Integrating culture into Richmond Hill’s future

Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts

A Cultural Plan for Richmond Hill was undertaken at an ideal moment to embed culture in how the Town plans for its future.

In 2009 the Town completed two seminal planning documents. The first is the Richmond Hill Strategic Plan that established concrete goals, outcomes and strategies to guide the development of the Town over the next 25-years. The second is a new Official Plan to guide the physical growth and development of the Town. In 2010, MDB Insight also completed the Richmond Hill Economic Development Strategy which put a strong focus on the creative economy and on the importance of the arts and cultural industries as a driver in that economy.

In 2010, MDB Insight and AuthentiCity (now a division of MDB Insight), partnering with Public Interest, a firm specializing in community engagement, were hired to complete the Town’s first Cultural Plan. The completion of the Cultural Plan is one of the priorities for 2011 in the implementation of the Strategic Plan. A strong feature of the cultural planning process was a multi-faced engagement process that reached out widely across the community through a variety of channels including a community survey, community forums, focus groups and interviews. A unique feature of the engagement process was a series of community soundings to engage specific diverse communities and youth in Richmond Hill to ensure these important voices are heard.

MDB Insight worked with BFdesign Inc. to build a cultural plan website and social media strategy to raise awareness and broaden engagement in the planning process. More information is available here: