Mississauga City Council has approved a new Cultural Policy that will provide guidance on cultural priorities to be undertaken through the annual business planning process. Mississauga is Canada’s first large city to adopt such a policy.
The new Cultural Policy is an extension of the Culture Master Plan, which was approved by staff and Council in 2009.
“The new Cultural Policy will guide us as we continue to encourage, support and protect the arts, cultural and heritage activities that we value in Mississauga,” said Paul Damaso, Acting Director, Culture Division, City of Mississauga. “Our vision is to ensure the continued cultural diversity of our communities, while at the same time, develop a shared cultural identity and support for our growing creative and cultural industries.”
The Cultural Policy forms the basis of all culturally related strategies, goals and project implementations. With the new Policy, the City will:
• create a framework which represents the value and importance that the City places on culture and the willingness to adopt and implement a set of coherent principles, objectives and means to protect and foster local culture;
• provide Council with clarity around decision-making, allocation of resources and the role of culture within the City’s Strategic Plan;
• frame cultural identity as it emphasizes what distinguishes Mississauga from other cities, engages residents with the characteristics of their own city and strengthens their sense of belonging and cultural identity;
• clarify the City’s role in supporting artists and creative individuals/industries and support and promote the creation and production of cultural products and services; and
• clarify the role of culture in economic and social development in the city.
According to The Arts and Canada’s Cultural Policy, a cultural policy is the expression of a government’s willingness to adopt and implement a set of coherent principles, objectives and means to protect and foster its country’s cultural expression.
The following guiding principles will help to shape the Cultural Policy and inform all culture decisions made about culture in the city:
1. improve livability
2. support multiculturalism and interculturalism
3. foster creative industries
4. build connections
5. build shared identity
6. ensure accessibility
7. support sustained cultural community activity