Municipal Cultural Planning

What is it?

Municipal Cultural Planning (MCP) is a tool that helps communities identify and strengthen their cultural assets in order to improve their economic, social and environmental health. It is born out of the growing recognition that culture enriches people’s lives and creates a sense of “place” and belonging. A vibrant cultural scene generates economic activity, creates prosperous cultural industries, and attracts tourists, major employers and new residents.

How's it work?

It is community driven and involves the participation of elected officials, municipal staff, the cultural community, and business and community leaders.

It applies a cultural framework to all planning and decision making and integrates culture into the various aspects of municipal planning such as official plans in order to help guide policies during times of economic growth and community development.

It results in a greater level of sustainability within the cultural community as it is founded upon the initiative, collaboration, and passion of the people who live there and call that place home.

MCP in North Hastings

North Hastings has a unique and rich history. It's people and places have unique stories to tell. Under the guidance of the Mainstreet Management Committee, Downtown Revitalization began looking for ways to ensure that North Hastings culture be preserved, strengthened and enhanced in order to see it realize its full potential.

The first phase of the Municipal Cultural Planning process began in the fall of 2009 and was funded by the Hastings County Economic Development Program. It was called the North Hastings Municipal Cultural Planning Project. The primary goals of this initial phase were to:

  • Begin to build community involvement through forums and interviews identify and inventory North Hastings' cultural assets
  • Identify our current cultural sector strength's and weaknesses
  • Formulate recommendations that would lead to sustainable growth and strength within the cultural sector

This first phase was completed in the spring of 2010 and culminated with a comprehensive report detailing the phase one process and containing the cultural inventory and a listing of primary and secondary recommendations that would help point the way forward in the next phase of the project. The six primary recommendations are listed below:

  • Maintain the North Hastings Cultural Inventory
  • Secure funding for Cultural Liaison / Cultural Planning Project Leader
  • Formalize the Cultural Planning Coalition as an ongoing working group
  • Establish Municipal Heritage Committees in North Hastings
  • Promote and market North Hastings Culture
  • Support the ongoing work and health of the established North Hastings Cultural Sector

With phase one complete and with report in hand, funding was secured for a 10 month, part-time position to continue to drive the process forward - a partial fulfillment of recommendation #2! This phase was called the North Hastings Creative Communities Project. The focus of this project was to follow through on the recommendations contained in the phase one report to see that they be acted upon and implemented. Funding for this project was provided by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Community Futures, the Municipality of Hastings Highlands, the Town of Bancroft and Wollaston Township.

Of all the recommendations contained in the report, perhaps the most important involves the formalization of the North Hastings Cultural Coalition. This working group represents the connecting point where cultural workers, local business leaders and municipal representatives will sit down regularly and find ways to collaborate on projects and find win-win solutions - united for the cause of culture!

north hastings municipal cultural planning reportSee report Here!

Click HERE to read / download the phase one North Hastings Municipal Cultural Planning Project report (pdf) containing the recommendations and cultural inventory.

MCP Resources

MCP Forum Press Release (pdf)
(from 2005, but is brief and contains some key ideas)

MCP Links


Links to our
Municipal Partners

faraday township logos
municipality hastings highlands logo

wollaston township logo
tudor cashel township logo
town bancroft gateway

faraday township logo
limerick township logo