necessity and importance of the Huron County Cultural Plan the partner organizations in fulfilling their primary mandates had little additional resources available to commit to a secondary project of this size and scope.

• Lack of funding for a dedicated full-time project coordinator and costs involved with completion of the plan. Funding was adequate to sustain part-time position; therefore the HCCP only received half the time and attention of a split focus.

• Loss of momentum and progress for the project due to changes in personnel filling the role of project coordinator. The interruption to the work being done on the cultural plan caused by this staffing change was a setback to the continuity and focus for the project.

Despite these obstacles and the reduced resources that occurred between November 2006 and May 2007, progress on the HCCP remained within the recommended timeframes. Exhibit #3 – “Work Plan Example” excerpt from Creative City Cultural Planning Toolkit

“Cultural planning is concerned with how people live in places and communities (as citizens), and with the ways in which they use the arts and other forms of creative endeavour to enhance, consolidate and express these attachments. It is also about the way in which local government plans and manages these processes for a range of political ends, including social control and place management.”

Stevenson (2004)

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WORK PLAN: Cultural Planning Action Sequence based on example from Creative City Cultural Planning Toolkit




1. Preparation

Project identification and genesis (late 2005) 1 month 2 – 3 months

2. Information

gathering and research

Focus Magazine Survey (February 2006), Community Town Hall Meetings (May 2006), Cultural Directory Survey (July – September 2007), Interviews with key stakeholders (July – September 2007)

5 months 4 – 6 months

3. Assessment and analysis

Two preliminary reports based on Town Hall meetings and survey (October 2006) September – October 2007

2 months 2 – 3 months

4. Organization and consultation

— — Ongoing

5. Writing the plan Written report and completion of draft Cultural Plan (October 2007)

1 month 1 – 2 months

6. Public Consultation

Planned second round of community input (November – December 2007)

2 months 2 – 3 months

7. Finalizing and adoption

January – February 2008 2 months 1 – 2 months

8. Launch March 2008 1 month 1 month

9. Implementation, monitoring and review

— — Ongoing

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3.5 Community Consultation Five rounds of community consultation for the Huron County Cultural Plan were conducted in 2006 and 2007. In the winter of 2006, two outreach initiatives were launched specifically aimed at getting feedback from the general population of Huron County. The goal was to identify the community attitudes towards culture and how they were currently engaged with the local cultural programming. Focus Magazine Survey: In January and February of 2006, a survey titled “How much do you care about culture?” was circulated through the Huron County Library system. 1000 copies of the survey were also distributed to households through Focus Magazine, bi-weekly local newsmagazine. Surveys were randomly distributed to ensure no bias towards any one demographic. Exhibit #4 - Copy of Focus magazine survey “How Much Do You Care About Culture?” Town Hall Meetings: Three public town hall meetings were held in the communities of Exeter, Goderich and Wingham during the month of May 2006. These meetings were facilitated by the HCCP project coordinator and were held in locations thought to be neutral and therefore inclusive and inviting of the larger community. In the summer of 2007 two more outreach initiatives were undertaken; this time the focus was on obtaining feedback from the local cultural and heritage sector. Cultural Directory Survey: As part of the ongoing efforts to create a cultural directory for Huron County, a survey was circulated from July to September 2007. The survey was available online (surveymonkey.com and heritageandculture.on.ca), in printed format through all county library branches and in arts-related retail outlets around the county. An optional survey was included along with the cultural directory listing form containing a number of questions regarding the current state of local arts and cultural sectors. Exhibit #5 – “Huron County Cultural Directory Listing Form and Optional Survey” Exhibits # 9 to 13 – Results from Cultural Directory Optional Survey One-on-One Interviews: In conjunction with the cultural directory surveys one-on-one interviews were conducted with organizations and individuals who were recognized as being ‘cornerstone’ members of the Huron cultural community. The subjects were also chosen in order to cover a broad cross section of heritage, performing, literary and visual arts assets. The focus of the interviews was to gain anecdotal and first hand knowledge of the obstacles and challenges they faced in reaching their self-identified goals. Exhibit #6 – “List of interviews with key Arts and Culture stakeholders”

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The four sessions above provided much of the information needed to write the first draft of the Huron County Cultural Plan. Once this initial draft was completed, information sessions on the Cultural Plan contents were conducted to collect further feedback from within the arts, culture and heritage community of Huron County. Cultural Plan Information Sessions: In December 2007, three information sessions were held for invited attendees that covered the basic outline of the Cultural Plan. The purposes of the sessions were to identify any concerns or issues that were ‘missing’ from the draft of the plan and to gauge the support and interest of the local cultural community in the actions contained with the HCCP. Exhibit #14 – “ Notes from Cultural Plan Information Sessions held December, 2007”

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4.0 FINDINGS – IDENTIFYING THE ISSUES Data collected during the community consultation sessions identified a number of issues that have been summarized into six central themes of concern:

I. Resources II. Programming III. Professional Development IV. Marketing and Communication V. Geography VI. Climate

4.1 Resources Funding, specifically the lack of funding, was the stepping off point for all discussions around the issues affecting arts, culture and heritage in Huron County. A lack of sustained commitment and insufficient investment in non-profit arts and culture by all levels of government and the private sector was seen as the root cause for a roster of trickle-down effects. The County’s established and larger cultural institutions have developed highly integrated strategies and networks to locate and access funding sources; even with these strategies in place they report major shortages in available funding programs. At the opposite end of this spectrum, the County has a number of new and smaller cultural enterprises that are unaware of available funding sources and how to go about accessing these programs. This leads to a lopsided distribution of funds and introduces a competitive approach towards securing funding dollars. Staffing concerns were second to funding as the two are interchangeably linked. A cultural organization’s ability to hire and maintain current staff levels is totally dependent on funding cycles. Job descriptions, responsibilities and positions can radically fluctuate along with the organization’s success in locating and accessing these funding programs. Strategic plans and goals set out by an organization’s Board of Directors and management can often only be fully implemented with increased staffing and funding, making these resources crucial to the development of the County’s cultural assets. The daily stresses created by these issues, takes a toll on the cultural work force. Workers are overburdened trying to meet increased demands with fewer resources, most report putting in extra unpaid hours every week in order to meet these demands. Wages are often also on the lower end of the scale due to budget constraints. These problems are leaving the staff of cultural organizations in the County extremely frustrated, burnout is not uncommon and apathy often settles in to take the place of dedication and vigour.

