Love Your City: Cultural Policy & Plan

Cultural development is one tool in the City’s toolbox of city-building. Culture transforms cities, fosters open, tolerant and innovative communities and makes a significant and positive impact on a community’s quality of life.

The Cultural Plan is the result of a three-phased corporate project, known as Love your City, which was launched in 2008. The Cultural Plan embodies a leading international practice known as Municipal Cultural Planning, which takes a holistic approach to planning for a sustainable and vibrant city.

The City of Hamilton is very pleased to announce the inaugural Cultural Plan Roundtable. 12 members were selected by a cross-corporate selection committee from a pool of over 60 applicants. The Cultural Roundtable strives to build community capacity and a shared responsibility for culture. The Roundtable will develop a committee work-plan and will advise City staff on upcoming priorities including the Cultural Report Card.

Cultural Roundtable Biographies

Jeremy is the founder and Cultural Strategist of CoBALT CONNECTS, a non-profit arts service organization in downtown Hamilton that offers programs to develop innovative facilities, projects and partnerships in order to advance the creative community. Jeremy has been the lead consultant for numerous cultural plans and public art policies including the City of Burlington Cultural Action Plan, Huron-Kinloss Cultural Action Plan and the Town of Georgina Public Art Plan. 

Cobalt has developed over 80,000 square feet of studio space over 4 properties in Hamilton, which have been home to hundreds of artistic and creative sector tenants. Cobalt also manages the City of Burlington Public Art Program, and the International Sculpture Collection at the Royal Botanical Gardens. Expressing Vibrancy is the organizations most recent research project in partnership with the City of Hamilton and McMaster University. Expressing Vibrancy marries traditional community engagement practices with the latest in physiological data gathering to understand the role and effect of cultural assets in defining public space. 

Jeremy is an active community volunteer and is currently a Board Member of the Hamilton Community Foundation and Supercrawl. Jeremy is a graduate of the American Music and Dramatic Academy and McMaster University and he has been a professional artist in film, television and music. 

Jeremy is passionate about turning Hamilton’s Cultural Plan into action and joins the Roundtable as creative professional with a special appreciation for creative industries.

Jeff is a retired tourism executive who worked internationally for the British Tourist Authority for more than 17 years. Positions held included Executive Vice President of the Americas, General Manager Europe, General Manager Northern Europe and, most recently, Chief Executive (based in London England). Jeff was the Chair of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board Strategy Group, the Newcastle/Gateshead Tourism Strategy Group and the National Tourism Crisis Management Team. 

Jeff has undertaken extensive volunteer work in his past, such as serving as a Board Member and Treasurer of the CCAC Hamilton/Niagara/Haldimand/Brant, Chair of the European Travel Commission in Canada and the United States and, later, Vice President of the European Travel Commission, headquartered in Brussels. Currently, Jeff is a member of the Hamilton Tourism Advisory Board. 

Jeff was voted One of the 25 Most Influential Executives in the Travel Industry by Travel Trade Gazette North America (1996, 1998, 1999) and recognized as Europe Person of the Year by Travel Agent Magazine, New York (1995 and 1999). 

Jeff has joined the Roundtable because he believes that the future of Hamilton rests in enhancing the quality of life in the city. Focus on cultural development in Hamilton, he believes, will enrich the experiences of both Hamiltonians and visitors alike.

Kerry has worked at Bryan Prince Bookseller, a local independent bookstore, for twenty years, the last four years as co-owner of the business. In addition to carrying a wide selection of literary and non-fiction books, the store has an active calendar of author events featuring local, national, and international authors. The bookstore has strong ties to the community and often works in collaboration with local groups and organizations. 

Kerry is an active community member. She is currently vice-chair of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Advisory for the City of Hamilton and sits on the LGBTQ Community Space Steering Committee. She has volunteered at Pride for many years and received the 2012 Community Builder of the Year Award from The Well: LGBTQ Community Wellness Centre of Hamilton. Kerry volunteers for Matapa Music & Arts Organization. She has also completed Hate Crimes Awareness training through the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion (HCCI) and the SafeTALK: Suicide Alertness for Everyone training offered by the Suicide Prevention Council. 

