MANITOULIN—The Manitoulin Arts and Cultural Community is pleased to announce the birth of the Manitoulin Arts and Cultural Council (MACC). On May 23 a notice of the first formation of the MACC was sent to arts and cultural stakeholders on Manitoulin Island. This first iteration of the MACC represents a rich cross section of disciplines from both First Nations and non-First Nations cultures. These representatives include: Alex Baran, Carmen Runnals, Jeff Dorosch, Maja Mielonen, Kate Thompson, Sophie Pheasant, Mike Cywink, Helen Siksek, Leslie Morin, Anong Beam, Petra Wall, Richard Lathwell and Rick Nelson.
The council will embrace and carry on the work of the several committees that emerged as a result of the 2013 Manitoulin Cultural Symposium and subsequent Action Planning Days of November 2013 and April 2014. The Symposium and Action Planning Days were the culmination of an initiative undertaken by LAMBAC and the Township of Billings to ignite the Manitoulin creative community and boost the growth of this sector through an increase in cultural tourism.
It is increasingly recognized worldwide that the cultural and creative sector improves the quality of place in communities and is an important factor in enhancing quality of life. Growth in the cultural sector helps grow our economy and sustain our communities. “The District of Manitoulin is home to many, many wonderful talented artists, artisans and performers. It is a hotbed of creativity,” says Mary Nelder, general manager of LAMBAC.[pullquote] “I’m very excited to see the formation of the Manitoulin Arts and Cultural Council as it will carry on the great work done so far by the Manitoulin Cultural Community and LAMBAC.”[/pullquote]
A working mission statement for the Council is as follows:
“The Manitoulin Arts and Cultural Council is an inclusive and culturally-diverse organization. We exist to strengthen the contribution of arts and culture to our community by: engaging them in cultural activities; sharing and showcasing our creative gifts; promoting professional development; coordinating activities within the arts and cultural community; and supporting the social and economic well-being of arts and culture workers.”
The MACC will soon convene its first meeting and announce the next evolutionary steps in its organization and working agenda.