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February 25, 2016
No. 171

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Announcing the 2016 Creative City Summit Theme and Early Bird Registration!

The Future Lives Here: Bridging Cultures and Building Communities

2016 Early-Bird Summit Registration

Early Bird registration is now open!
Register by Friday, August 19th to be eligible for the early-bird rate!
Register today by downloading the 2016 Summit Registration form.

*Remember, in order to be eligible for the member rate, you must renew your CCNC membership for 2016.


If you haven't renewed your CCNC membership for 2016, there is still time!

All of our members should have received a membership renewal email from CCNC, with their membership invoice. If you haven't received it, please contact Anna Whelan, the Member Services Coordinator at, or call the office at 604-688-2489.

Our 2016 membership information is now on our website. If you have any questions about 2016 membership fees, membership benefits and opportunities, visit the membership page on our website.

Important Information...
We look forward to working with you in 2016!

2016 Summit Hotel Information


The official hotel for the 2016 Creative City Summit is the Sheraton Guildford.

The 2016 Creative City Summit group rate will available until September 16, 2016 and is subject to availability so book early!

To get your special Summit hotel rate, click here.

2016 Sponsorship Opportunities

The Creative City Network of Canada is reaching out to businesses, organizations and its members to show your support at the upcoming 2016 Creative City Summit, from October 17th to 19th in Surrey, BC.

The 2016 Creative City Summit is hosted by the City of Surrey. As host municipality, the City of Surrey provides time and expertise in organizing the Summit, and contributes financially.


If you are interested in becoming a Creative City Sponsor, please download the 2016 Sponsorship Package, or visit the sponsorship page on our website, or contact the office at

Announcing the CCNC Awards of Excellence


The Creative City Network of Canada is delighted to announce a new program for its voting members!

The Awards Program celebrates the outstanding achievements of Canadian municipalities, acknowledges visionary leadership, and encourages excellence in local cultural policy, planning, and practice.

The inaugural Awards Program presentation will be at the Creative City Summit October 17-19, 2015 in Surrey, BC.

For more information about the CCNC Awards Program, visit the Awards Program page on our website.

Click here to download the Call for Nominations.


Your donations are hard at work


Creative City Network of Canada is a charitable organization and grateful for the generous support of individual donors. If you would like to make a donation, online donations are accepted through Canada Helps. 

Your generous donations help CCNC to deliver our annual Summits, develop resources, and provide tools such as our member list serve. We continue to deliver programs and work with communities across Canada. 

Thank you!


NcreativecitynewsETWORK NEWS

The $125-billion question

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January 16, 2016, The Globe and Mail  - One of the most basic functions of government is to provide the roads, bridges and safe drinking water that the public needs. Numerous reports have warned in recent years that governments are falling behind in this area, creating a massive backlog of urgent projects. Provinces and municipalities have long been asking Ottawa to help cover these costs. These are projects that need to happen regardless of the state of the economy. During an economic downturn, spending more on infrastructure is widely viewed as a concrete move that governments can take to boost employment and get more money flowing into the economy. “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” said President Barack Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel in 2008 as the U.S. rallied the global community – including Canada – to spend billions on new infrastructure to support economic growth during the financial crisis. That oft-quoted line is also a tell. Politicians like Mr. Obama and Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau already have a bias in favour of activist government. Calls for stimulus can provide political justification for their preferred plans. Fiscal conservatives will warn of the long-term consequences of more debt when spending is financed through deficits.cta.jpg

Dominion-Chalmers seeks new path: Is a community centre for the arts in landmark church's future?

historic-dominion-chalmers-united-church-in-downtown-ottawaJanuary 29, 2016, Ottawa Citizen -People come to crossroads in their lives and so to do churches. For Dominion-Chalmers United Church that time is now. The neo-Byzantine sanctuary of the Great Lady of O’Connor Street is familiar to any person who has purchased a ticket for concerts by Chamberfest or Music and Beyond or the Jazz Festival. But now, with a congregation that numbers about 80 dedicated souls, average age of 77, and a financial future that looks uncertain, the church is looking for a new direction. “We have known that this was happening,” says David Hayman, who chairs the church’s long-term finance and operations committee. There has been a steady decline in United Church of Canada membership and in all mainstream churches since the 1960s. But, “about five years ago, a number of us could see that, with the combination of dwindling attendance, dwindling revenues and rising costs, there would come a point when we would have to make some tough decisions,” says Hayman. “We created a committee, called the mission strategy team, that came up with a number of conclusions, which we have been working through. These take in everything from amalgamation, to increasing our rentals, to being open to redeveloping our property. At that time, we discounted a major redevelopment and more or less concentrated on increasing room rentals. We retrofitted a number of rooms, added Wi-Fi and projector screens, and made it useful for business meetings. “We were getting a number of clients, including government departments, but over time some of the cash dried up.” And so the pressure to adapt has returned with a vengeance, Hayman says.

