Minto ponders north Wellington partnership on updating of local cultural plans

MINTO – Officials here will approach other north Wellington municipalities about the possibility of working collectively to update their cultural plans.

At the Jan. 5 meeting, economic development manager Belinda Wick-Graham told Minto council it has been 10 years since the municipality’s first cultural plan was developed.

In a report at a recent meeting of the Town of Minto Cultural Roundtable, Wick-Graham explained, the committee decided to investigate the opportunity more and see if it will be a fit for the committee’s 2021 plans and budget.

“We’re looking at an opportunity to partner with Wellington North and possibly Mapleton in updating our plans and looking for come cost savings there,” Wick-Graham noted.

People of Colour committee

The Minto Cultural Roundtable is looking at reviving plans for a “People of Colour Committee” to look at ways to support marginalized voices in the community.

Council originally authorized a motion to create a subcommittee of the Town of Minto Cultural Roundtable in June after receiving correspondence from local resident Andrew Gowan.

“It kind of got, not off the rails, but pushed off last year and we’re going to look this year at bringing something forward again and moving that forward because it’s so important,” said Wick-Graham at the Jan. 5 council meeting.

She explained some training and education around the topic in 2021 for the Cultural Roundtable is under consideration.

Business retention and expansion

Minto businesses were major contributors to Wellington County’s recently completed businesses retention and expansion survey.

Of 425 surveys completed from businesses across the county, 114 came from Minto – “twice as many as anywhere else” – Mayor George Bridge said at the Jan. 5 meeting.

Deputy mayor Dave Turton told Wick-Graham he has learned from “being downtown and talking to different people,” that local businesses appreciate the efforts made to gather their input.

“I just want to make sure you get thanks from this council for all of that work you’re doing reaching out to all of our business people in our community,” said Turton.

“I know that they appreciate that, so thank you.”

Wick-Graham said, “Business retention and expansion has always been a priority for us, and even more so in 2020 it was a focus, and it will continue to be a focus in 2021.”

She said local economic development staff, in partnership with the Minto Chamber of Commerce, will continue “making sure our business community is aware of all the programs that are available right now and wracking our brains trying to figure out what to do next to support them going forward.”