11th Councilor by Jamie Gilcig Rookie Politicians Talk of Turning le Village in Cornwall Ontario into Arts Enclave on Public Monies

11th Councilor by Jamie Gilcig Rookie Politicians Talk of Turning le Village in Cornwall Ontario into Arts Enclave on Public Monies

jg2Cornwall ON –  There’s a lot of smoke right now as certain political types; mostly rookies with no comprehension of how the system works, about turning le Village in Cornwall into some sort of Arts Enclave.  People dream big when spending tax dollars.

Odd.  Le Village was at one point a hearty community; the French soul of a city with a proud French heritage.

Now it’s got a few pawn shops, a few tattoo places, and a few bars and restaurants.   It’s also got The Port Theatre; a 73 year old original Roxy Theatre that the Sylvain family have purchased and are in the process of cleaning up and trying to bring back to life.

The odd thing is that the only true location of Arts and Culture in le Village, The Port; isn’t really being supported by some of these same wannabees.     How many times has Todd Bennett been to the Port for any of the near 20 events that have been run there since the Sylvain’s took over?  Has Betty Healey ever stepped foot inside?  Elaine MacDonald?

While Arts and Culture are hot buzz words by some wanting to be elected they really aren’t an issue in the city’s life.  We’ve had an Arts Council and Committee for nearly two years?  They’ve sucked up tax dollars; but what have they accomplished?

The tax supported Art Gallery was closed for the month of July; our city’s alleged busiest cultural month when we have festivals devoted to eating BBQ Pork or looking for balloons over the sky.      Major events miss Cornwall, and most of those put on at such places as Aultsville Theatre (puffed up by nearly $100K per year of tax money) rarely fill the hall or break even.

So what exactly could be done in le Village?   Well generally poorer areas attract aspiring artists because most young professionals have little money or resources.   While that’s true here, in that le Village isn’t as expensive as Pitt Street or Brookdale, to open any space nowadays requires expensive utility deposits, permits which in Cornwall can take up to 18 months or longer (while paying rent!) and of course promotion.

Should the city spend tax dollars to credit artistic businesses?  Is that the role of taxpayers?   Should we create a red zone and give tax credits to artistic businesses?  Wouldn’t that open up a can of worms for people like OBO Studios that grabbed the space above the old Freeholder building?  If you give money to le Village should Tracy & Emily  get some bucks too?   Should the Grind not get some money too for showcasing some area artists and performers?   The Seaway News even offers up one of its windows to artists.   Would it be fair to dump money into le Village and not to those that actually have been trying to support the arts in other areas of our city?

Right now the city is burning nearly $400,000 per year giving monies out to Aultsville theatre, TAG or whatever they’re called  this week, the Woodhouse museum (which hardly seems open), and a few events.   That’s a petty large envelope and very little of that money really gets spent on Arts and Culture, or artists themselves.  It does get spent on salaries for bureaucrats and those that are employed to run the facility.

Should we be supporting the arts.  Yes, of course, with our own money.   Any investment of public dollars should make sense and gain something for the community.  When the info session that was held at Aultsville theatre a few years ago to form the arts council it was attended by less than 75 people with only tiny group voting themselves positions.   Does Cornwall even honour artists?  I mean heck, the city doesn’t even honour Ryan Gosling and he’s a star!

Artists need to bring something to the table that makes sense.  It should not be city officials leading the way as Elaine MacDonald has been trying to do by sitting on the board of Art Gallery.

There are many fiscally prudent ways to promote the arts and culture in our community; to support early stages and work with the community to help it grow.

Throwing city money at it, or pimping up a run down section of the city isn’t the solution.       Le Village is a part of town in flux.   It’s from a time and place that really is over and has changed.   It will be gentrified one day; but if you look at areas close by like Westboro in Ottawa, much of that change occurred via demotion and rebirth which in the end is what will most likely happen via the private sector in Cornwall.

So let’s stop baby politicking and if you truly want to support the arts; buy a painting with your own money.  Buy a concert or event ticket.  Help people like the Sylvain’s who are investing their hearts, souls, and pocket books and are trying to raise funds to bring in pro digital projection.

In other words put your money where your words are and stop spending others.   And as for those wannabee politicians I hope you make these kinds of issues loud and proud with voters so that they can decide if they want to bank roll such dreams of Xanadu on Montreal Road.