National Ballet of Canada marks 65th anniversary with diverse program


February 18, 2016, The National Post - Adaptations of a beloved children’s tale and a stage classic are among the newest productions from the National Ballet of Canada as the company celebrates its 65th anniversary. The 2016-17 season will feature the world premiere of Pinocchio by British choreographer Will Tuckett. The company will also stage the Canadian premiere of A Streetcar Named Desire choreographed by John Neumeier, inspired by Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play. The new season will also see the Canadian debut of Genus, inspired by Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species and choreographed by Wayne McGregor, to be showcased with the Jerome Robbins parody The Concert (Or, The Perils of Everybody). The company will partner with the Art Gallery of Ontario on The Dreamers Ever Leave You, by choreographic associate Robert Binet. The ballet will be performed within a gallery space at the AGO from August 31 to September 10. The company will then return to the classics with presentations of Swan Lake, Cinderella, Onegin and The Nutcracker. The National Ballet will also bring “The Winter’s Tale” to the Lincoln Center Festival in New York July 28-31, and “Onegin” to the National Arts Centre in Ottawa January 19-21, 2017.

Storytelling in spotlight at Regina festival


February 25, 2016, CBC News - There is a festival happening in Regina that celebrates the role of art and storytelling in strengthening and preserving indigenous history and culture. The 16th annual Sâkêwêwak Storytellers Festival is happening at the First Nations University of Canada. A key part of storytelling in any culture is music. A song can tell the ancient stories, and it can capture the contemporary struggles. Consider these lyrics. "He's a red man, singing the black man's blues, living in a white man's world." That is part of a song from Juno-Award winning Mohawk musician Murray Porter. Porter, along with his partner and manager Elaine Bomberry are taking part in the Sâkêwêwak Storytellers Festival, and were guests on CBC Radio's Morning Edition with host Sheila Coles. The pair will be talking about the history of indigenous music and the role it played in sacred ceremonies, often outlawed by the Canadian government. Porter said the songs and the ceremonies thrived underground. "It was part of our soul; it was part of our thing." But the two are also talking about the indigenous claim to a melancholic genre that many consider to be of black American folk origins. "In the early days of the slave trade, the slaves would escape and they would go to the Indian camps," said Porter. "Charlie Patton, Muddy Waters, all of these guys had native blood because of this cross cultural exchange." "We are reclaiming the blues. That's part of our own, that's what we've been doing for a number of years," added Bomberry. The two are speaking at the festival today. Murray Porter hits the stage with his Rez Bluez tonight in Regina.cta.jpg

Verbier Festival general director Kim Gaynor to take over Vancouver Opera helm

kim_7793_ed_crFebruary 15, 2016, The Georgia Straight - The Vancouver Opera has just announced it will bring in its new general director from the Verbier Festival, a popular international music festival in Switzerland. Kim Gaynor will take the role over from James Wright, who has led the VO for 17 years, on July 1. Gaynor, a bilingual Canadian arts administrator who has run the European fest for 10 years, brings key experience to the VO as it transitions to a spring-festival-only format in 2017. The company has decided to abandon its regular season for financial reasons and to try to build declining audiences for opera. "What interests me, aside from the reputation the company has for artistic excellence and programming, is really the challenge of starting this festival," Gaynor told the Straight in an exclusive interview from Switzerland. "Because I've spent the last 10 years helping to run one of the best festivals in Europe, if not in the world, I believe festivals have a way of inspiring people that regular seasons don't. It's a concentrated, immersive experience and people tend to get involved in a way that you don't if you're rushing from the office at 5 or 6 for a performance and then you get home and you have to work the next day. A festival is a chance to get swept along by the excitement of it and there's a connectedness of the event--usually there's a theme." Gaynor adds: "I would like to say it's a very courageous decision by the company and the board to say, 'We're not going to sit around and do nothing while we watch the whole demographic changing.'"

