Arts council gathers opinion on its future identity

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Betty Healey, YAC chair, and Let’s Talk facilitator.

CORNWALL, Ontario - Approximately 30 members of Cornwall and SD&G’ arts and culture community attend the first of a series of Let’s Talk meetings, on Monday evening, hosted by Your Arts Council (YAC), at St. Lawrence College.

The purpose of the meetings was to seek out opinions and views as to the role YAC plays in promoting arts and culture, in facilitating the development of this sector of the economy, while being viewed as a significant partner in economic development, explained Betty Healey, YAC chair, and meeting facilitator.

Some of the topics and ideas brought up during the meeting included promotion of events, creation of a newsletter, a shared activities calendar, community partnerships, education and mentorship, among many others. A partnership with local newspapers is also in the works.

Among those in attendance, Al Merizzi, drama coach at St Lawrence Secondary School, expressed his frustration at the small budget they are left to work with as well as low attendance at their events.

A number of artists expressed their need for a broader reach for exposure of their work, nationally and internationally, as well as the need for an art centre.

"We are a not for profit organization with a focus on providing services to better arts and culture in Cornwall and SDG," said Bruce Davis, YAC executive director. “These sessions are designed to fuel our strategic plan.”

Your Arts Council was founded 18 months ago, at a public Arts Council Summit.

“We’re still learning who we are,” said Healey, who along with the YAC committee members have been studying other cities’ arts councils. “We want to see what the best role is for us to play in the community.”   

A second session will be held on Feb. 12 as well as a French language session on the 18th.  The annual general meeting will be held on March 24; everyone is welcome to attend.

For further information, contact Betty Healey, chair, YAC; 613-874-9934 or by e-mail: betty@roadSIGNS.ca   or with Bruce Davis, acting executive director, YAC, bdavis@mycommunityfutures.ca.

To learn more about Your Arts Council at www.yourartscouncil.com

Organizations: Lawrence College, Arts Council Summit, St Lawrence Secondary School YAC committee

Geographic location: CORNWALL, Ontario

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