Kawartha Lakes - Economic Development
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Arts, Culture and Heritage

The City of Kawartha Lakes is home to an amazingly vibrant arts, culture and heritage sector. Our natural and distinctive cultural heritage assets are central to the quality of place that attracts people and investment to our communities. An impressive number of heritage buildings, historic sites, museums, theatres and galleries can be found throughout our towns and villages, and Kawartha Lakes is home to many talented artists, musicians and performers.

Economic Development recognizes that creativity and culture are important drivers in growing and diversifying the local economy. By investing our cultural assets and nurturing our artists and creative entrepreneurs, the creative economy can flourish as new ideas, new businesses and tourism experiences are developed.

Two major studies were recently commissioned to assess existing assets and provide direction strengthen and promote the arts, culture and heritage sector. The Cultural Master Plan provides a comprehensive inventory of our current cultural assets and provides an action plan that will enable the growth and flourishing of the cultural sector. The Heritage Master Plan identifies the many heritage resources that comprise our rich physical heritage, describes the municipality's role in heritage management, and provides recommendations in the form of a detailed five year implementation plan.

One of the responsibilities of the City's Culture and Heritage Task Force was to seek advice from other Ontario municipalities with strong local creative economies and successful cultural tourism outcomes. Three municipalities were selected on the basis of their similarity to Kawartha Lakes in terms of population and population densities, overall budgets, being a single tier government, comparable rural environments and having undergone amalgamation. Staff representatives from Sudbury, Chatham- Kent and Norfolk County made presentations on departmental structures, staffing, cultural facilities support and dedicated cultural development budgets.

You can now access a video from the meeting on YouTube under the following titles:

Culture and Heritage Task Force Final Report as presented to Council on June 28, 2016.

The Kawartha Lakes Arts Council

The establishment of an umbrella arts organization is a key recommendation of the Cultural Master Plan to strengthen and more effectively coordinate initiatives and events in the arts and cultural sector, access grants and funding, and provide a collective voice for the sector. The Kawartha Lakes Arts Council has been established as an incorporated not-for-profit organization with the following objectives.

.       The Kawartha Lakes Arts Council is dedicated to serving arts and culture of all disciplines to cultivate a vibrant arts and cultural sector and enrich the community at large. It has been established for the purposes of:

.       Encouraging, promoting, supporting and advocating for artists and the arts in all of its forms;

.       Providing a unifying voice that promotes and speaks on behalf of the arts and cultural sector;

.       Facilitating collaboration and partnerships that will enable the sharing of knowledge, skills and resources and foster innovation;

.       Supporting the professional development of local artists through workshops, forums and other educational and training activities and events;

         .        Encouraging and fostering investment and support of the art

Arts Council members include local artists from all artistic disciplines, arts organizations, arts-related businesses and those who offer support and assistance to the Kawartha Lakes arts sector.

The Kawartha Lakes Culture and Heritage Network

The Kawartha Lakes Culture and Heritage Network is an incorporated non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of our local heritage and culture through education, promotion and partnerships. It is a collaborative network that enables the sharing of knowledge, skills and best practices, and supports members in the conservation, preservation and showcasing of our local heritage.

Network members include local museums, historical societies, heritage sites and attractions and archives from throughout the City of Kawartha Lakes.

The objectives of the Heritage Network are:

1.  To provide a unified voice that will promote and speak on behalf of the heritage and museum sector;

2.  To encourage innovation through collaboration and coordination;

3.  To share knowledge, skills and resources, and support our members in the conservation, preservation and showcasing of our local heritage;

4.  To jointly plan, promote and market culture and heritage tourism events; 

5.  To encourage interest and participation in the cultural heritage sector by people of all ages including youth, First Nations and those from diverse cultural backgrounds;

6.  To raise awareness and improve understanding of the history and culture of Kawartha Lakes by hosting and supporting projects, events, exhibitions, performances and other educational activities.

If you would like to become a Board member, please forward a short bio or CV to Debra Soule.

For more information, please contact:
Debra Soule

Arts, Culture and Heritage Development Officer, Economic Development

180 Kent St. W, Lindsay, OntarioK9V 2Y6
Phone 705-324-9411
Toll Free 1-866-397-6673

Link to City of Kawartha LakesLink to City of Kawartha Lakes Tourismlink to KLSBEC.ca