B.C. Arts and Culture gets $1.5M Boost from Government


February 5, 2016, Kelowna Now - British Columbia is investing money into making the province more of a creative place. A new provincial strategy was announced on Thursday afternoon to help grow the arts and culture. The strategy is a three-year plan where the province will be spending a targeted 1.5 million towards shared creative spaces.“We are so fortunate to have a wealth of creative talent here in B.C. with more artists per capita than any other province in Canada - in one of the most rapidly growing sectors in the world. Building B.C.'s creative economy will attract new investment, foster innovation and create jobs for British Columbians,” Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development said. [...] On top of the 1.5 million investment the B.C. government also announced an additional $300,000 will be given over two years to artsVest. ArtsVest is a training program that helps create new sponsorships in arts and culture.cta.jpg

National Arts Centre officially breaks ground for major renovations

February 9, 2016, CBC Arts - The National Arts Centre redesign will use glass to counter the concrete, "adding a layer of transparency," the architect heading the project said on CBC Radio's All In A Day after the $110-million renovation project officially broke ground on Tuesday. A new Elgin Street entrance and atrium, as well as a new north addition to replace the concrete terraces, are expected to be unveiled in time for Canada's 150th birthday on July 1, 2017. "What we're really doing is turning the National Arts Centre to really face the city," said principal architect Donald Schmitt. "The building was really designed to face the canal. It was almost designed as a piece of landscape that you climbed up and over the building and descended on the canal side." Schmitt is known for his work on performing arts venues around the world, including the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, Maison Symphonique in Montréal, the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia and the new David Geffen Hall in New York City. The NAC has not had any major work done since it opened in 1969.cta.jpg

Charlottetown lighthouse project searching for artists


February 19, 2016, CBC News - Two years after a lighthouse-themed art project made a splash in Summerside, an Island artist is hoping to have a similar success in Charlottetown. The lighthouses are designed and built by 81-year-old Gerald Caseley. He figures most of the month of January was spent in his Summerside workshop. "I'd get up early in the morning, I'd get out here before breakfast," he said. "I was working 12 hours a day, seven days a week for quite a while there, for about three weeks, four weeks. I think it turned out pretty good, I'm quite proud of them actually." During that time, Caseley was able to craft 16 lighthouses, each made up of over 120 pieces. The project this year is funded in part by the Confederation Court Mall Merchants Association. Local business have the option of sponsoring a lighthouse. Their contributions pay for the artist materials and other project related costs. Applications are now open for artists interested in decorating these lighthouses, which will be displayed at the mall throughout the summer. After that, they are auctioned off, with proceeds going to the artists, sponsors and local charities. Alex Maine organized a similar project in Summerside in 2014. "The project was a huge success and I expect it will be again," he said. "Really the hard part is now, and the pressure isn't on me, it's on the artists." Maine says the project wouldn't have been possible without Caseley.cta.jpg

Canada Council for the Arts welcomes change, and Syrian refugees

February 24, 2016, Radio Canada International - The Canada Council for the Arts has been transforming itself into an agency of the digital age and scope. CEO,Simon Brault, says the process is in response to the shifts in society. These shifts are on both the societal level as well as the technological. The Canada Council for the Arts, as the public arts funder, has streamlined the number of programs it operates, from 148 to six. Over the last year $155.1 million (Cdn) was allocated to arts and cultural pursuits across the country. If the new Liberal government fulfills its promise to double the budget the organization could have as much as $360 million (Cdn) to support a greater diversity of Canadian arts and culture, in a great variety of modes. “We realized we needed to change the relationship that we had with artists from the First Nations” One of the aims of the new funding model, that goes into effect in April 2017, is to better reflect the current diversity of Canadian society. In the spotlight and behind the scenes, from crews to boards of directors, the Canadian “mosaic” must be evident. Already the Toronto Symphony Orchestra has responded by hiring a diversity consultant to help it reflect its place in the world’s most multi-cultural city. Simon Brault is leading the transition to a more flexible and adaptable model of the council. He talks about the blurring of disciplines; “A lot of artists want to do be able to do different things and escape very specific categories in terms of what they do. The way of thinking is not only multi-disciplinary but non-disciplinary.” He says the goal is to be less prescriptive.