There are many exciting things happening in Hamilton’s cultural landscape, and Kerry would like to see that growth continue in a way that addresses the effects of the gentrification which accompany it. She is excited about participating on the Roundtable to implement the City’s Cultural Plan to foster a diverse range of possibilities in the Greater Hamilton Area.  

Jeff is the owner of Historia Building Restoration which for 25 years has specialized in historical and commercial building restoration. Historia has worked on many iconic buildings in Hamilton including the Pigott Building, the Right House Building, Pinehurst (CHCH TV) and Central Public School. 

Jeff is also the owner of the iconic Treble Hall and sister building The Pagoda Building which he is currently restoring. In 2014, Jeff partnered with architect David Premi to purchase The Tregunno Seed Building. The building has since been restored and repurposed as Seedworks Urban Offices. 

Jeff has been an active community leader serving in roles such as the Past President of the Hamilton Arts Council, Past Board member of the Bay Area Arts and Heritage Stablization Project, Past Committee Member of the King William Art Walk, Past Chair of the Dundas Heritage Advisory Panel, and Past President of the Hamilton Halton Construction Association. 

Jeff has been honoured with the 2013 Award of Excellence from the Hamilton BIA for Façade Improvement for Treble Hall, the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario 2013 Paul Oberman Award for Adaptive Re-Use for Treble Hall and the Pagoda Building and the 2014 HMHC Heritage Property Conservation Award for 126 Catherine Street North, the SEEDWORKS Urban Offices. 

Jeff is passionate about revitalizing the city and has joined the Roundtable to share his perspective on heritage, arts culture and the adaptive reuse of historic buildings in Hamilton.

Arthur has been the Executive Director of the Dundas Valley School of Art for 14 years and has just recently retired from the role (September, 2014?). Arthur has held other leadership positions at arts education institutions such as Executive Director President, Alberta College of Art and Design, President, Montserrat Collage of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts, President Academic Dean, College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. 

Arthur has worked in elected positions such as Secretary for the Association of Independent Collages of Art and Design, Treasurer for the Northeast Consortium of Colleges and Universities of Massachusetts, Chair for the Committee on Ethics NASAD, Secretary for the Art College Exchange, and President for the National Council of Art Administrators. 

Arthur has been an active community volunteer, serving as Past Chair for the Hamilton Arts Advisory Commission, Chair of the Mohawk College Creative Arts Advisory Committee St. Joseph’s Healthcare Art Committee and the Workforce Planning Hamilton Focus Group on Immigrant Hiring Practices. 

Arthur has joined the Roundtable to share his passion for both arts education and the arts as a professional artist who continues to exhibit in individual and group shows.

Christine is the owner and operator of Dreamweaver Crafts, a Traditional Native Crafter for more than 22 years where she designs and produces hand-made Authentic Native crafts. Born in Windsor Ontario, she is part of the Tuscarora Nation- Turtle Clan from Moravian Town reserve in Ontario. 

Christine is currently the Vice President of the Board of Directors at the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre and President of Autism Ontario, Hamilton Chapter. Christine is also the Past President of the Native Women’s Centre. Christine has been an active volunteer at various Aboriginal organizations for 24 years in Hamilton, and comes with an extensive background in board of directors. 

Christine and her family travel the Pow Wow circuit in southern Ontario and the Eastern States. She teaches craft making at various fairs and schools. She attends at stand alone shows annually across Ontario. Some of her work is now located in England, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and Montreal. 

She currently resides in Hamilton with her husband where they are raising their 9 year old autistic grandson. This has led her to become an active advocate for Autism in the Hamilton community. Christine is a believer in life long learning. 

Christine has joined the Roundtable as a practising artist with a passion for Aboriginal heritage and Urban Native community involvement.

