New Arts Council formed for Cornwall and Region

September 26, 2012

The Arts & Culture Summit achieved its goal this past weekend as participants voted to create an Arts Council to help the region's arts sector to collaborate and grow.

The Summit was held at Aultsville Theatre and attracted close to 100 participants. It was organized by Bruce Davis, Cultural Co-ordinator with the Stormont Dundas and Glengarry Community Futures Development Corporation.

The purpose of the summit was to explore best practices in establishing and maintaining an arts council for the region. Guest speakers included Esther Bryan, an established artist and Quilt of Belonging founder from South Glengarry, Karen Ennis, Program Manager from WorkInCulture, Loree Lawrence, Community and Multidisciplinary Arts Officer for the Ontario Arts Council, Carol Feeney, Executive Director of Quinte Arts Council and Clayton Windatt Co-Founder of Nippissing Arts Council. Each presenter spoke about the importance of the role of an arts council and how that role is unique and individual to the community it serves. They also spoke about the importance of collaboration and communication.

“This grass roots movement is community economic development 101,” said François Désormeaux, Executive Director with the CFDC. “We saw the art and culture sector in our region in need and we provided them with the tools required to grow and expand their sector. The Arts Council is that tool.”

The Cornwall & The Counties Arts and Culture Council Board of Directors are:

  • Steven Davies, from South Dundas who has worked in finance for almost 30 years
  • Jason Setnyk, a teacher in Cornwall
  • Ann Brady from North Dundas who is a screenwriter
  • Amanda Marini Rohde, a teacher, dancer and host of a cable show on the arts
  • Sandra Van der Veer, a Cornwall belly dancer and policy writer
  • Marie Morrell, founder of the Parade of Nations and a local museum
  • Charlotte King, a painter from Akwesasne
  • Carolyn Davis Waldryn, a published author from Cornwall
  • Richard Salem lives in Long Sault and is a graphic designer
  • Betty Healy, an author and strategic coach with business experience
  • Noella Cotnam, an artist and owner of Sign It Signs and Design in Williamstown
  • Dan Archambault, an internationally renowned artist, promoter and consultant
  • Chuck Leclair an event promoter from Cornwall.

"It was a great weekend for the furthering of arts and culture in Cornwall and a very successful Arts Summit," said Todd Bennett, Chair of the City of Cornwall's Cultural Plan Committee. "Good luck to the new council."

The SDG CFDC and will continue to support the Council's efforts to make sure they get off on the right foot.

“There are legal expenses and various processes to make sure the Board is established and running smoothly and we are there to ensure they do things correctly. Those first steps can be daunting, confusing and overwhelming to young arts councils and we want them to focus on serving their community,” François Désormeaux said. "Our Cultural Development Coordinator, Bruce Davis, will continue to work with them as long as they need it. He will ensure the correct steps are made and that they set off in the right direction to serve the needs of the entire region.”


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