Putting Culture at the Centre of Minto’s Creative Rural Economy

Town of Minto

Like many communities in Ontario – specifically in suburban and rural Ontario – Minto is undergoing a profound shift in its economic base. It is a shift away from manufacturing, agriculture, and other ‘traditional’ industries as the foundation of its economy, and toward a creative economy driven by ideas, innovation, knowledge, collaboration and creativity. Minto has been a leader among small rural communities in Ontario in undertaking a cultural plan to help identify and leverage cultural resources to help grow this new economy.

In June 2011, Town Council unanimously adopted Building a Creative Economy: A Cultural Plan for Minto. The project was undertaken over a 10-month period and funded through the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture’s Creative Communities Prosperity Fund (CCPF). In addition to the Cultural Plan, the planning process produced an interactive GIS map of Minto’s cultural resources. This included tangible cultural resources including creative cultural industries, community cultural organizations, cultural spaces and facilities, festivals and events, and natural and cultural heritage. The map also provides access to sample stories that form an important part of the Town’s intangible cultural assets.

A key recommendation in the Cultural Plan is the formation of a cross-sectoral leadership group called the Minto Cultural Roundtable. The Roundtable will support ongoing collaboration between the municipality and its important business, community and cultural partners to oversee implementation of the Cultural Plan and ongoing cultural development.