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Accessing appropriate venues and spaces in which to host cultural programming is another obstacle in the presentation of cultural programs for residents of Huron County. Producers of programming identify a need for affordable and suitable venues in which to hold exhibits and performances as a key barrier in their ability to supply arts and cultural programming. Locating, employing and even adapting these physical spaces would have a significant and favourable impact on the County’s cultural resources.

4.2 Programming Huron County has a wealth of cultural programs and offerings. There would seem to be something for everyone but the research and data have identified some noteworthy gaps in programming currently available. Musical programming of all genres was by far the most requested form of arts programming by audiences in all four rounds of community consultation. These results reveal a disparity between current available music programming and the desire of residents of the County to have access to more musical concerts and programs. Classical, popular and country music were rated as the genres of music currently under represented in Huron County. Arts audiences are becoming increasingly sophisticated and always looking for new and unique cultural experiences. Although Huron County can be described as fairly ethnically homogenous and contains no First Nation lands within its borders, respondents to the surveys rated both multi-cultural and First Nation events within the top five types of cultural programming they would like to see more of in the County. These results clearly point to a desire by local audiences to explore and participate in cultural experiences considered outside the County norms.

Summary of key Resources issues:

- Lack of funding for non-profits - Difficulty locating funding sources - Need for more venues to hold performances and exhibits - More staffing needed, no funds to hire - Funding and support from all levels of government lacking - Burn-out rates, long unpaid hours, low wages of workers

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Programming specifically aimed at the children and youth markets is under represented. There are some private educational programs and lessons that focus on children participating in theatre, music and dance such as Children’s Theatre and Huron Strings School in Goderich. However there are few productions or concerts being produced specifically with children audiences in mind. Early arts experience as an audience member can spark “audience moments” that can have a life long impact on choices and directions. Youth and teen programming is scarce outside of the school system. Most teens with an interest in the arts have to pursue programs and lessons independently. The costs involved and access to transportation severely limits the participation of many County youth. Arts organizations in the County are working hard to include a youth and children’s component to their programs but there is still some growth needed. General interest arts courses and lessons are difficult to find for the amateur enthusiast. There are some offerings available through Elizabeth’s Art Gallery, The Goderich Co-Op Gallery and now the Lake Huron Learning Collaborative. All these classes and lessons take place primarily in Goderich, most often during the winter months when transportation can be a concern and therefore do not adequately serve the rest of the County’s population.

4.3 Professional Development

The majority of the County’s cultural and heritage organizations operate as not-for-profits with a select few having full registered charitable status. In a majority of cases the municipality where the organization is located owns the physical assets including the buildings that house the organization. There are a few instances (e.g. The Livery and Van Egmond House) where the physical assets are owned by the not-for-profit organization that manages it. As not-for-profits, the assets of these organizations (whether municipally owned or not) are administered by a board of directors made up of representatives from the local community.

Summary of key Programming issues:

- Need for more music programming - Lack of experience within the County producing large events - Offer more diverse programming choices - Educational programming – more accessible classes and lessons - Youth and children’s programming focus needs developing

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Despite the fact that these boards are given a great deal of responsibility and entrusted with the stewardship and well-being of these organizations, little work is undertaken to ensure that these directors have the chance to obtain the needed skills and expertise to fulfill their obligations. The struggle organizations often face just filling and maintaining the minimum number of board positions leaves little extra to develop and provide training for their Board of Directors. Meeting the day-to-day operational needs and fulfilling board requirements pushes long-term strategic planning for the organization down on the list of priorities. An end product of all this is that many of the County’s cultural organizations currently don’t have controls and procedures in place to safe-guard the long term continuity and viability of these organizations. Where an organization does have the funds available to hire professional staff, the budgets still leave little extra set aside for professional development and training. Investment allocations in keeping a staff member’s skills current and improving their ability to effectively deal with the job demands are challenged setting budget funds. For some not-for-profit organizations, staffing roles are being filled by volunteers. The recruitment and training required for these volunteers eats up a significant portion of the organization’s meagre resources. Successfully matching a volunteer’s skill sets to positions within the organization is even more time consuming and therefore manpower is often not effectively utilized, resulting in a frustrating and unsatisfactory experience for both the volunteer and the host organization. Many of the artists and artisans living in the County are establishing arts careers either as secondary careers after retirement or as a part-time endeavour in conjunction with their primary career. Because these careers are secondary and may not have had much formal training, some of these artists and artisans lack the fundamental tools needed to operate a successful business venture. Opportunities that provide networking and collaboration opportunities among the different cultural sectors in the County are rare. The current situation is very indicative of the much referred to ‘silos’ system where organizations act as repositories for their accumulated knowledge and resources with little cross-discipline sharing of these experiences and resources. By bringing the various factions that make up the cultural and heritage sectors together to collaborate and share resources we may discover solutions that help alleviate the difficulties these organizations are struggling with individually.

