AROUND THE TABLE - Members of the community gathered to provide their input on culture in Sylvan Lake on Tuesday evening during the public launch of the Cultural Master Plan.

Town of Sylvan Lake hosts Cultural Master Plan public launch

Community members invited to participate in round table discussions


A public launch was held for the Cultural Master Plan on Tuesday evening at the Community Centre in Sylvan Lake.

The Town invited members of the community to join MDB Insight for an evening of round table discussions and cultural mapping to identify Sylvan Lake’s most important cultural resources.

In addition to gathering information on what strengths are present in the town’s cultural community, MDB Insight hopes to provide a framework for development of future initiatives through the creation of a Cultural Master Plan.

Participants of the evening split off into break out groups after hearing from Greg Baeker, Cultural Development Director for MDB Insight. Baeker spoke on the importance of a community having a Cultural Master Plan in addition to highlighting the work the organization has done across the country. Recently MDB Insight assisted the City of Calgary to complete their Cultural Master Plan.

“MDB is mainly an economic development firm, creating local and regional economic development strategies,” explained Baeker. “However, about six years ago we established a cultural development division partly because we were seeing culture play an increasingly important role in the economic strategies being developed across the country.”

MDB Insight stated development of cultural master plans involves identifying and leveraging cultural resources to enhance quality of life in communities. Plans can then be used to further develop a strong economy and tourism sector.

While in the break out groups, participants identified cultural resources such as public art, artists, venues, festivals and celebrations the town holds. MDB asked the groups to determine new resources they felt should be developed in addition to what actions should be taken to make Sylvan Lake a better place to live.





COMMUNITY INPUT Dianne Womacks-Nelson shared a laugh with Jordan Sinclair during a round table discussion at the public launch of the Cultural Master Plan held on Tuesday evening at the Community Centre in Sylvan Lake. Jenna Swan/Sylvan Lake News

MDB stated a key outcome of a Cultural Master Plan is to increase community understanding regarding the importance of cultural resources in Sylvan Lake and to build support for culture. The organization also asked participants of the public launch what they felt made the town unique aside from the lake itself.

While in Sylvan Lake, team members from MDB conducted a number of one on one interviews with members of the community and perviously identified stake holders within the cultural community. Baeker stated MDB wished to gather input from a broad range of the community. While in town, MDB conducted interviews with seniors, families with young children and a number of youth.

From the information gathered during their trip to Sylvan Lake, Baeker and his team hope to identify trends which will guide the development of Sylvan Lake’s Cultural Master Plan.

Chris Lust, the Town Council representative on the Cultural Master Plan Taskforce who has been working closely with MDB Insight since November, stated she is excited to be moving forward with the plan and thanked those who came out to support the initiative.

“The Cultural Master Plan was something that was identified in the strategic plan by Council back in 2013,” said Councillor Lust. “I’m excited it’s finally 2017 and we’re able to go forward. Over the years in which I’ve been involved with municipal government, it always seems like we’re having to work hard to get culture back into culture, parks and recreation. For Sylvan Lake this is our chance to do that.”


PUBLIC LAUNCH Councillor Chris Lust was ecstatic to welcome members of thecommunity to apublic launch of the Cultural Master Plan on Tuesday night at theCommunity Centre in SylvanLake. Jenna Swan/Sylvan Lake News