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Deputy Mayor Doug Elmslie and roundtable discussions.
Deputy Mayor Doug Elmslie.

Council approves working group to research cultural centre for Kawartha Lakes  

in The Arts by

At the March 19 Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting, Council heard from Dianne Lister and Susan Taylor, representatives from the Kawartha Lakes Arts Council (KLAC) and the Cultural Centre Committee, who recommended that Council strike a working group to examine the possibility of a cultural centre for the municipality.


The Kawartha Lakes Arts Council’s mission is to “help our community discover, appreciate, and enjoy the work of those who create and express our culture through the arts.”

The purpose of a cultural centre would be to introduce an industry-standard  space or spaces that address the needs of our cultural organizations and that provide physical and programming opportunities beyond what is now available for this important sector. It is intended to complement and not replace our existing museums and arts facilities located throughout Kawartha Lakes.

During the March 26 Council meeting, Deputy Mayor Elmslie brought forward a resolution that staff work with the Cultural Centre Committee to establish a working group to prepare an RFP for a cultural centre using a qualified consultant. The resolution was passed and Councillor Seymour-Fagan and Councillor Richardson were added to the Committee.

In addition to establishing a working group, Council also approved $100,000 in funding for the development of a cultural centre feasibility study to be included as a decision unit in the 2020 municipal budget.

“The Cultural Centre Committee is grateful to the Mayor, Council and staff for their support in creating this opportunity for our cultural sector and municipal government to strategically work together to map a cultural plan unique to the collective needs of our community.” stated Susan Taylor, Chair of the Cultural Centre Committee.

“The municipality’s investment in the cultural sector will work to provide increased tourism revenue for our community as we are talking about investment in a sector that in 2014, had a direct economic impact of $27.7 billion dollars and contributed to over 300,000 jobs in Ontario.”

Staff have until the end of 2019 to complete a new Cultural Master Plan, which includes engagement with community stakeholders on their needs and aspirations for a cultural centre and the overall future vision for Kawartha Lakes’ cultural sector growth.

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4 Comments

  1. How many people asked for this when the election was on? Probably nobody. I can barely drive down my road for potholes and this is where you spend my money. Our silly politicians need a reality check.

  2. got something to say:
    It is time for The Kawartha Lakes Taxpayer association to be born. Coburg has one, and it is good.
    Are taxpayers all just going to watch as the bureaucrats at the City Kawartha Lakes overspend again and again after raising taxes like they are the FAT CATS of Lindsay?
    Nepotism is a practice in this fair city and needs to be exposed and stopped in its tracks. Moreover, investigated
    Over- hiring of employees, excessive and unneeded overtime hrs, extended hrs of work over 40 hrs when not required is a significant cost center for our municipality. This behaviour is costing all taxpayers in Kawartha Lakes dearly and must stop. Think about the employee benefits that are paid by taxpayer dollars on behalf of hired employees of this city. Sunshine list, please.
    Taxpayers are reporting that town employees are alleged to be indulging in reckless behaviour while in control of Town equipment, i.e., Texting while operating town 1-ton trucks, reckless behaviour while in control of town equipment.
    Questionable behaviour by town employees for example: throwing cigarette buts on the ground in front of the TD Bank when busses are two deep parked. The bus that parks on Angeline North where the driver parks and gets out to smoke and when finish smoking throws but on the ground gets back in the town bus and drives the bus back in the direction it came from 20 min. later no matter what time in AM it is
    Smoking on the job should not be on the Taxpayers dime, Employees should stop smoking but if they must smoke, smoke on the lunch break and before and after work, please.
    Come on Mayor, get this ship running on its own steam and not on the whim of raising the Taxdollar for projects that do not add value or improve quality of life in Kawartha Lakes.
    Does Kawartha Lakes have a Municipal bond program?

    Dick Burns

  3. Yes…..a cultural centre. A $100k study to demographically show that we are nowhere near an artsy background population. In case you haven’t heard…a proposed 28 percent tax hike over the next 10 years…any bets it will be more? Council here needs to be performance based and hard capped. When over spending exists…immediate salary cuts to administration for complete failure. Time for responsible government. I would rather pay the mayor a million bucks if he saves two mill in spending….catch my drift. Fat Cats stated earlier is correct

  4. With respect before investing in a new cultural centre how about investing in the municipal archive/record centre you already have. Hire an archivist again and open the doors to regular public, advertised hours for research again. Yes fellow citizens CKL has an archive and record centre – in a repurposed municipal facility on Mary Street and a very fine remodeling project it was.

    Yes – if people want to access city archival records, as is their right in most instances, requests can be submitted. And a freedom of information request and a fee is not required for many types of archival records. But do many citizens know this? Does anyone know where to send such a request? Does anyone know what type of records the building holds? Is anyone monitoring the preservation status of these records? Here is the website if you don’t know: https://www.kawarthalakes.ca/en/municipal-services/archives-and-records.aspx

    Archives are not just repositories for dusty old files the City no longer needs for daily operations of departments. Archives are the memory of a community and play important role in free dissemination of information to City staff, general public, lawyers, academics, students, city planners, genealogists, writers, historians, and more demographics. Archive records help keep governments accountable and explain past policy decisions. They are central to a communities culture and heritage as much as the museums and art galleries. And under the Municipal Act municipal governments have a legal obligation to maintain and preserve their records of enduring value in a safe, secure, manner. But simply warehousing them in a building t few citizens know exists is not good enough. Yes Central library in Lindsay has some records of frequent interest to genealogists but the Mary street facility has so much more of value and interest to researchers of all types.

    This is Archives Awareness Week (April 1-7, 2019) in Ontario so lets make the people of Kawartha Lakes aware of the rich information resource held in trust for them and open the doors publicly again, with a trained professional archivist on staff. A records manager from Clerks department is not an archivist, although in many municipal governments they complement each others role. Different skill sets and degrees completely and different roles to play in information management.

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