The Creative City – To be continued!

Mississauga Arts Council’s AGM hears from leaders and promises more success to come

“We must do all we can to support the arts and nurture its growth, because our cultural scene is an economic engine in our city,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie to 100 artists and board members of the Mississauga Arts Council, gathered for their Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, March 27 in the Great Hall at Civic Centre. 

The Mayor went on to point out that, “…for every one dollar the City invests in community cultural organizations and festivals, an additional $7.27 is leveraged from a variety of different sources. Investing in the arts is investing in our economy.”

How to turn the popular promise of a Creative City into a reality falls in part to Paul Damaso, Director of the City’s Culture Division. 

“Our first Strategic Priority is to Build an Arts Friendly City that supports, attracts and retains creatives,” he began, speaking to a very attentive audience.

 “Building an arts-friendly city means creating an environment where arts and culture can happen organically and where artists are supported. The Mississauga Arts Council will need to play a critical role in supporting our local artists, if we’re going to ultimately enjoy success with this goal.” 

“We look forward to working with the City!” said MAC President Jeannette Chau, before she began her brief review of what the Mississauga Arts Council did to support artists in 2018.

“Professional development of our artists continued to be a key focus, whether through our networking and business skills workshops; the Open Mics, which are a vital experience and launch pad for young talent, to the many one-on-one coaching sessions.”

 Jeannette pointed to visioning work done by the Board and the improved financial situation MAC now enjoys, noting the award won for the Boxes and Banners project and the monies raised by the Motown Masquerade Ball. All in all “a very successful year.” 

MAC’s Executive Director, Mike Douglas, picked up on the success of MAC Volunteers, who helped out at the Rama Amusement Centre Bingo nights, to provide funding to support MAC’s new Micro Grant program open to member artists for five grant categories. Details will be forthcoming. The first group of grants will open for submissions in mid-April. Douglas also highlighted the emergence of the Common Ground Café for its important role as a host for poets and songwriters on the first and third Thursdays of every month. For visual artists, the first Beauty of Bees flower painting contest and exhibition on June 2 at the Streetsville Bread & Honey Festival was announced along with MAC’s interest in partnering on concerts with up-and-coming rock and country bands.

MPP for Erin Mills Sheref Sabawy added to the sense of progress commenting that “MAC does amazing work and has shown how important Art is to Mississauga for almost as long as Mississauga has been a city.”

When the speeches concluded, MAC Board Director Grant Clark conducted the Board’s election and announced MAC’s new board members.  

Declared as 2019 Directors of the Mississauga Arts Council: Grant Clark, Linden King, Lynne Mack, Samantha Angel, Heidi Somfalvi, Jeannette Chau, Ron Duquette, Charles Chu, Sandra Maylor-Caesar, Ron Starr, Sylvan Naidoo, Marcelino DaCosta, Jeff Wesseling, Ray Mikkola, Randy Persaud, and Ken Jones.        

The Annual General Meeting was decorated by the colourful and varied exhibition of visual artworks supplied by Members: Jatin Naik, Sue Archibald, Fernando Resende, Laura Beaton, Celina Melo, Nisreen Askar, Catherine Wilson, Luan Quach, Amanda Shotton, Khaula Mazhar, Stella Jurgen, May Zhang and Carole Neely.

As the Mayor said, “the Mississauga Arts Council is truly the heart and soul of our arts community. You have a lot to be proud of hosting the 25th anniversary of the MARTY Awards– the most comprehensive arts awards showcase in Canada!”

See you on Thursday May 23 at the Mississauga Convention Centre for the 25th annual Mississauga Arts Awards!  

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