Toronto culture consultations- you have 4 hours to talk to the big guns
UPDATE: EYE WEEKLY is reporting that “The City is actually holding 11 consultation sessions on the culture plan, seven of them in downtown neighbourhoods.” Additionally, that “incomplete information had been circulated to some organizations “. Safe guess that’s the document below. Assuming the math stays the same – you now have 22 hours to talk to the big guns.
Similar to the recent city budget consultation process under Mayor Rob Ford, Toronto’s just-announced culture consultations will have no downtown meetings -holding consultations from 2pm-4pm on February 9th in Etobicoke and February 10th in Scarborough.
Titled, “Creative Communities Public Consultations”, these will presumably form some basis for recommendations made to City Council somewhere down the road.
So what is going on here?
There are three co-chairs of a lightning-fast pair of consultations done outside of the downtown core that will be used to inform a re-imagining of Toronto’s culture plan:
- Robert Foster – an investment banker who specializes in mergers and acquisitions.
- Karen Kain – Canada’s Prima Ballerina and Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada.
- Jim Prentice* – a recent Alberta MP and Harper government Environment Minister.
This panel will have two “special advisors” separate from five other advisory council members from arts and business: Richard Florida – a controversial U of T theorist and pop culture guru who has postulated that Canada’s Social Compact should be replaced with a “Creative Compact”, and Jeff Melanson – the National Ballet School’s Executive Director and Rob Ford’s Arts and Culture Advisor.
For some more context on why this could get interesting in a hurry, read this recent CBC article on a panel held by the Canadian Conference of the Arts, attended by arts advocates from across the country in Ottawa. Titled, “Artists: Powering the Creative Economy?” it rejected the Martin Prosperity Institute proposed “creative economy” logic to advocating for arts funding. The centrepiece of the article: Richard Florida’s own statistician laments, “It’s been a trap.”
RSVP quickly if you would like to participate as spots are likely to fill up fast.
*Also the subject of a classic Yes Men action to highlight Canada’s inaction on climate change.