Summary of key Professional Development issues:

- Boards are ill prepared for level of responsibility - Volunteer skills not matched up to positions - Long term planning to ensure the continuity of organizations - No money in budgets for staff training - ‘Silos’ – little networking and sharing among groups

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4.4 Marketing and Communication A need for increased public awareness of the cultural assets available in the County and the types of cultural programming on offer was of primary concern to the County’s arts and heritage community. Educating the public on the important role that arts, culture and heritage plays in enriching the community’s quality of life was seen as the most effective strategy to develop new audiences and create support for cultural programs. A major hindrance in reaching potential audiences and the public is the lack of coverage given to arts and cultural events from the local media. A large number of individuals and organizations expressed a high level of frustration in dealing with the local media outlets when trying to have their event or exhibit covered. In most cases, event organizers have begun taking responsibility for writing their own story copy and providing photographs on top of sending out a press release in an effort to get their event published. The lack of an online calendar or central website that contains a complete listing of all the arts and heritage events taking place in the County was often cited as having a negative impact in terms of public awareness and participation in cultural programs. There are currently community calendars available on the County and a number of municipal websites. Sharing of information amongst the different websites in order to create a comprehensive listing of community events for the entire County has been a challenge. Procedures on how to post events to these existing community calendars were also a cause of frustration. Many event organizers were not aware of how to post information to these sites and calendars. The public being unaware of the many websites and community calendars they need to look through to find the information they seek causes still further confusion. The new corporate County site is one step forward in addressing this challenge. Using electronic media to effectively market the talent and creativity found in Huron is currently under utilized; most heritage organizations have little or no web presence. The costs involved in creating and maintaining a competitive website with the ability for e-commerce are prohibitive. With a population base of slightly fewer than 60,000 people there is an insufficient consumer base for cultural products that are in the higher price brackets, e.g. paintings and sculpture, that are produced in the County. Accessing outside markets from which to draw buyers and collectors for our cultural products is vital to the long-term economic sustainability of our cultural industries. Strained cultural budgets are creating a need for cooperative marketing campaigns that enable groups to share the high costs of advertising. Costs associated with printing materials and engaging in direct marketing strategies is beyond the financial means of most culture and heritage groups and individuals. Exhibit #7 – “Huron County Population Demographics”

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4.5 Geography The vast geographic size of Huron County (3,408 square km.) and the distances found between its villages and towns have created a historical climate of isolated development. These isolated origins have continued to influence present day ideas regarding sense of place and community for many County residents. How residents choose to see their place of identity very much mirrors the tiers found in their local government structure. Residents are more apt to identify themselves with their specific place of residence and not within the larger context of Huron County, e.g. - a resident of Bayfield will self identify as first being from the Village of Bayfield, secondly in the Municipality of Bluewater and finally as a resident of Huron County. These tiered perceptions act as a guide in establishing a sense of community allegiance. Attitudes and bias towards the specific community one chooses to live in have a number of impacts on both the creation and implementation of any countywide strategic plans, e.g. the same resident as above, may ask ‘How is this good for Bayfield?’ and not ‘How is this good for Huron County?’ Left over residual effects from the amalgamation process are muddying these waters further. You still find confusion among some residents on how their community fits into the new larger municipalities and township structure and how these different tiers of government work together to provide services for their place of residence. Citizens who are unclear of how government services are determined and provided can end up confused and mistrustful of the local governance. Looking with a narrow regional view also presents a major obstacle in putting forth the notion to many County residents that an investment or an event in a particular town or village can have a beneficial ripple affect and end up benefiting the entire County.

Summary of key Marketing and Communication issues:

- Lack of media coverage by local outlets - Public awareness of arts and culture lacking - No centralized website/outlet for arts and culture community - No comprehensive calendar of events (or process for posting) - Small budgets to advertise and promote events - Little online presence of Heritage sector - Little opportunity to access markets outside County

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A rural reality is that it’s simply not economically sustainable to provide each town and village in the County with identical cultural services and programs. By taking a larger countywide approach in the development and promotion of cultural assets we can ensure that all County residents have access to a full range of arts, culture and heritage resources. Cultural activity no matter where in the County it takes place benefits residents and reaffirms the position that Huron County is a producer of quality cultural experiences. The geography of Huron County also has an effect on the visibility of cultural activities taking place in the North and South ends of the County. A perception exists that there is less cultural activity going on in these areas. Due to their physical location on the edges of the County, these areas need to promote their events in neighbouring counties in order to draw audiences and participants. This also means that residents in the North and South ends of the County are participating more frequently in cultural activities located in these neighbouring counties. This focus on programming occurring outside of Huron County creates an illusion in the rest of the County that little cultural programming is happening in these areas.

4.6 Climate The unpredictable and sometimes harsh winter conditions found in Huron County can have negative consequences for local cultural industries. The risk of poor driving conditions hampers advance ticket sales and keeps audiences away and very little cultural programming happens during the winter months as a result. Arts and culture organizations don’t want to risk the loss of meagre resources by programming events to take place during the winter season. Due in large part to these winter conditions, a perception has grown that maintains that the bulk of cultural programming must take place during the eight to ten week period running from approximately mid-June to Labour Day weekend in order to be successful.

Summary of key Geography issues:

- Long driving distances between towns - Limited County-wide scope in individual thinking - Community capacity, unrealistic expectations for duplicate resources

in each community - Identity confusion left over from amalgamation - Lower visibility of culture assets and activities in South and North

ends of County

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This idea is reinforced, especially in the lakeside communities of the County, by a segment of the retail and hospitality sector who also operate on a purely seasonal basis. This limited time span and increased seasonal programming creates a ‘boom and bust’ cycle where there is a multitude of over-lapping events in Huron County for a three-month period and then few offerings for the remaining nine months of the year. This ‘boom and bust’ cycle also has the spin-off effect of creating a competitive atmosphere amongst the various cultural producers. The necessity of individuals and organizations to capitalize economically during this relatively brief window of opportunity makes them excessively defensive and territorial in protecting their market share. Seen through this competitive lens, similar or new cultural endeavours within the County are viewed as threats and not as allies in the creation of a robust local culture. A final negative by-product created by this type of cycle is the risk of programmers stressing and alienating audiences. During the peak summer months, consumers of culture can be faced with a multitude of competing events in a single weekend. All of these competing events may normally be supported and attended by the consumer, but the overlapping of events forces the consumer into making uncomfortable decisions on which events they can reasonably attend and support given the time constraints. The end result is a frustrated customer base that blames the situation on poor planning and scheduling by the organization producing the program.

