© Claude Dagenais, Lou Leblanc and Steve Pellerin
In 2007, the Town of Sutton implemented its Cultural Policy in order to promote its unique features. The development of Sutton’s Cultural Policy was undertaken in consultation with the arts community and local authorities, to take into account their concerns and desired direction for cultural development
The results of this approach are, on the one hand, clearer guidelines for municipal involvement in the area of culture and, on the other, precise objectives and roles that ensure that every stakeholder can participate in the cultural development of Sutton.
Furthermore, through its Cultural Policy, the Town has committed to allocate a minimum of 3% of its municipal operating budget to culture.
The standing advisory committee on Culture and Heritage was consulted regarding implementation of the Cultural Policy.
Cultural Development Action Plan
In 2011-2012, the Cultural Policy was updated following a new consultation with organizations and citizens, and an implementation action plan was drawn up.
"In 2029, Sutton is a rural area with a welcoming multicultural community that is known for its social, cultural, recreational, tourist and agricultural dynamism, which is based on the community’s participation in the sustainable development of its territory."
This vision, which seeks to position Sutton as a “culture-nature” community, has two key components:
- A horizontal view of sustainable cultural development, which assumes that culture can contribute to the development of all sectors: land-use planning, economic issues, tourism issues, and especially social development, all in a sustainable manner. It is thus an inclusive process which draws upon all the cultural resources in the territory;
- A development approach based on cooperation and partnerships between the various stakeholders in order to develop well-thought out and complementary services, but also joint projects and more sustained mutual assistance. It is thus an ongoing process which also seeks to develop the abilities of those participating in it, and which requires effective means of communication and venues and opportunities for discussion. The cooperation takes place:
- within each cultural sector
- among cultural sectors
- between the cultural community as a whole, and other sectors engaged with concerns such as business and the economy, community, recreational and educational issues, and everything related to land-use planning.
Culture plus business and tourism development
- Develop and promote the Town of Sutton as a quality cultural destination
- Promote the development and the socio-economic integration of the cultural community
Culture plus land use planning
- Protect and enhance heritage assets and make citizens aware of such assets
- Give visibility to cultural venues and events
- Establish a public art collection
Culture plus social and community development
- Promote citizen access and participation in Sutton’s cultural life
Cultural Development Officer
In 2011, the Town of Sutton signed a focused agreement with the Ministère de la culture, des communications et de la condition féminine and joined the Villes et villages d’art et de patrimoine (VVAP) network. A cultural development officer was also hired to support the work of the municipality and cultural community.
Work in the field with all community players (municipal authorities, cultural stakeholders and citizens) to promote culture in Sutton.
With the municipality:
- Inform and advise the municipal authorities on the possibilities of cultural development and work together on municipal cultural planning;
- Coordinate implementation of the Cultural Policy;
- Work in close collaboration with the Culture and Heritage Committee;
- Ultimately, consolidate the positioning of culture as a key component of the comprehensive and sustainable development of Sutton and its population.
In consultation with the cultural community:
- Rally the cultural community around common goals and projects, providing direction while maintaining an overview of the work carried out by each party;
- Develop strategies and support projects that make culture more accessible to Suttonites, as well as projects that foster exchanges between citizens (intergenerational, intercultural and linguistic exchanges and ones between the established population and newcomers);
- Guide cultural community stakeholders in reflecting on and learning from their projects and the cultural development of Sutton;
- Support cultural organizations in their missions (see the “Community resources” page for more information).
The mandate is intended to evolve over time so as to properly meet the community’s needs. The work of the cultural development officer is based, in effect, on a community development approach; this presupposes a “big picture” view of the issues, the forces at work and the possibilities for creating opportunities adapted to the local reality.