Conference explores region’s arts, culture beyond just entertainment value

Culture Alliance lead says April event helps attendees ‘make new partnerships, learn valuable information from experts, be inspired, grow businesses and make new friends’

A major conference delving into and celebrating the region’s rich arts and culture scene takes place in Midland next month.

Working with a theme of ‘more than entertainment: the value of arts and culture’, the Culture Alliance hosts the day-long event at the Midland Cultural Centre’s Rotary Hall April 19.

Liz Cascagnette, cultural development coordinator with the Culture Alliance in the Heart of Georgian Bay, said last year’s conference was well attended and featured rave reviews from those filling out post-conference surveys with attendees finding it to be “inspirational” and a great networking tool while also helping to get tips on branding and marketing while generating lots of ideas for events to benefit the community.

“People should attend who want to make new partnerships, learn valuable information from the experts, be inspired, grow businesses and make new friends,” Cascagnette said of the benefits to attending this year’s Creative Communities Culture Conference.

“It helps the communities at large because culture is in everything we do. Creatives want to make an impact through their art and art is part of the unique and diverse culture in the Heart of Georgian Bay.”

Cascagnette said the Culture Alliance wants to ensure that it brings forth opportunities that benefit member communities because “even though we bring together art and culture for entertainment, it is about so much more than that.”

Cascagnette said both art and culture help people learn about one another, from each other.

“Culture encourages us to learn, grow and communicate,” she said. “This can be accomplished through this conference so anyone who attends will come away with something that intrigues, inspires and educates them in a positive way.”

The day includes a keynote address from McMichael Canadian Art Collection deputy chief curator Jennifer Withrow along with other speakers on various topics including marketing (demonstrating your value), knowing your value and navigating copyright, getting the most out of funding opportunities and care for yourself-the value of art therapies.

Until Tuesday, early-bird tickets cost $49 plus taxes and fees with the price increasing to $59 plus taxes and fees thereafter. Slated to run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the event includes lunch catered by Café Roxy, access to all sessions and the keynote address.

Cascagnette said the conference also illustrates the alliance’s mission to foster working collaboratively with community partners to identify, highlight and grow the region’s unique culture.

She added: “Our mandate is to be recognized for our community-building by intentionally uniting and celebrating diverse cultures, creatives and organizations (stakeholders and partners) in the Heart of Georgian Bay.”

For more information or to buy tickets, click here.

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