The Art Gallery of Mississauga Brings First Peoples Art and Culture to the Forefront with Inclusive Staffing, Exhibition Content and Community Involvement

February 13, 2016, PRWeb - The Art Gallery of Mississauga's recently hired Director and Head Curator Mandy Salter this morning made a pair of announcements -- both geared towards First Nations inclusion as an essential part of her populist mandate for the AGM. Salter announced the hiring of Reagan Kennedy – an indigenous visual culture activator with Lenape roots – as the AGM's first First Nations Community Activator. Kennedy is a multi-disciplinary artist, curator and arts educator who is inspired by her Lenape, African-American and Irish ancestry. With a strong background in community arts programming, she has worked with Station Gallery, OCAD University and the Native Canadian Centre. Her work in Exchanges and Changes: Comprehensive Narratives featured a collaborative education program with fellow artist Alexandre Nahdee, and brought together youth from various communities to create collaborative works of art on ancestral land. Salter also announced the inclusion of indigenous Canadian and international artists, Shuvinai Ashoona, Outi Pieski, Nicotye Samayualie, Melissa General, Amy Malbeuf, Wendy Red Star and Wally Dion in her upcoming Change Makers exhibition to be held at the AGM from February 25 – April 10, 2016. This exhibition celebrates the Art Gallery of Mississauga’s recent commitment to the study and exhibition of work by Indigenous artists and provides diverse responses to what it means to be Indigenous today. Through their works, the artists engage with ideas of self-representation to question colonial narratives and present parallel histories while exploring relationships between the spiritual, the uncanny and every day. The AGM is honoured to have the support of the Peel Aboriginal Network as Community Partners in the presentation of this exhibition.

Spencer Chandra Herbert back in the saddle as B.C. NDP critic for arts and culture

parade_2February 21, 2016, The Georgia Straight - Vancouver–West End NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert says he's happy to be reinstated as his party's arts, tourism, and culture, as well as watchdog over the government's handling of the film and TV industry. "It gives me the chance to do one of the things I love, which is fight for creative folks," Chandra Herbert told the Straight by phone. He was eager to discuss recent reports by Hill Strategies Research, which showed that B.C. arts organizations often receive less federal and provincial funding than similar groups in other provinces. The documents were released by the Alliance for Arts and Culture. "What they demonstrate to me is what we've known for a long time, which is that B.C.'s been the worst investor in the arts out of all provinces for a long time," Chandra Herbert said. "That's hurting us." He added that this has made B.C. arts organizations "more fragile". One report noted that because peer organizations in other provinces receive a higher percentage of tax dollars, B.C. groups are more reliant on ticket sales, fees, and other earned income. "We're sending more to Ottawa than we get back in terms of arts investments because the B.C. government doesn't invest much in the arts," the NDP MLA declared. "Often, federal funders want to see that you have strong provincial investments before they'll fund you. And they'll fund you less because you're getting less from the province."

Canadian Museum for Human Rights is a hit

museum-of-human-rights.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterboxDecember 12, 2015, Toronto Star -The cultural good news story of the year has to be the astounding success of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg. Just 15 months after opening its doors at the city’s historic Forks location, the museum dreamed up by the late Izzy Asper is on a roll. It has clearly lived up to its motto of “Reach for the stars.” The museum is exceeding attendance targets, drawing tourists and boosting the prairie city’s economy. Its target for annual attendance was 250,000, but in its first year it drew 400,000. Meanwhile, it has won 24 international, national and regional awards. Earlier this month, the museum won the National Cultural Tourism Award in Ottawa (as chosen by Canada’s tourism industry association). And on the same day it came first on the list of Canada’s seven best-looking buildings compiled by, a website offering advice to Australian globetrotters. (The only Toronto building on the list is the Art Gallery of Ontario.) Travel and Leisure magazine (based in New York) called the Human Rights Museum “one of the top five coolest destinations in the world.” National Geographic Traveler included Winnipeg on its annual list of the top must-see global destinations to visit in 2016. The museum was a major factor in that selection. The museum has been saluted for many aspects, such as technology, visitor experience, architecture, interactive games, construction, mobile apps and commitment to accessibility.

