$55,000 for cultural planning in Minto

Ontario is supporting the Town of Minto with a $55,000 grant  from the Ministry of Tourism and Cul­ture under its Creative Com­mu­nities Prosperity Fund, Perth-Wellington MPP John Wilkinson announced April 23.

He said the money encourages communities to undertake municipal cultural planning and to develop culture as a key part of their economic and com­munity development strat­egies.

“I am delighted that the Town of Minto has been recognized,” said Wilkinson, who added, “Engaging municipalities to further economic and cultural development planning helps to ensure a stronger, more vibrant rural community – one in which creative individuals and businesses will choose to live and work.”

The fund will support municipalities and innovative organizations that increase local capacity for cultural planning and community economic development.

Minto Mayor David Ander­son, said, “The Town of Minto is committed to diversifying our economy, and through the creation of our municipal cultural plan, our goal is to better position our community to attract creative individuals and industries.”

Wilkinson said “There’s a new movement afoot stressing the importance of communities coming together to plan around culture.”

He said the province runs the program through the Min­istry of Tourism and Culture.

Minto applied for to assist with such things as economic development.

But part of the grant includes a creative community.

“There are so many hidden gems within our community, but the people who are part of that don’t know each other. “It’s amazing that if you get them all in the same room, you can get some great ideas. “The Canadian Redneck Games is a good example of that,” Wilkin­son said.

Wesley Bates, of the Minto Arts Council, said, “I moved here 11 years ago as a cultural and economic immigrant. A lot of things have changed in those 11 years.”

Part of the work is an understanding of the community and its diverse and talented residents. There have also been great strides in the understanding of the place of rural communities in Ontario’s future.

Bates said “creative eco­no­mies and creative communities in themselves are not new. It’s the self-awareness that is. Self awareness is key. Who and what we are in today’s world is an important question to be asking.

“Council and staff are to be commended in asking those questions, and developing the answers we need to develop the town’s future.”

He explained with the funding the Town of Minto is about to begin a cultural mapping to build a knowledge base of its creative and cultural assets.

“Cultural mapping is an exciting endeavour and will be a valuable tool with which to plan our future.”