Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cultured Council

I experienced something interesting yesterday evening! I attended my first-ever city council meeting. (I only stayed for part of it, but...it's a start.)

Why was I there? Waterloo mayor Brenda Halloran wished to recognize members of the Kitchener Waterloo Little Theatre for their award-winning production of the Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood. Check out the video:

(Yes, that's me in there. Thanks to Chris for filming the second half of that video so I could go up with the rest of them.) Anyway. Immediately following our presentation was a report from the Creative Enterprise Initiative CEO Heather Sinclair. She's been on the job for a mere two and a half weeks, but it sounds like she's been busy! (Be sure to check out the website to see what this organization is all about.) She said one thing last night that really rang true for me: one comment she has heard most from Waterloo Region residents is that there is "no culture" in this area. But she and I agree that is not the case. This area DOES have a vibrant and rich arts culture...one thing we need to do is find a way to communicate all the exciting things to the potential audience members.

As someone who spends countless hours trying to contribute to the "culture" of this Region (both as an individual artist, a member of a community theatre organization AND a member of a band) it really pains me to hear people say there's nothing cultural going on around here.


  1. Totally agree- Waterloo Region is bursting with culture, people just need to open their eyes and ears! I've been here just over 6 years and can't even keep up with the amount of arts and culture events I want to attend and participate in- I hope in the coming months organizations and individuals start to reach out to people seeking "culture" in the region and show them just where it's happening.

  2. What annoys me most is when people who are *artists* claim there's no culture around here. Now, to be blunt, at least some of these people actually mean "there's no support for *my* art around here". But, seriously; if your answer is "I need to go to Toronto do do my art", then you're probably not going to succeed in Toronto, either, you know?

    Speaking of culture in the region, everyone's coming to Open Ears this month, right? My friend Jascha is curating the Rotunda piece and a travelling version of the Princeton Laptop Orchestra is performing as well.