CFN -The Cornwall & The Counties Arts and Culture Council held its first official board meeting and elected its Executive: Chair, Stephen Davies, Vice-Chair, Sandra Vander Veer, Secretary, Betty Healy and Treasurer, Chuck Leclair.
“This initial step signals an important move forward for the Arts and Culture Council and its ability to serve the arts and culture sector,” said Bruce Davis, Culture Development Coordinator. “Electing an Executive has given them structure and methodology and that’s important for any organization that hopes to advance in a positive and productive way.”
The council can now begin to examine governance and bylaws required to keep them on course and moving forward. At last night’s meeting a motion was made by the new board of directors to have the SD&G CFDC provide some basic templates as well as have the council itself provide some of their own suggestions and ideas of how best to enact governance and bylaws.
“They have given us our first tasks as staff and that’s what this exercise is all about” said François Désormeaux, Executive Director of the SD&G CFDC, “Mr. Davis and myself now have to deliver several examples and models that may fit the direction this arts and culture council may want to move in and they have to decide what is best for them.”
This will be a collaborative exercise where input from the SD&G CFDC and the Arts and Culture Council will be addressed and heard. “We just want to ensure they head in the right direction,” said Mr. Davis.
The council plans on rolling up its sleeves and getting to work. “I don’t want to waste 2 months” Richard Salem, one of the Directors for the Arts & Culture Council clearly stated two times at last night’s board meeting, echoing the over all sentiment and urgency that there is much work to do and that the council should begin work as soon as possible.
The next task for the Arts & Culture Council is to begin the primary stages of putting strategic direction on paper. The council knows this is a big task that will take much deliberation and conversation but they want to start this process now to ensure they remain as productive and positive as possible.
I would say that we we want to provide support to all artists both from a consulting and funding perspective, and to find a method for showcasing arts in Cornwall and the counties that brings visitors to eastern Ontario in order to view the talent that is residing in this area. This will also be another vehicle to drive economic growth in the Cornwall Area, Akwesasne and the counties.
We have 13 very capable and passionate board members that want to promote arts and culture, and we will be preparing a mission, vision, strategic plan in the near future in order to provide a roadmap and benchmark.
“My role as chair is to assist in providing a context for 13 voices to become 1, and along with the board to galvanize the arts community in Cornwall, Akwesasne and the counties. We can converge as one group with various streams, i.e. visual arts, music, dance, digital media, in order to repair, strengthen and drive the dynamic, diverse, creative talent that we have in the area.
If we can achieve that goal, then arts can become an economic driver for the community, and the community can in turn drive the arts. As a partner with SD&G CFDC we are excited about being able to open doors to the artists in order to provide them with services and or funding to help them grow their business. I believe that as a small part of the regional talent base, we can work in partnership with businesses at large to enhance the tapestry of the region.”