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12 Comments on "11th Councilor by Jamie Gilcig Rookie Politicians Talk of Turning le Village in Cornwall Ontario into Arts Enclave on Public Monies"

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Eric
Guest

It would be fairly easy to enlist shop owners, residents and politicians to search what other areas / cities are doing, while they are on vacation. Take some pictures, get some input and pass on the info. Wider sidewalks, updated lighting, parking etc can be addressed when the road is due for resurfacing or major maintenance.

mike welsh
Guest
Le village is the Land That Time Forgot . It did have it’s run in the 80’s .but it’s an area that has been in dire need of Urban renewal . It is also maybe one of the poorest areas of town . the residential areas are something to be desired … the Crime rate high .. and many building abandoned or falling apart ( closer to the river ) . there isn’t even bus service there after 9 at night , but there is bus service to the rest of the city …. Can someone tell me why? It… Read more »
fern
Guest

two words WARD SYSTEM everyone in the city would be represented equally

fern
Guest

i know the 1% of cornwall dont agree with the ward system they are the ones with the money and power god forbid we make them mad you did jamie i dont agree with all you stand for but it time for a change

Hugger1
Guest

@ Mike Welsh….There is bus service in Le Village until 11 p.m.

http://www.cornwall.ca/en/transit/resources/BrookdaleMontrealSchedule2013.pdf

I agree Cornwall needs a ward system. It would put councillors in charge of areas instead of being responsible to the whole city and thus being able to say they didn’t know about a concern.

Wow!
Guest

Burn it!

marc carriere
Member
Yes Jules!….go , go , go……it does take a team ……and its a challenge to put one together…..Some friends and family came over from Europe not long ago…..When we drove through Cornwall ….They noticed and said that it was obvious that you could see where the rich live and you could certainly see where the poor live…..cornwall is devided by $$$$$$$$$$$$$……..Seriously now…how can you take anyone serious if they can’t even give their real names out here…..afraid to be bashed for what they say…..stay hiding like most of the cornwall population ……The Dunlopp’s got it right on the head…..they were… Read more »
Hugger1
Guest

Marc…….I use a pseudonym due to my wife’s job with the local municipality and I explained that to Jaime when I registered my pseudonym. Otherwise I would be posting very little. Some people have other and varied reasons for using pseudonyms. Don’t paint everyone with the same brush.

Hugger1`
Guest
Marc Carriere said “Some friends and family came over from Europe not long ago…..When we drove through Cornwall ….They noticed and said that it was obvious that you could see where the rich live and you could certainly see where the poor live…..Cornwall is divided by $$$$$$$$$$$$$” Well, drive into any city or town and you can tell who lives where, no difference here. Another prognostication by Jules. I guess we’ll see if she’s correct. Personally I don’t see any of what she says is going to happen actually happening. How long has it been since you lived here Jules?… Read more »
jules
Guest
Marc Carrière you are absolutely right in what you wrote. Nobody has to give their real names to offer their opinions. I no longer live in Cornwall and never intend to ever. When I read everything that the writers of Project Truth came out with I cried because it wasn’t just about homosexuality but about children being molested and sexually abused. I lived on the poor side of town as a child and yes like your relatives have noticed you can tell the difference between the rich and the poor very easily. There are rich people who live among the… Read more »
jules
Guest
Hugger 1 it has been 11 years since I lived in Cornwall and I used to read the number 1 toilet paper of record – SF but left that since at least 3 years. I refuse to read any paper other than Jamie’s CFN. Cornwall has not changed one iota since I lived there and that is the truth. I go down there every 3 to 6 months and the place is the very same. We have spoken to people that we do not know where we go and they all say the same things – no change at all.… Read more »
jules
Guest
Marc Carrière you are right in calling Cornwall a town and it isn’t a city at all and mighty backward and has not progressed at all – not one bit. Cornwall is well renowed everywhere in Canada as well as some parts of the US for what it is. Way back in 1993 one of the girls at Cornwall’s library showed me Time magazine with Cornwall making the headlines with the smuggling and it was called “smugglers alley” and a nice reputation isn’t it. That goes to show you how low a town can get. If they posted about the… Read more »
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