Summary of key Climate issues:

- Unpredictable winter weather conditions - Frequent winter road closures – inability of population to move around - Short summer season (mid-June to Labour Day) - Heavy reliance on summer cottagers and tourists to meet box office - Glut of summer programming, dramatic drop for rest of year

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5.0 ACTION PLAN The recommendations and suggested action plans in this section of the report are based on the assumption that they will be implemented cooperatively by the collective arts, culture and heritage community of Huron County with support from all levels of municipal government. The majority of actions are achievable using an asset-based community development model in compliance with the goals of the Huron County Cultural Plan advisory committee. Few of the actions are specifically assigned to any one organization; the leadership role will vary depending on the actions being addressed. A goal of three years for full implementation has been used.

5.1 Resources

i. Ensure adequate funding and support for the County’s cornerstone arts and heritage organizations. Strong and vibrant cornerstone organizations provide community leadership and act as mentors for new and fledgling cultural organizations.

ii. Establishment of a community arts collective. Investigate and present to the arts

and cultural community models for organizing and operating a formal community arts collective – e.g. arts council, artist-run collaborative, etc. with the intention of the adopting one of these models for the benefit of the local arts, culture and heritage community.

iii. Creation of a staff position in the County’s Cultural Services Department. The

County of Huron should confirm its commitment to the continued development and its cultural assets by allocating resources for the creation of a ‘cultural field worker’ position. This position would provide support services for the County’s cultural organizations as well as act as a liaison between the municipality and the various individuals and organizations working in the cultural and heritage fields.

iv. Prepare an inventory of current and potential physical resources. Create an

inventory of the available venues and spaces appropriate for cultural programming. Develop a list of potential sites and make recommendations that would make these prospective sites viable. Make the inventory available online for easy access to cultural producers.

v. Offer workshops and seminars on grantsmanship. In partnership with existing

community service organizations, provide workshops aimed specifically at the arts and culture sector on the many aspects of locating and applying for funding programs.

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vi. Establish an annual community arts and heritage award. Locate a sponsor and presenter for annual awards that recognize the contributions and services provided by local individuals, organizations and businesses that make up the County’s cultural sectors.

5.2 Programming

i. Partner with the private sector, community festivals and existing arts organizations to create increased performance opportunities that showcase the musical talent that exists in the County. Develop performance opportunities for local musicians.

ii. Recognize the importance of an early introduction to arts for children. Present

information sessions to cultural producers on the importance of arts programming for children and provide them with models and templates of successful children’s programs they can implement.

iii. Provide opportunity for residents to explore their creative outlets. Partner with

arts organizations to promote classes, lessons and participation in all artistic disciplines. Identify gaps in what is offered in the community and encourage the creation of programs to fill these gaps.

iv. Make the County’s secondary schools aware of the County’s cultural

organizations. Teachers and guidance counsellors can identify and channel students with an interest and aptitude in these arts and culture into participation and volunteer opportunities with these organizations.

v. Encourage inclusion of cultural and ethnic diversity in all aspects of cultural

programming. Recognize that audiences and consumers are interested in experiencing and learning about cultures and traditions outside their own.

vi. Work with professional event producers. Work closely with a professional concert

producer that can provide members of the local music community with the necessary skills to present professional music concerts.

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5.3 Professional Development

i. Invest in board development. Provide the board of directors for non-profits with the toolkit they need to successfully manage their organization. Every board member in the County needs to understand the roles and responsibilities of being on a board of directors and how to address issues of recruitment and succession.

ii. Organize strategic planning sessions and SWOT analysis for County cultural

organizations. Encourage boards to participate in strategic planning sessions for their organizations and provide access to facilitators. Recommend organizations use methods such as SWOT analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats – as a valuable tool in determining if their goals are attainable.

iii. Create a central job board for volunteer recruitment. Have a volunteer job board

as part of an existing website that will assist organizations in the creation of job descriptions to better match the organization’s needs to the skills and interests of potential volunteers.

iv. Keep employee skills current. Partner with Huron Business Development

Corporation on identifying the skills cultural workers need to remain current and effective and establish training sessions to teach these skills to local cultural workers.

v. Craft industry networking opportunities. Bring the people involved in arts, culture

and heritage together to share experiences and knowledge. Exchanges can be as informal as posting to an online forum or as organized as monthly gatherings for a meal and presentation.

vi. Adapt existing small business information and seminars for studio artists. Partner

with Huron Small Business Enterprise Centre on adapting some of their programming to be of more relevance to artists and artisans who are either establishing or working from an existing home-based studio.

vii. Provide copyright information sessions for County organizations. Cultural

organizations need clear instruction on the laws and regulations governing the usage and publication of copyrighted images and printed materials.

5.4 Marketing and Communication

i. One central website for arts, culture and heritage in Huron County. Launch a website that contains information and links to all of the cultural and heritage resources in the county. The site will maintain a calendar of events that all individuals and organizations can post their events on.

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ii. Publish an electronic newsletter or publish a quarterly cultural magazine with information on upcoming events and profiles of individuals and organizations working in arts, culture and heritage in the County.

iii. Use available technology to market cultural products. Assist artists and

organizations to take advantage of the online market. Help them with the expertise to turn their vision into creative websites. Locate online marketplaces to sell work through and use external website links to create traffic flow and exposure.

iv. Assist smaller cultural organization with access to information technology resources

so that they have the tools and programs needed to remain current and maintain an active presence in the information technology world.

v. Share costs with cooperative marketing campaigns. Marketing and promotion costs

can be shared by creating cooperative advertisements among groups with a commonality in discipline, region or even around a specific season or time.

vi. Champion our cultural products. Involve Huron Tourism Association and the

County on promoting the region as a producer of and destination for unique cultural products and experiences.

vii. There are many associations, guilds and unions with a mandate to promote a

particular artistic discipline or interest. Membership in any of these can create exposure by getting; your event in their newsletter, a link on their website, a profile in their publication or a listing on their events calendar.

5.5 Geography

i. Complete cultural mapping for the County. Cultural mapping involves physically marking every arts, culture and heritage asset on a map in order to create a picture of the cultural “foot print” of the County. This tool can be helpful for all kinds of infrastructure planning.

ii. Think countywide when programming. Create programming that is inclusive of

the entire County and fosters collaboration between representatives from different municipalities and regions of the County.

iii. Learn from County leaders. The Huron County Library has experience and

lessons to share on providing services throughout the County. The Huron Tourism Association does an excellent job fulfilling its mandate to represent the entire County. Both organizations could provide excellent advice on framing things in a countywide context.

