Cultural development

Posted on 20, Mar | Posted by

The first ever (3)

The first ever global map of cultural

and creative industries

Compared to more traditional industries, Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) are often only partially described and generally misunderstood or undervalued, creating challenges in understanding their economic weight in both mature and emerging economies.

Read the full blog post

Posted on 18, Sep | Posted by

 Millier Dickinson Blais rebrands as
MDB Insight

(TORONTO, ON – September 18, 2015) Millier Dickinson Blais is pleased to announce the launch of a new name, MDB Insight, and new logo to reflect expansion in its practice areas. MDB Insight is a management consulting firm focused on equipping communities for success in the 21st century economy. Read the full news release

Posted on 16, Sep | Posted by

MDB Rebranding Website Post Image

Introducing MDB Insight

It’s an exciting day for our team!

After eight years as Millier Dickinson Blais, we’re celebrating the launch of a name and a new logo. Going forward, we’ll be MDB Insight. You’ve always known us as MDB, so we’ve taken the plunge and made it official. We’ll still be the same great team (with shorter email addresses!) working to create positive impacts for our clients and our communities. Read the full blog post

Posted on 18, Mar | Posted by

Drivers in cultural planning today – Part 2

By Greg Baeker


In Part 2 of my blog series on drivers in cultural planning today, I’d like to look at “whole city” approaches, digital culture, and cultural enterprise and entrepreneurship. You can find Part 1 here. Read the full blog post

Posted on 28, Jan | Posted by

Drivers in cultural planning today – Part 1

By Greg Baeker

In my cultural development work, I’ve learnt that no two cultural plans can be the same; every plan must respond to the unique issues and conditions on the ground. However, a series of ‘macro’ issues or themes can be identified that are impacting cultural planning and development globally. This is the first of two blogs that will examine these drivers. Read the full blog post

Posted on 6, Nov | Posted by

Planning culture or planning culturally?

By Greg Baeker

I’ve previously reviewedCultural Mapping: A Guide to Understanding Place, Community and Continuity, describing it as an outstanding addition to the field of cultural mapping (I was honored to contribute the Preface to the publication).

As in my own practice, cultural mapping is described as a foundation for cultural planning, which the book defines as “a sensitive and sustainable perspective on urban planning that responds to the culturally distinctive assets and resources of a locality as well as to local needs, aspirations and perceptions of place.” It makes the valuable point that for many decades cultural planning was understood as planning for the future of cultural organizations and activities. One way of characterizing this perspective is planning culture. Today cultural planning is about bringing a cultural lens to urban planning and economic development or what might be termed planning culturally.

Promoting this broader vision of cultural planning and development has been a priority for the Government of Ontario for several years. Supported by a Provincial funding program, more than 50 municipalities in Ontario have developed cultural plans over the past four years.  In 2011 I was commissioned by Municipal Cultural Planning Inc. (MCPI) and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport to prepare Municipal Cultural Planning: A Toolkit for Ontario Municipalities. The Toolkit defines municipal cultural planning as:

A municipal government-led process approved by Council, for identifying and leveraging a community’s cultural resources, strengthening the management of those resources, and integrating those cultural resources across all facets of local government planning and decision-making. Municipal cultural planning is part of an integrated, place-based approach to planning and development that takes into account four pillars of sustainability: economic prosperity, social equity, environmental responsibility and cultural vitality.

The phrase “strengthening the management of those resources” signals that cultural planning includes planning for the future of cultural groups and activities but also that it is understood in the larger context communicated by planning culturally. Have you seen this shift happening in your community?

Posted on 14, Aug | Posted by

The Arts and Culture as Economic Drivers: Ideas and US Best Practices

By Greg Baeker

A series of reports have focused on the role of cultural resources in advancing economic and broader community development agendas.  Read the full blog post

Posted on 18, Jun | Posted by

TINAN Number 56 (June 2014)

In TINAN Number 56

  • New metrics for measuring EDO performance
  • The arts and culture as economic drivers: Ideas and US best practices
  • What makes a Leading Location?
  • Human capital trends around the world
  • Client Corner: Culture Counts in Oshawa
  • Resource Review: Think Like a Freak

Posted on 21, May | Posted by

A Toronto-Edinburgh Exchange on Culture and Economic Development

In February 2013, MDB Insight collaborated with InclusionUS to organize a study visit from the City of Edinburgh to learn about Toronto’s approach to culture-led economic development. There were many productive meetings with a range of agencies and stakeholders in Toronto. A highlight was a meeting with staff from the City of Toronto’s Department of Economic Development and Culture. From a planning and policy perspective, forging closer connections between culture and economic development is still an emerging municipal agenda in Edinburgh. City officials were interested in learning from Toronto’s experience integrating the two. Read the full blog post

Posted on 10, Apr | Posted by

Arts Organizations Attract Many Diverse Canadians

By Greg Baeker

Recent research conducted by Hill Strategies Research offers interesting insights into participation by a range of different categories of arts participants in specific arts activities. There is sometimes a perception that arts organizations and activities are challenged to respond to diversity, in particular Canada’s substantial ethno-racial and racial diversity. However, the study confirms that overall, 71% of Canadians attended at least one of the five key arts activities in 2010. I’ll summarize some of the key findings here. For more details, take a look at the full reportRead the full blog post

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