NcreativecitynewsEWS ABROAD

Italy and UNESCO Establish Task Force to Protect Cultural Heritage in Conflict Zones


February 16, 2016, Hyperallergic - In the wake of ISIS’s most recently confirmed attack on cultural heritage — the destruction of Iraq’s oldest Christian monastery — Italy has teamed up with the United Nations to create a task force whose goal is to protect ancient artworks, artifacts, and archaeological sites in conflict zones from extremists, the AP reports. Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova signed an agreement in Rome today, creating a 60-person-strong Italian task force of art detectives and restorers, dubbed Peacekeepers of Culture. The force will establish a center in Turin, where it will train cultural heritage protection experts. It aims to “assess risk and quantify damage done to cultural heritage sites, develop action plans and urgent measures, provide technical supervision and training for local national staff,” the Italian ministry said in a statement. It will also help move some objects to safety “and strengthen the fight against looting and illegal trafficking of cultural property.” “We are witnessing a tragedy of destruction of heritage, systematic and deliberate attacks on culture,” Bokova said at the signing ceremony, which took place inside the majestic Baths of Diocletian. The Peacekeepers of Culture “could be in the future one of the essential components in the fight against terrorism,” Gentiloni said.cta.jpg

Artist residency programme takes to the high seas


February 25, 2016, The Art Newspaper - One of the most unusual, and intrepid, artist residency programmes will launch this spring: on board a series of commercial cargo ships. Seven artists selected for the first Container Artist Residency project will spend up to six weeks on the oceangoing vessels, travelling along an international shipping route of their choice. Studio space, accommodation and production funding are all provided as part of the residency package. The aim, according to a project statement, is to “forge new connections between individual practices and vast global networks by providing artists with a different outlook”. The project sponsor and partner is ZIM Integrated Shipping Services, Israel’s largest shipping company. More than 2,000 artists applied last year for the residency; the UK painter Christopher Page is among the final seven selected. His residency route will take in locations such as Valencia in Spain and Nova Scotia. He tells The Art Newspaper: “I have recently moved to Athens to be amongst the mass migration of people. I found myself there because of some trips last year on ferries, some more cargo than tourist, around the Mediterranean. The movement of people and things around the world by ship is a fundamental, and largely invisible, realm of the world we live in.”

China Hopes to Outgrow Its 'Weird Architecture' Trend


February 22, 2016, City Lab - me of China’s most eye-catching buildings can only be described as “weird”: A hotel made in the form of traditional gods, a teapot-shaped information center, and of course, the CCTV tower, nicknamed “Big Pants.” Then there’s the copycat architecture long popular in the country, including replicas of the Sphinx, the Eiffel Tower, and even the White House. But the central government thinks country’s attraction to eccentric and grandiose buildings has gone too far. In a directive issued Sunday, the State Council of the People's Republic of China criticized the present state of urban architecture for lacking any signs of cultural heritage and for being “oversized,” “xenocentric,” and, yes, “weird.” It also called for future building projects to be “suitable, economic, green, and pleasing to the eye.” The directive echoes criticisms that President Xi Jingping made in 2014 when he lambasted Chinese buildings shaped like doughnuts, trousers, and genitalia. "Fine art works should be like sunshine from the blue sky and the breeze in spring that will inspire minds, warm hearts, cultivate taste, and clean up undesirable work styles," he said at the time.

How Street Art Took Off in the Suburbs of Tunis


February 19, 2016, City Lab - Eighteen-year-old Sarrah Laajimi points at a woman’s face she painted on the wall of a youth center in Ezzahra, one of the southern suburbs of Tunis, Tunisia’s capital. The high-school student is part of 4 Street Family, a group of 25 graffiti artists, dancers, beatboxers, and filmmakers. “I used to only draw on paper,” she says. “But then we saw street art abroad on social media, and decided to try it, too. The great thing about it is that everyone who passes by can see it.” Street art is relatively new in this North African country. But over the past few years, more and more colorful pieces of graffiti, “calligraffiti”—a hybrid of Arabic calligraphy and graffiti—and other forms of art have started to appear on the walls of cafés and schools, alongside roads, and even on the domes of mosques. Young street artists aim to brighten up the suburbs and at the same time deliver a message. [...] “There are so many things we’d like to change in our country,” says Arbi Mejri, another teenage 4 Street Family artist. The artists’ political messages are often hidden, he says, especially when they’re criticizing government officials or religious leaders, because this is not without danger. Other topics they address include pollution and women’s rights. Tunisian artists cite a range of well-known street artists such as Banksy, Berlin’s 1UP Crew, and Miami-born Tati Suarez as influences.

