Press Release following the cultural clinic

For Immediate Release

 Community Consultation: Sutton hosts a Cultural Clinic

Sutton, February 26, 2019 Sutton is one of five Quebec towns selected by Les Arts et la Ville (a network of French-speaking cities and towns in Canada committed to cultural development) and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy to participate in a Cultural Clinic in 2019. This consultation, held today at Sutton’s Town Hall, was attended by a diverse set of community stakeholders: local elected officials, community members and representatives of the social and community, economic, and cultural sectors, as well as education, tourism, land use planning, environment, and health. Forty people came together for a workshop and discussion based on the sustainable approach to development promoted by Agenda 21 for Culture, with the goal of working on a new Cultural Action Plan to support and involve all sectors.

The discussions identified major issues facing Sutton, including an aging population, retention of young people, gentrification and its impact on housing costs, cultural governance, volunteer burnout, town planning and the need for a community gathering place at a time when some municipal infrastructures are reaching the end of their useful service life. Overall, there is a need for more bridge-building to ensure a more unified community, one where all sectors and organizations work better together.

Participants identified possible actions to help generate a new vision of local and regional development based on the specific nature of Sutton and the aspirations of its citizens. This will help the town and its departments work more effectively with the community. The consultation also opened up perspectives on the many ways culture can play a key role in the well-being of the Sutton community.

What is a Cultural Clinic based on Agenda 21 for Culture?

Today, culture is recognized as a transversal driver of development and community well-being. Culture helps create environments that are more inclusive, distinctive and attractive, and it is a strategic component of local development. This means that every area of the community can benefit from cultural action, particularly when collaboration becomes the focus. This is the idea behind the Cultural Clinic. Agenda 21 is a strategy to support sustainable development and it emphasizes culture as the fourth pillar, alongside the economy, environment and social sectors.

Initiated by Les Arts et la Ville, the Cultural Clinic brings together various actors from the community in a transversal, participatory and horizontal process (equals among equals). The purpose of the clinic is to develop a common vision among community stakeholders and to propose a common action plan for sustainable community development.

The clinic allowed participants to familiarize themselves with Agenda 21 for Culture and Culture 21 as strategies for devising actions and reference tools for integrating culture in every area of society, with a view to achieving sustainable local development. The clinic also gave participants a chance to talk to each other, share their achievements and reflect on and propose possible actions for the future. Through group participation, the workshop was able to identify local and regional barriers to change and build bridges among the participants in an effort to decompartmentalize municipal action for future actions and projects.

This is not Sutton’s first collaboration with Les Arts et la Ville. Last June, the municipality received the network’s 2018 Culture and Development Award for its project On the Trail of the Pioneers, which focused on cemetery conservation and enhancement.

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For more information:

Claudine Filion-Dufresne, Cultural Development Officer
[email protected] or 450-538-2290