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iv. Ride the wave of countywide re-branding. With the launch of Huron County’s new logo there will be some momentum to rethink our place of residence and how we want to appear to the outside world. An excellent opportunity to zoom out for a countywide view and create some synergy between the various lower-tier municipalities.

5.6 Climate

i. Put your shoulder into it. Develop events and programs that take place in the ‘shoulder’ seasons of spring and fall. Studio tours, for example, are traditionally held in spring or fall to take advantage of the fact that the participants are in cars so weather is less of a factor and the landscape can be very scenic at these times of year.

ii. Support initiatives that promote Huron County as a year-round destination.

Initiatives that increase the flow of shoulder and bonus season visitors to the County also increase the market and audience for cultural products.

iii. Enhance existing seasonal celebrations and festivals. Increase the amount of arts,

culture and heritage programming included in the numerous community winter festivals and carnivals. Holidays such as Christmas, Valentines Day and Heritage Week provide further occasion to showcase local cultural offerings.

iv. Engage in low-risk cultural programming. Smaller scale events and programs can

be just as engaging. Plan events that are sustainable by local audiences.

v. Talk to one another. Improve communications between the established cultural organizations to avoid the piling-up of too many large events into one summer weekend. Let’s share the wealth and spread out the number of fantastic summer events.

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6.0 FESTIVALS and EVENTS Community festivals are a microcosm of their cultural landscape, often incorporating multiple arts disciplines (arts, crafts, dance, music) and elements of the local history. All of this art, culture and heritage in one place at one time, free of institutional walls and accessible to all. These combined factors make annual community festivals and events some of the best-attended cultural events in the County, and places them to take advantage of the growing tourism trend of cultural tourism. Exhibit # 8 – excerpt from ‘Huron Tourism Association 2006 Report: Special Events and Attractions Attendance Record’ Huron County is a producer and host to many festivals and events as just described; The Goderich Festival of Arts and Crafts, Egmondville Ciderfest, Kinsmen’s Summerfest and Clinton Pluckinfest are all examples of the variety and distinctive cultural experience that can be found in the County. Four annual festivals deserve special consideration and recognition as each presents a face of Huron County to the outside world that we can recognize as our unique regional identity. Our heritage, our communities, our stories. Earth, Air, Fire & Water – Celtic Roots Festival Attractions Canada winner of best cultural event in Ontario in 2003. A three-day showcase of music, dance, crafts and art celebrating the ethnic origins of many of the county’s first settlers. Festival organizers have partnered with a number of community service organizations to handle the logistics of the event. Due to these partnerships and recruitment of citizens as volunteers during the event, the Festival enjoys immense community support and is a point of civic pride for many Goderich residents. Zurich Bean Festival The Bean Festival is Huron County’s biggest single-day event with an approximate annual attendance of 25,000 people. This colossal one-day event is planned and organized by a small group of community volunteers and takes place throughout the entire village of Zurich. The Bean Festival a celebration of the one of the county’s significant agricultural crops includes Ontario’s second largest car show and the preparation and serving of over 2,500 pounds of white beans. Huron Pioneer Threshers and Hobby Show Forty-six years old and covering over forty acres this show is dedicated to the preservation of our agricultural heritage. The show features working examples of steam and horse powered agricultural machinery. Organizers set aside one day of the show as a ‘school program day’ so that classes studying pioneer life can come and experience early rural life firsthand.

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Bayfield Writers Festival The Writers Festival is the youngest festival on the list at only six years old. The Bayfield Writers Festival is the result of one woman’s work, Mary Wolfe, proprietor of the Village Bookshop in Bayfield. A one-day event held annually around Canada Day is a celebration of Canadian writing and writers. Festival events include: author readings, discussion groups, and book signings.

6.1 Festivals and Events Actions

i. Recognize the valuable contribution these four festivals make to the quality of place in Huron County and their role in the preservation and celebration of our unique way of life. This recognition comes with a commitment to provide available assistance and support to ensure their continued success.

ii. Utilize current community festivals and events to showcase local artists,

musicians, and performers by encouraging Festival and Event organizing committees to include local talent as an integral part of their programming.

7.0 HERITAGE The main attractions that make Huron County such a desirable place to live and visit are the many quality built and natural heritage assets that can be found here. The ability to live and interact with these historic reminders on a daily basis develops our understanding and appreciation of where we came from and informs our present way of life. These natural and built elements combine to form an authentic and unique sense of place that can only be found in Huron County. Downtown cores and residential streets still retain the original charm and character of yesteryear providing textbook examples of fine 19th Century craftsmanship and ingenuity. The agricultural vistas enjoyed along County roads and highways are testament to a past that has continued to be an important way of life in Huron County. Working to preserve and protect these heritage treasures is a collection of active and committed historical societies and heritage committees. Made up of County residents who recognize the value and importance of safeguarding local history for future generations they work at the grassroots level on the identification, documentation and preservation of heritage buildings, structures and landscapes. The Huron County Historical Society, Huron Branch of the Genealogical Society, Heritage Goderich, Bayfield Historical Society and several other heritage organizations provide valuable advocacy, research, and support systems for local heritage endeavours.

