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Ontario: Entering the Creative Age

I was interested to read THIS article, from the Hamilton Spectator, about a recent symposium on culture and city-building.

Like many cities worldwide, Hamilton – a steel town outside of Toronto – is hoping to reinvent itself through creativity and culture.

Hamilton – Steeltown. Image: emeraldinsight.com

The symposium was organized by the Imperial Cotton Centre for the Arts, a not-for-profit creative industries advocacy group. A city report totals the city’s cultural resources as the starting point for a long-range “cultural master plan” that would establish cultural communities and revitalize downtown Hamilton.

The article also mentions that Hamilton is being profiled in the report, Ontario in a Creative Age: “Our goal must be to harness and use our full creative talents, to grow the businesses and industries of the future, to use our openness, tolerance, and diversity to gain economic advantage, and to invest in the infrastructure of the future in ways that enable more innovation and economic growth. Ontario can and must take a high-road strategy for economic prosperity in which all Ontarians can participate. We owe it to ourselves and future generations to build a vibrant economy for the creative age.”

The Art Gallery of Hamilton, designed by KPMG Architects. Image: kpmb.com

So, now that we’re officially in The Creative Age, here’s a look at what Hamilton is doing in order to “recognize the value of culture to the community”:

•Understanding creative industries as an important and rapidly expanding source of economic growth, employment and wealth creation.
•Seeing cultural planning as an essential dimension of planning for sustainability alongside social, economic and environmental considerations.
•Seeing it define Hamilton’s national and global identity.
•Valuing culture as a source of community pride, and valuing artists and creators as essential sources of new ideas, innovations and technologies.
•Valuing creativity and culture as central to making the downtown a social, economic and cultural hub.

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