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Illuminating Richmond Hill's Unique and Vibrant Culture - January 31, 2012

Contact: Darlene Joslin, Director, Recreation & Culture, 905-771-2423, djoslin@richmondhill.ca


Illuminating Richmond Hill's Unique and Vibrant Culture
New Cultural Plan Maps a Course for the Future
 
RICHMOND HILL – After almost one year of engaging the public, Richmond Hill presented its very first Cultural Plan to the community in a packed Council Chambers at the January 30 Council Meeting. The Plan will enhance and promote cultural activity and creative expression within the Town. 

Throughout its development, Richmond Hill worked hard to ensure that the community’s voice was heard throughout the Cultural Plan by providing numerous opportunities for residents, community groups and local businesses to share their ideas about what culture means to them. In addition, the community shared their recommendations for essential initiatives, events and activities needed to further escalate Richmond Hill as a vibrant cultural community. From this collaboration, a 10-year Cultural Plan that ensures culture is considered in all Town planning and decision-making processes was drafted. Five goals and 29 recommendations address the themes present in the Plan, with strategies to support their outcomes.

Proud to have a plan to enhance and promote cultural activity and creative expression within its community, Richmond Hill has many strengths to build upon to develop its culture, including a strong business environment in creative cultural industries; concentration of heritage buildings; a range of not-for-profit arts, culture and heritage organizations; a diversity of festivals and events; a broad array of cultural programs and services; and a strong base of cultural facilities, among others.

“We are excited to have our very first Cultural Plan in place… and what makes it even more gratifying for us is that it was developed in collaboration with the community,” said the Mayor. “This document will help us ensure that we continue to transform Richmond Hill into the vibrant community we all envision.”

Highlights of the 10-year Plan include establishing an annual signature community event that showcases all the cultural aspects that make up Richmond Hill. A cultural fusion event for youth will also be introduced, along with the establishment of a Community Cultural Council and initiatives for highlighting Richmond Hill’s cultural icons and heritage. In addition, Richmond Hill will launch an online events portal that includes a community calendar of events that will enable both the Town and community organizations to post upcoming events.

As the implementation process for the Cultural Plan unfolds, Richmond Hill will continue to consult with the community and work to strengthen its ongoing cultural connections, along with expanding its arts and culture partnerships and offerings.
To learn more about the Cultural Plan, its vision, goals and related strategies, and to view the presentation, visit RichmondHill.ca/CulturalPlan.

Backgrounder: Richmond Hill’s Commitment to Further Culture in the Community
 
 
What is Culture?
Culture is more than just the arts or ethnic diversity. In Richmond Hill, culture encompasses many things, all of which help to express the values and aspirations of the community.

What does Culture mean to Richmond Hill?
It means having a vibrant community that is engaged in all aspects of community life.

How will Culture influence Richmond Hill’s activities?
As a result of the recent Council-approved Cultural Plan, the Town will now consider culture in all Richmond Hill planning and decision-making processes.

Cultural Plan Vision and Goals
The Richmond Hill Cultural Plan established a vision, together with concrete strategies and actions, to guide cultural development in the community over the next 10 years. 
 
Drawing on all research findings (the result of the community engagement process), the following vision statement was articulated:

Richmond Hill is admired as a vibrant community in which culture is a part of all facets of the Town’s planning and decision-making; where diversity, gender and age are reflected in all aspects of cultural expression; and where our authentic and distinctive identity inspires a creative spirit.
 

The following five goals address the themes that resulted from the community consultations.

1. Demonstrated Leadership

2. A Dynamic Cultural Sector

3. An Inclusive Cultural Community

4. Places and Spaces for Culture

5. A Celebrated Story

To learn more about the Cultural Plan, its vision, goals and related strategies, and to view the presentation, visit RichmondHill.ca/CulturalPlan.
 
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