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The Huron County Museum provides leadership and guidance to the County’s heritage community. A County-run resource, the museum is responsible for the housing, preservation and exhibition of a vast collection of historic artefacts that represent the history of all County residents. The museum operates a superior public facility in Goderich, as well as managing the operations of three satellite museums that includes the Huron Historic Gaol, the only National Historic Site in the County. Despite its many successes the museum is currently operating at maximum capacity and is challenged to initiate or develop new programming with the current level of allocated resources. Smaller museums and historic sites are working to preserve the regionally specific heritage of communities found within the County. The School Car on Wheels in Clinton and The Van Egmond House in Egmondville are just two examples of the kind of work being done by concerned local citizens in those communities. However, small operating budgets and a heavy reliance on volunteer boards can make them especially vulnerable to sudden downward shifts. Minor changes in funding or personnel can result in instability and play havoc with their operations. The North Huron Museum, for example, is currently experiencing this very type of instability after losing its curator and now faces an uncertain future. Huron County is blessed with a rich natural heritage, its natural assets and landscapes include: the Lake Huron shoreline, tracts of mixed forest, rivers and streams, marshes and wetlands. These natural heritage resources complement and emphasize the built heritage found in the county by providing a context and stage for the County’s history. Working to preserve this natural heritage for future generations is essential to maintaining our quality of life. Any discussions around the protection and preservation of our heritage must include mention of the important work being done by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority, Maitland Valley Conservation Authority, Friends of Hullett and many other local environmental groups.

Summary of key Heritage issues:

- Huron County Museum operating at full capacity with current resources

- Small heritage organizations and collections vulnerable to funding and personnel shifts

- Local heritage organizations need more tools to carry out their work - Increased advocacy for the preservation and protection of built and

natural heritage

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7.1 Heritage Actions

i. Support the leadership role of Huron County Museum. Provide the needed additional resources and supports to the County Museum, enabling it to fulfill its mandated goal of: “Recognizing the position that the Huron County Museum holds in the heritage community in the County, the museum will exercise a leadership role in the area of heritage conservation, promotion, interpretation and public education. This role will include assisting other heritage organizations in the County in areas where the Museum staff possess expertise that is not present in these organizations.”

ii. Have Huron County Museum staff act as advisors to other local historical

institutions and organizations. Use the expertise and experience found in the Huron County Museum staff to mentor and provide advice to boards and staff at other important heritage resources.

iii. Find comparables and best practices from organizations and municipalities

outside Huron County that may be applicable and effective in dealing with some of the issues faced by The Huron County Museum and the County’s heritage sector.

iv. Explore the feasibility of having the Huron County Museum act as an umbrella

organization for the administrative functions of some of the smaller heritage assets and museums in the County.

v. Raise awareness and visibility of Huron County Museum throughout the County.

Off-site displays focussing on the area’s specific local history featuring display materials from the museum’s collection could be displayed in cases located in the Huron County Library branches.

vi. Take measures to assure the continued operation and existence of The North

Huron Museum. This asset is currently vulnerable and measures should be taken to guarantee its continued existence and ensure its long-term sustainability.

vii. Recognize the valuable contributions made by the County’s historical societies,

heritage committees and genealogical society. The committed and dedicated individuals that make up these groups in Huron County work tirelessly to identify and preserve significant historic resources in their communities. Their knowledge and familiarity with their community’s history makes them a respected source of guidance and expertise in managing the County’s assets.

viii. Present workshops and lectures for interested citizens on preserving and restoring

heritage properties and privately held heritage collections that includes information on accessing grant programs for this type of private restoration work

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ix. Sponsor a children’s essay writing contest. Target specific age groups and solicit entries each year on a topic of local historical interest. Winners would receive a nominal cash prize and winning entries could be published in the Huron County Historical Society’s Historical Notes publication and local newspapers. A simple contest of this type encourages children’s research skills and engages them in their community’s heritage.

x. Put local history on the school curriculum. Local heritage organizations need to

work collectively with school boards on creating classroom segments that focus on the local history of Huron County. Classroom study should be accompanied by a site visit to one of the County’s heritage assets – Huron Historic Gaol, Huron County Museum, School Car on Wheels, Van Egmond House, etc.

xi. Promote participation in the Historica Foundation’s Fair Program. Similar to

science fairs the program holds regional, provincial and national fairs to showcase history projects created by students from grades 4 to 9.

xii. Continue hosting annual Doors Open events. This popular provincial program put

together by Ontario Heritage Trust provides opportunity to showcase the County’s diverse range of heritage sites to local and visiting audiences.

xiii. Publish self-guided historic tours. Plot historic sites of interest throughout Huron

County and develop self-guided driving and walking routes that guide participants to explore and learn about the County’s heritage.

xiv. Increase exposure of the images from Reuben R. Sallows Gallery collection. The

images contained in the collection offer a visual record of the agricultural, built and natural history of the area and therefore are of great interest and value to local historical publications and websites. Images in this collection should be made accessible with clear protocols regarding usage and reproduction rights.

xv. Present workshops and lectures to teach restoration and preservation techniques.

Sessions that provide instruction on all aspects of collecting, handling, storing and cataloguing of historical materials that can be offered or presented locally to smaller heritage organizations, historical society and heritage committee members.

xvi. Continue financial support for the Huron Heritage Fund in its role as a granting

program that encourages and supports the preservation of heritage assets and activities.

xvii. .Foster closer working relationships between heritage organizations, conservation

authorities and environmental action groups. Strengthen the relationships between these types of organizations by recognizing the common objectives and goals they share in preserving the quality of life in Huron County through the preservation of our built and natural heritage.

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Establish community arts collective in Huron County Heritage and Culture Partnership

Create a staff position in the County’s Cultural Services Department to support arts and culture activities

County of Huron

Ensure adequate funding and support for the County’s cornerstone Arts, Culture and Heritage Organizations

County of Huron and Cultural Community

Develop performance opportunities for local musicians and audiences Heritage and Culture Partnership and Community at large

Recognize the valuable contribution that key festivals make to the quality of place in Huron County

Huron Tourism Association, Heritage and Culture partnership and County of Huron

Develop and promote events and programs that take place in the ‘shoulder’ season Cultural Community, Heritage and Culture Partnership and Huron Tourism Association

Undertake cultural mapping for the County Heritage and Culture Partnership And County of Huron

Create a central website for arts, culture and heritage in Huron County with an online events calendar

Heritage and Culture Partnership and County of Huron

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Create a job board for volunteer positions with cultural organizations Heritage and Culture Partnership, Cultural Community and County of Huron

Prepare inventory of current and potential physical resources to house cultural activities Heritage and Culture Partnership and community

Support the heritage leadership role of the Huron County Museum by providing necessary additional resources

