Mississauga is one of the world’s most diverse communities according to the City’s first Heritage Management Strategy, which was presented at today’s General Committee meeting.
“The goal of the strategy is to build on the community’s unique cultural identity and celebrate our traditions,” said Paul Damaso, Director, Culture Division. “Through research, we’re finding there is an increased interest in Mississauga heritage so now is the right time to move forward with this plan. The strategy will help the City connect with all residents in a meaningful way.”
The research highlights that Mississauga’s cultural diversity is, in part, due to the number of residents that have moved here from all over the world and brought with them their cultural experiences and traditions.
The goals of the strategy are:
· establish a more unified approach to heritage management;
· protect Mississauga’s heritage;
· interpret, gather and tell the stories of Mississauga;
· involve all communities;
· promote awareness and understanding of heritage initiatives; and
· integrate heritage management throughout the City.
City staff from the Culture Division worked with TCI Management Consultants to prepare the report which includes 31 recommendations.
One of the recommendations focuses on using digital technologies more effectively – at individual heritage sites and on the City’s website – and making information about City heritage projects and properties available through various platforms.
“We are focused on living heritage,” explained Damaso. “We are taking the concept of heritage past the four walls of a museum and bringing it to the people.”
The first focus for Culture Division will be to create a Thematic Heritage Outline of Mississauga (THOM) tool. The THOM is a resident-activated tool that will guide heritage and help to prioritize key stories and themes the City chooses to share at its museums, public venues and events. The THOM will also set priorities for heritage designations.
The THOM tool was recently piloted during Carassauga where 140 event visitors were filmed individually in a digital video booth. The participants shared stories focused on their Mississauga experiences. The City is also working on an app that will enhance visitors’ overall Museum tour experience; by holding their phone next to an object or artifact, visitors will have instant access to information about the exhibit, artifacts and their surroundings.
The Heritage Management Strategy is scheduled for approval by Council on Wednesday, June 8, 2016.