City of Kawartha Lakes

Since 2015, the City of Kawartha Lakes has been working with the Kawartha Lakes Arts Council and the Kawartha Lakes Culture and Heritage Network to assess the need for a culture centre(s) in Kawartha Lakes. In 2019, Council allocated $50,000 in matched funding from the two groups to undertake a feasibility study to test the viability of a cultural centre/hub, among other objectives. At Committee of the Whole on Tuesday June 7, staff and consultants Nordicity and Giaimo presented the findings from the study and their recommendations.

“The study resulted in a strong vision for a Cultural Centre, with many potential pathways for implementation,” commented Donna Goodwin, Economic Development Officer – Arts & Culture. “Ultimately, the Cultural Centre would be a transformational community asset that would support greater cohesiveness across the culture and heritage network in Kawartha Lakes and be a model for institutional development and sustainability for future generations.”

Building on the need for a municipal archive and collection facility, the Kawartha Lakes Cultural Centre would be a facility for cultural and heritage organizations and artists to share space and assets. In particular, the facility would address findings within the study to:

  • Celebrate Kawartha Lakes’ rich cultural and heritage assets and support greater public access to those assets
  • House and showcase cultural assets and content of its partners in a space that is fit-for-purpose for long-term care and management
  • Provide support to the broader cultural and creative sector that is seeking affordable and accessible space to create and practice
  • Meet a variety of the community’s cultural and heritage uses, including live performances, exhibitions, store historical assets and more

Across consultations, community members highlighted the following user groups or audiences to attract a future Culture Centre:

  • Artists and practitioners
  • Arts, cultural, creative and heritage organizations
  • Residents in the immediate and surrounding regions including seniors, newcomers to Kawartha Lakes, families and youth
  • Tourists and visitors
  • Indigenous people and the surrounding First Nations
  • Post-secondary institution researchers, programs and partners

A full recording of the presentation to Council is available in the Committee of the Whole Meeting June 7, 2022 on Kawartha Lakes YouTube.

The report is moving to Regular Council on June 21, 2022 for adoption. If approved by Council, staff will move into the second phase of the project which will focus on site exploration, selection and feasibility analysis.

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