The Burlington Community Foundation recently released the second edition of Burlington’s Vital Signs – an annual check-up that evaluates Burlington as a place to live, work, and play by identifying trends that are critical to our quality of life. Included in that report are survey results that indicate 76% of residents said culture is “essential” or “highly important” in their daily lives.
Culture means many things – painting, writing, music, museums, public art, landscapes, streetscapes, memorials, sport. Culture can build our identity and community pride, improve the quality of life for all, engage people of all ages in our environment, and help us to embrace our diversity.
I have read a number of books and articles in recent months, particularly as we work through the process of creating our own Cultural Action Plan. Universally, they state that progressive communities need to integrate social, cultural, environmental and economic policies into the long-term plans for the city.
Gord Hume , in his book Cultural Planning for Creative Communities states that Cultural planning and “becoming a creative community means protecting our unique heritage properties, having a throbbing downtown core, being appealing to entrepreneurs, and generating new wealth. It means being a ‘Smart Community’. It means respecting the environment. It means being innovative and progressive as a community. It means having ‘buzz’.” Continue reading