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Workshop Explores New Economic Driver

Thursday, April 3 - On Monday, April 7, Thunder Bay and area, like municipalities across Ontario, will discover how cultural resources such as museums, galleries, libraries, festivals and events, can help drive economic activity. A workshop, which will take place from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm at Fort William Historical Park, will help participants identify local opportunities to use cultural resources for economic development and community improvement.

Thunder Bay and communities along the North Shore each have unique characteristics that make them what they are, said Bill Poole, Chair - Municipal Cultural Planning Partnership. Municipal Cultural Planning is about using these characteristics for the purposes of economic development, such as cultural tourism and quality of life like downtown revitalisation. Thunder Bay is already working to identify these cultural resources; the next step will be to figure out how all of these assets fit together. This workshop will give participants the opportunity to discuss this process with experts and peers.

The Workshop will focus on the key ideas and tools of municipal cultural planning. This innovative type of planning promotes culture-led economic development and requires collaboration across municipal departments, community organizations and local businesses.  Much of the workshop will revolve around discussion and peer-learning, including a presentation of a case study from Prince Edward County, a rural community that shifted from a manufacturing and resource-based economy to a cultural economy.  

This is a real opportunity for a broad cross-section of people to come together and learn from each other, said Leah Bayly, Supervisor of Cultural Services-City of Thunder Bay. There are a lot of interesting projects on the go in our area. By collaborating, we can see these projects as part of a larger vision for our communities and region.

The fee to participate is $25 and includes refreshments and lunch. To register, please call the Registration Hotline at (807) 625-8463. If registering by phone you will require Visa or Mastercard. To pay with cash, cheque or debit, visit the Community Services Department in the Victoriaville Civic Centre, 111 Syndicate Avenue South. Please reference Course Code: 163386

The Thunder Bay Municipal Cultural Planning Workshop, along with workshops in Dryden and Atikokan, is being sponsored by the Municipal Cultural Planning Partnership which works to support municipalities in integrating culture into all aspects of municipal planning. Significant support from the Ministry of Culture and the Ontario Trillium Foundation has also made the North Western Ontario workshops possible.

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Contact: Leah Bayly, Supervisor of Cultural Services - City of Thunder Bay, 625-2416,