County of Huron

Recognize the importance of an early introduction to arts experiences for children Cultural Community, Educators and Children’s Service Providers

Organize strategic planning sessions for County’s cultural organizations Heritage and Culture Partnership and Huron Business Development Corporation

Encourage the inclusion of cultural and ethnic diversity in all aspects of cultural programming

Cultural Community and Heritage and Culture Partnership

Assist the County’s secondary schools to use available cultural resources for youth Heritage and Culture Partnership, Board of Education and Youth Service Providers

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HCCP EXHIBIT 5 Heritage and Cultural Partnership

c/o Huron County Library Services 77722B London Road – Hwy. 4

Clinton, ON N0M 1L0 Contact: Rick Sickinger

519-482-5457 ext.2730 or [email protected] OPTIONAL SURVEY In an effort to better understand the needs of the Heritage and Cultural communities of Huron County we ask that you please take the time to answer the following survey questions. None of the information contained in this optional survey will appear as part of the Cultural Directory.

1. Are you a member of Heritage and Culture Partnership? Yes No

2. What support role/s or services would you like to see Heritage and Culture Partnership play a part in?

Advocacy Marketing/Promotion

Develop Cultural Programming Local Recognition (awards)

Online Event Calendar Assistance w/Funding applications

3. Do you think there is a need for a regional Arts Council in Huron County?

Yes No

4. What additional types of cultural programming would you like to see in Huron County? (pick up to 5) Alternative/Fringe Theatre Children’s Theatre Touring Theatre Productions Opera Classical Music Concerts Popular Music Concerts

Country Music Concerts Blues Music Concerts Folk Music Concerts

Choral Music Concerts Jazz Music Concerts Dance Performances Ballet Productions Modern Dance Traditional Dance Exhibitions

Dance Competitions Studio Tour Outdoor Art Exhibits

Arts & Craft Shows Visual Arts Exhibits Visual Art Lessons

Cultural Lectures Culinary Events Multi-Cultural Events

First Nations Exhibitions Historical Re-enactments Historical Tours

Restoration Workshops Regional History Lectures Regional History Displays

Film Series Photography Exhibits Author Readings

Book Festival Poetry Readings Spoken-Word Events

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Agricultural Events Natural History Tours Natural History Lectures

Others: 5. Do you see a need for the establishment of a multi-discipline Cultural Centre in Huron County? Yes No With facilities for: Music/Theatre performance Visual Arts Studio Gallery Dance/Yoga Studio Rehearsal Space Meeting Room Other: 6. Please list three obstacles you or your organization struggles with in reaching your goals. 7. Other then increased funding, what options might offer solutions to the above obstacles?

Networking Opportunities Collaboration with Others Access to Equipment Access to Materials/Supplies Website Development Access to Appropriate Venues Volunteer Recruitment Access to Funding Opportunities

Professional Skills Development Legal Assistance (contracts, copyright, etc.) Increased Media Coverage Access to Retail/Sales Opportunities More Time to Create Increased Public Awareness Other: 8. Additional comments:

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HCCP Exhibit 6

Interview List of Key Cultural and Heritage Stakeholders

Interviews took place from July to September 2007 and were conducted by Rick Sickinger,

Community Resources Officer

The Village Bookshop Huron County Museum Reuben R. Sallows Gallery North Huron Museum School On Wheels Bayfield Historical Society and Archives Room Van Egmond House Iceculture Inc. Huron County Historical Society Heritage Goderich Blyth Festival Gairbraid Theatre Company Wingham Town Hall Heritage Theatre Worth Their Salt Director of Cultural Services – Huron County Huron County Library Ernie King Music – Goderich and Wingham Goderich Co-op Gallery Elizabeth’s Art Gallery Goderich Little Theatre Earth, Air, Fire and Water - Celtic Roots Festival

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• Special events and attractions continue to build, sustain and enhance our tourism product Attendance at Sample Special Events: Event 2006 2005 2004 Mopar performance Parts Canadian Nationals (Grand Bend Motorplex) -over 3 day period - Some maybe repeats




Zurich Bean Festival 25,000 25,000 20 – 25,000 Walton Transcan National Motocross (950 entries) 25,000 25,000 25,000 Walton Double Header Motocross (1120 riders) 3,500 Goderich Festival of Arts & Crafts (160 Exhibitors) 12,000 12,000 15,000 Huron Pioneer Threshers And Hobby Show (1260 campers) 13,500 11,500 14,000 Earth, Air, Fire & Water - Celtic Roots Festival 10,200 11,200 11,500 Thunder by the Beach, Grand Bend Motorplex (rained out) 4,000 8,300 10,000 Belmore Maple Syrup Festival 6,250 6,300 5,800 Hensall Community Wide Yard Sale 5,000 5,000 5,000 Exeter Rodeo 5,500 5,500 5,000 Kinsmen’s Summerfest, Goderich 4,000 4,000 4 - 4,500 Wingham Muskrat Festival 670 Clinton Pluckinfest 3,000 3,500 3,500 Dungannon Truck and Trailer Pull 3,000 3,000 3,000 Collectible, Craft and Keepsake Show and Sale 3,000 2,500 3,500 Bayfield Antiques Show and Sale 1,800 2,000 2,300 BIA Moonlight Madness, Seaforth 600 2,000 2,000 Seaforth Community Yard Sale & Sidewalk Sale 1,000 1,500 1,500 All T-Birds Get Together, Bayfield - 72 car registered 2,000 1,500 2,000 Campout Jamboree Show, Blyth 1,500 1500 1,500 Goderich IODE Christmas House Tour 900 1100 1,050 Goderich Art Club Ann. Exhibition 640 950 825Bluewater Kennel Club–All Breeds Show/Obedience Trials 550 800 - 900 800 - 900 Bayfield Collector Exhibition 800 800 1,000 Celebrating our Marine Heritage n/a n/a 800 Ontario Open Singing Contest, Wingham n/a n/a 720 Ciderfest, Egmondville 850 800 650 Children’s Festival, Goderich 850 800 + 1,000 Fall Colour Tour , Wawanosh Nature Centre 400 650 650 Hensall by Design 500 500 600 - 700 Celtic College, Goderich 300 422 398 Country Breakfast Egmondville 500 400 500 Classic Car, Motorcycle Show (75 entries) , Benmiller 506 383 480 Huron Farm Hiker Tour 350 360 400 Spring Breakfast, Egmondville 375 350 360 Huron Tract Spinners & Weavers Annual Sale & Exhibition, Goderich 250 200 - 250 225 Fiddling at The Falls Jamboree (72 fiddlers) , Benmiller 226 229 290 Bannockburn Fall Hike 280 225 250 ‘Y2K Rug Bugs’ Demonstration and Sale, Goderich n/a 200 225 Snowfest, Wawanosh Nature Centre cancelled 175 125 Canada’s Olde Tyme Fiddle Convention, Wingham 125 150 150 Goderich Triathlon – number of entrants 153 121 135 Stone House Tour, Clinton Area n/a n/a 700 Sneak a Peak at Spring, Naftels Creek near Goderich n/a 75 50 Lucknow Strawberry Summerfest 6,500 5,000 – 7,500 VJ Day – Goderich Airport n/a 4,500 - 5,000 Bayfield Doors Open - 400 - 450 Goderich/Blyth Doors Open - 3,535 Seaforth Doors Open - 3,500 Brussels Doors Open - 1,500 Brussels, Goderich, Seaforth & Zurich Doors Open 1,660 Blyth, East Wawanosh and Wingham Doors Open North Huron 350

