Wednesday, 29 May 2013 15:44

South West District is 'Moving Culture Forward'

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Local individuals and businesses with an interest in culture had the chance to attend a 'Moving Culture Forward' meeting on May 9, hosted by the South West District for Culture, Recreation & Sport. The event brought out representatives from throughout the area to create a shared understanding of the benefits of culture, assess the local cultural environment, and make an action plan for change.



“Part of our mandate is culture, and while we had done a kind of broad cultural survey sent out to everyone within the district, we thought it was time to get people together,” explained Anne Weisgerber, Community Development Coordinator with the South West District for Culture, Recreation & Sport. “We wanted to look at what are their success, why do those things work, where are their struggles, and how can we, as a district, help?”


Although the meeting wasn't as well-attended as Weisgerber had hoped, she feels that the time was very productive for those who did participate. Representatives from local museums and festivals, cultural directors, and artists were present for the meeting.


“Our district is very large, so usually when we have events in this area, we pull more of the people right here,” she explained. “In a lot of smaller communities, these people are working all by themselves, and it's really important for them to have a chance to talk about some of the things they are dealing with.”


The meeting focused on the value of partnerships, which are essential in all kinds of business – but especially for those working in cultural roles. Weisgerber was eager to facilitate an opportunity for them to network and develop these important partnerships.


“My personal belief is that networking and getting to know the person on the other end of the phone is the best way to share information, and have new ideas happen,” she noted. “If our cultural groups can partner together and help each other, even just for small things like talking a few times a year to make sure no one has overlapping events, we can make sure everyone in the district knows what's going on and help promote each other.”


Another huge benefit of these partnerships is when it comes to making their voices heard. One person from a small town museum approaching SaskCulture with a new idea might not be noticed, but an entire group of individuals will be able to make much more of an impact.


“It means a lot more if many people are saying that they need something,” Weisgerber added. “I think this has been a really effective way for us to come up with some new ideas and to keep in touch, and we are definitely planning to continue this discussion, making sure that it is productive for everyone.”

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Jessi Gowan


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