Website aims to offer images of all publicly owned art in Britain


February 24, 2016, The Guardian - A huge project has been launched that aims to include every publicly owned painting, drawing, sculpture and print in Britain in one website, creating the most comprehensive access to one country’s art in the world. The artist Bob and Roberta Smith – who is one man, Patrick Brill – celebrated the creation of Art UK by presenting a new work in his trademark sign-painter’s lettering, proclaiming “through our public collections we all own art”, to the parliamentary art collection, one of more than 3,000 collections already represented on the website. It was the slogan Brill chose when he stood against Michael Gove in the last general election, he said, reflecting his unease over government cuts to art and education. “The subtext now is the threat to so many local authority museums,” he said, “ we need to recognise and celebrate these collections in order to protect them.” Andrew Ellis, director of Art UK said it was a momentous day that would open the art in public collections for enjoyment, learning and research. Although the public owns the art, about 80% is in storage, on the walls of council offices, fire stations hospitals and other civic buildings, or in the Palace of Westminster, where portraits line the walls of the Speaker’s magnificent reception rooms where the project was launched. Some private collections, whose works of art are even less accessible to the general public, including all Oxford and some Cambridge colleges, are also joining.cta.jpg


We need to discuss why Canadian culture is a public good

February 5, 2016, The Globe and Mail - The professional life of a cultural policy nerd is a lonely thing. No conference calls with the Governor of the Bank of Canada; no annual convention in Banff, Alta. I’ve been excited just to be invited to publicly discuss issues in the field on no less than two occasions in the past nine months – a sure sign, I optimistically predicted, that Canada is finally awakening to a crisis. The policy tools that have protected and nurtured Canada’s cultural industries since the 1970s are unknown to transnational distributors of foreign content – that would be Google, YouTube and Netflix – while Canadian consumers are increasingly sidestepping the domestic distributors who, whether by inclination or by regulation, produce Canadian content. How big a crisis? A new report prepared by the research firm Nordicity for the annual Digital Media at the Crossroads gathering held at the University of Toronto last weekend assembles some shocking economic evidence. Netflix is taking an estimated $445-million a year in subscription fees out of Canada; YouTube is taking an estimated $22.5-million in annual advertising revenue out of Canada; iTunes and Google Play are taking $50-million in annual music sales out of Canada. And half of the estimated $432-million in ad revenues that the newspaper and magazine industries are losing every year to digital platforms is also leaving Canada.cta.jpg

Racial and gender inequality come under scrutiny in the art world


February 25, 2016, The Art Newspaper - As the #OscarsSoWhite firestorm engulfs Hollywood, the British art world has also sparked criticism recently for its worsening lack of diversity. According to the Office for National Statistics, only 7% of artists in Britain are people of colour. But a new study launched this week by Arts Council England (ACE) aims to address these inequalities by asking artists to share their experiences of living and working in England and the impact of socio-economic factors such as education, social class, race and gender on their careers. It is the first time in more than a decade that a study of this nature has been undertaken. “Issues such as student debt and a lack of affordable artist studios in London are ever growing,” says Peter Heslip, the director of visual arts at ACE. “We are experiencing a creative brain drain, with artists leaving for New Zealand or Spain. What’s bad for England is if they don’t come back.” The London- and Dorset-based artist Stuart Semple welcomed the study as a “move towards transparency”. He said his own experience of growing up in a low-income family put him at a disadvantage, but that the situation is even worse for artists graduating today. “The music industry is full of rich kids on a gap year. There’s a real danger that could happen to us,” he says. “You can barely afford to live in central London now, let alone make art in the city.”cta.jpg

Mount Stephen Club's state is a wake-up call that heritage designations aren't enough