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Harvest Festival, Goderich n/a 2.000 Seaforth Ag. Society Tractor Elimination Draw 2,400 2,400 Lucknow Craft Festival 1,100 1,200 Blyth Festival Theatre Book Sale 400 900 Wingham and Area Trade Show n/a 670 Quilt Show, Goderich n/a 600 South Huron Trade and Info. Expo 455 400 Family Fishing Derby, Benmiller 90 171 A taste of Huron in Black and White, South Huron 120 165 3 x 3 Miniature Masterpieces, Blyth n/a 100 Lucknow Summer Blooms Garden Tour cancelled 55 Zurich 150th Homecoming Weekend 1,000 Grey Township 150th Anniversary 4.000 Community Thanksgiving Celebration, Exeter 500 350 Annual Olde Tyme Fiddlers Jamboree, Lucknow 425 Seaforth Truck and Tractor Pull 1,000 Fun X3, Bayfield 120 Bluesfest, Goderich 1,500 Campvention, Blyth 2000 Home for the Holidays, Bayfield 335 TOTALS (average overall )




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Huron County Cultural Plan

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HCCP EXHIBIT 9Please list three obstacles you or your oranization struggles with

in reaching your goals. *














Board planning

Networking opportunities

Community calendar


Distance / transportation

Professional development


Time Management

Lack of public/gov't support


Marketing and promotion

Public awareness


* Results excerpted from Heritage and Culture Partnership "Cultural Directory Listing Survey" September 2007

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HCCP Exhibit 10Other than increased funding,

what options might offer some solutions to the above obstacles? *
















Access to materials/supplies

Access to equipment

More time to create

Business development seminars

Volunteer recruitment

Professional skill development

Legal assistance (contacts, copyright, etc.)

Access to appropriate venues

Access to retail/sales opportunities

Networking opportunities

Website development

Collaboration with others

Increased media coverage

Access to funding opportunities

Increased public awareness

* Results excerpted from Heritage and Culture Partnership "Cultural Directory Listing Survey", September 2007

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HCCP Exhibit 11 What support role(s) or services would you like to see

Heritage and Culture Partnership play a part in? *







Developing cultural programming

Local recognition awards

Assistance with funding applications


On-line events calendar

Marketing / Promotion

* Results excerpted from Heritage and Culture Partnership "Cultural Directory Listing Survey", September 2007

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HCCP Exhibit 12What additional types of cultural programming

would you like to see in Huron County? *















Blues music concerts

Folk Music concerts

Culinary events

Cultural lectures

Historical re-enactments

Historical tours

Visual arts exhibits

Visual arts lessons

First Nations events

Photography exhibits

Classical music concerts

Author readings

Studio tour

Multi-cultural events

* Results excerpted from Heritage and Culture Partnership "Cultural Directory Listing Survey" September 2007

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Huron County Cultural Plan

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HCCP Exhibit 13Do you think there is a need for a

Regional Arts Council in Huron County? *





* Results excerpted from Heritage and Culture Partnership "Cultural Directory Listing Survey" September 2007

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HCCP Exhibit #14 NOTES



The following notes were taken by Rick Sickinger based on comments and reactions made by participants to a power point presentation covering the basics of Huron County Cultural Plan. December 6, 2007 – Health and Library Complex, Clinton

- Third party or neutral party needed to bring different elements together and take lead role in many of the plans Actions

- Cultural community has to be in it for the collective good and not for individual gain

- National History fair – see how we can get local students involved with that - Highlight practical tangible projects – awards, newsletter, essay contest, etc. that

have an impact and create visibility for arts and heritage in the County - Need for advocates for culture, key political and community leaders to carry

forward message – if they are talking about culture so is the media and public December 10, 2007 – Huron County Museum, Goderich

- Volunteer recruitment and awareness of volunteer opportunities for residents not fully addressed

- Look for comparables for effective solutions to museum difficulties, how are others effectively managing similar issues

- Huron County Museum can not accommodate any more public expectations with current level resources and funding

- Frustration and anger of cultural workers leads to a reluctance to retry ideas or partner with external organizations to find solutions

December 12, 2007 – Goderich Library, Goderich

- Deal with art consumers in the plan and not just producers, plan should address audiences as well

- Technology expertise needed for small heritage organizations to catalogue their collections and set up databases that can be shared

- Needs of private heritage collections has to be addressed, what programs and assistance for these types of assets

- Copyright law issues, although identified as a large concern was not included in the plan Actions

- Reluctance of individual communities to forward their archives/collections to centralized organization like museum, favour keeping resources within the local community