A large private donation is allowing for a feasibility study on the likelihood of getting a culture centre for Kawartha Lakes.
Susan Taylor, chair of the cultural centre committee and president of the Kawartha Lakes Art Gallery, says there is “broad support” for having such a centre in the area.
“Several cultural organizations could be anchors,” she points out, and the cultural centre could “increase services for the community.”
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a new building and that’s something the feasibility study can determine, she says.
“For instance, a heritage building could be re-purposed for the community,” says Taylor.
A cultural centre has “great economic value” for the area, too, she says, noting that Quinte area has invested strongly in this direction in their region and it is doing very well.
“We don’t have to reinvent the wheel – there have been many successful examples.”
She credits the core services review initiated by Mayor Andy Letham that started this journey.
During the summer of 2015 the members of the Kawartha Lakes Cultural Centre Committee, which was a special project committee of the Kawartha Lakes Arts Council and the Heritage Network Council, had the opportunity to meet with City councillors and officials to discuss three future goals of the cultural centre committee:
- To promote the adoption of the cultural and heritage master plans through a municipal task force
- To ensure a permanent arts, culture and heritage development officer position in the economic development office.
- To explore the feasibility of a shared cultural centre
As of June 2016 the cultural centre committee’s first two goals were met.
“This could be a real community hub, not just for cultural events, for a number of different things,” says Taylor.