January 28, 2016, Montreal Gazette - I’ve spent much of my career in the heritage movement fighting the misconception that heritage designation is a pesky barrier to development. Ironically, for the former Mount Stephen Club at 1400 Drummond St., provincial heritage designation of the highest order plus recognition as a National Historic Site of Canada seemingly posed no barrier at all to undermining its very foundations. Today, the facade of this exquisite national treasure is visibly sagging — reportedly a consequence of underground parking and other interventions required to accommodate the shiny new 12-storey hotel tower being erected behind the historic structure. According to recent media reports (“Heritage jewel’s facade unstable” (Montreal Gazette, Jan. 26), the complex’s owners are now being sued by Quebec’s Ministry of Culture. There are many unknowns, including: Were protective measures required under Quebec’s Cultural Property Act complied with? Did a ball get dropped? From my vantage point at the helm of a heritage organization with its own massive mandate, I understand that essential oversight and review can sometimes fall through the cracks. However an especially troubling aspect of this case is the site’s status as a National Historic Site of Canada — another wake-up call that the health of even our most significant and beloved historic places can fall through the cracks.cta.jpg

From Berlin's warehouses to London's estates: how cities shape music scenes


February 3, 2016, The Guardian - Most modern music is an urban animal. Cities regularly birth music scenes, and artists often claim to be inspired by “the streets”, or by their neighbourhood. Yet the actual link between the music they make and the built environment where they do so is generally underplayed – spoken about as a matter of mood, or a source of lyrics. Music historians generally cite a critical mass of musicians as being crucial to the birth of a scene: classical composers in 18th century Vienna, for example, or modern metal bands in Helsinki. But the city itself? Well that’s mainly just credited as a convenient place for the musicians to hang out – though David Bowie’s residency in Berlin, for one, took that relationship to particularly intimate levels. But what if a city’s role isn’t quite so one-note? Washington Post journalist David Maraniss became obsessed with that question, particularly in respect to Motown. “I was fascinated by the idea of why the musical magic happened in Detroit,” he says. “What is it about some cities and civilisations that bring about these creative bursts?” While writing his recent biography of Detroit, Maraniss came across the usual reasons cited for the rise of Motown in Detroit. First, the migration of African Americans from Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana for factory jobs, bringing with them the oral traditions of church music, jazz and blues. Next, the entrepreneurial genius of one family, Berry Gordy Jr and his four sisters, who created Motown and made it flourish.cta.jpg

Ecreativecitynews 3VENTS

CCNC Ontario Regional Meeting


The 2016 Creative City Network of Canada (CCNC), Ontario Regional Meeting, will take place on Thursday April 21, 2016, from 10 am – 3 pm. The theme of this year's Ontario Regional Meeting is Performing the Creative City: Strategies and New Directions

Event registration is open now through Eventbrite. Please register before April 7, although registration will be open until April 20, 2016

For more information, click here.

Heritage BC & ArtsBC 2016 Annual Conference

"PlaceMaking: Where Arts and Heritage Collide" 
May 5-7, 2016 Granville Island, Vancouver, BC 



Cultural and creative spillovers in Europe


Arts Council England has recently launched Cultural and creative spillovers in Europe, the output from a European research partnership that has attempted to establish a baseline of knowledge by taking a scientific approach to a set of commonly held assumptions about cultural and creative spillovers and the relationship between these and wider society. The report sheds light on cultural and creative spillovers in Europe and will contribute to scientific, cultural and political debate around evidencing the value of culture and public investment into the arts, culture and creative industries.

British Columbia arts and culture research projects


Significant new information and insights into the situation of the arts and culture in British Columbia were made available today by the Alliance for Arts and Culture. A ground breaking series of four arts research projects was conducted for the Alliance by Hill Strategies Research. Three of the four research streams were funded by the Vancouver Foundation.

Copyright 2016, Creative City Network of Canada. All Rights Reserved. Please post and/or distribute. When reprinting Creative City News, please give appropriate credit. All content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Information contained in this newsletter has been provided by external sources. Links are provided for convenience purposes only. The Creative City Network is not responsible for the accuracy or reliability of the information supplied.

Creative City News is published by Creative City Network of Canada. The Creative City Network connects municipal cultural staff in Canada, enabling this community of practice to share information and expertise, to support one another, and to be more effective in nurturing the cultural development of our communities. We gratefully acknowledge the support of all member municipalities.

Editor: Anna Whelan, Member Services & Communications Coordinator, Creative City Network of Canada
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Creative City Network of Canada
Suite 415 - 402 West Pender Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 1T6
T: 604.688.CITY (2489)     F: 604.688.6701
Email:     Website:

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