Director, Cultural Development
t. +416.367.3535 / 228
Dr. Greg Baeker brings 35 years of passion and experience working in the cultural development field in Canada and internationally.
For Greg, the most gratifying part of his work is engagement with the community. The process of cultural planning is as much about facilitation a community learning process as it about formulating a plan. He is gratified by seeing people come to recognize the breadth and depth of cultural resources in their communities and the role these resources play in advancing economic and broader community development agendas.
Greg’s professional background is varied. He has worked in senior leadership positions in Canada as a policy maker, cultural planner and academic. Greg entered the field through the museums and heritage sector, working as Executive Director of the Ontario Museums Association and Executive Coordinator, Ontario Heritage Policy Review, the first cross-government heritage policy in the country.
In 2005, Greg founded AuthentiCity as a consulting practice that completed more cultural plans and cultural mapping projects than any other firm in Canada. He helped introduce new cultural planning and cultural mapping models in Canada and continues to be one of its leading practitioners. In recognition of the increasingly important role played by culture in economic development, AuthentiCity merged with MDB in 2011 to form a new Cultural Development Division.
Greg speaks frequently at professional conferences and workshops and publishes regularly for journals such as Municipal World, the journal of Canadian municipalities. He is the author of Municipal Cultural Planning: A Toolkit for Ontario Municipalities produced for the Municipal Cultural Planning Inc. and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture. He is also the author of Rediscovering the Wealth of Places: A Municipal Cultural Planning Handbook for Canadian Communities, which has received national and international acclaim.
During his career he has served on numerous boards and committees, including Ryerson University’s Program in Creative Industries; Arts Consultants Canada; the Canadian Commission for UNESCO’s Sectoral Commission on Culture, Communications and Information; the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Advisory Committee on Cultural Diversity; and the Canadian Cultural Research Network.
One of the highlights of Greg’s career has been being asked by the Federal Department of Canadian Heritage to serve as Canada’s National Coordinator in a 7-nation comparative study of cultural policy responses to growing diversity. In addition to written analysis, the project involved ‘ground proofing’ the research through study visits to the other 6 countries.
Greg grew up in London, Ontario but has called Toronto his home for many years. He has a Masters in Museum Studies from the University of Toronto and a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Waterloo. The PhD was the first in Canada devoted to cultural planning.