Lisa graduated with distinction from McMaster University in 2013 with a Master of Arts degree in Communications and New Media. Lisa received several scholarships and her graduate studies were funded in part by an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS), which culminated in a major research project entitled “The Use of Internet Technologies by Canadian Musicians”. Lisa’s research was presented at the Communication Graduate Caucus (Carleton University) and the Canadian Communications Association (Brock University) annual conferences in 2014. 

Prior to being hired by Sonic Unyon in 2013, Lisa served as an intern at the downtown Hamilton business since 2010. During that time, she has been able to foster her love of the music industry while taking part in the planning of numerous community events in the city. Lisa is the vendor coordinator for the James Street North Supercrawl, Hamilton Blues and Roots Festival, Because Beer Craft Beer Festival and Seven Sundays in Gage Park. In addition, Lisa writes grant applications, creates social networking and promotional packages, and conducts event research. 

At McMaster, Lisa was actively involved within the Communications and Multimedia Student Society as the Secretary and Graduate representative, McMaster Journal of Communications as an Editor and Layout Coordinator and McMaster Photography Association. 

Lisa has joined the Roundtable as a young creative professional with a passion for the role that music plays in showcasing Hamilton to its residents and tourists.

Tim’s experience encompasses more than 33 years in senior management positions in the public sector, including positions with the City of Kitchener as Commissioner of Planning and Business Services and most recently, at the City of Hamilton as the General Manager of Planning and Economic Development. As General Manager of Planning and Economic Development in Hamilton, Tim was the sponsor of the City’s first Cultural Plan which under his leadership, received full City Council support. 

Tim has been an active community volunteer for the Rotary, Chamber of Commerce Committees, and on the Board of Directors of Kitchener Waterloo Home builders Association. 

Tim retired from the City in October 2013 and he remains active as President of Tim McCabe Consulting Inc. and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Art Gallery of Hamilton. 

Tim joined the Roundtable because he believes that Culture is critical to quality of life and that it contributes to the city’s economic prosperity.

Evelyn is a professional with more than 20 years of consulting and management experience in human service sector in government and not for profit organizations including Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion, Status of Women, Peel Newcomer Strategy Group. Evelyn is the Principal at EMpower Consulting Group which empowers women through coaching and leadership development and she writes a bi-weekly opinion column on current affairs for the Hamilton Spectator. 

Evelyn is an active community member, taking a leadership role in many initiatives including being the Co-Founder and Chair of the Rev. John C. Holland Awards, Past Chair of the African Canadian Legal Clinic, Chair of Stewart Memorial Church 175th Anniversary Program. She has served on the Hamilton Black History Committee, the Hamilton Historic Board, the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre, The Soul of Black Folk-African Canadians in Hamilton (Virtual Museum), Sherman Neighbourhood Planning Team and Pan Am Host Committee. 

Evelyn believes that culture is a key part of the city’s economic and social engine and she joins the Roundtable to help cultivate diverse and inclusive partnerships in the community.

Jim is a marketing and digital media professional with more than 40 years of experience for firms including Labatt’s, Kraft Foods, General Mills, Unilever, and Walt Disney-Canada. Jim has worked as a professor at George Brown College and has been an instructor for Digital Media programs at McMaster University, University of Toronto, and Toronto Image Works. Jim continues to deliver seminars and workshops such as InnovateNiagara and HalTECH and he speaks at many of Canada’s online marketing conferences. 

Jim has been a member of local Chambers of Commerce in Hamilton and Flamborough for more than 20 years. Jim has been on the Board of Directors and served as President of the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce, and is currently on the Board of Directors for the Waterdown BIA. 

In 2012, Jim was a Top 10 Finalist in the Innovation Factory’s Lion’s Lair. Jim competed with 75 other start-ups in the Hamilton area and although he didn’t win the $100,000 top prize, he continues to work with Innovation Factory on the Executive Committee and as a Mentor where he counsels dozens of start-up businesses in the Hamilton Area. 

Jim has joined the Roundtable because he loves #HamOnt city and wants to contribute to the renaissance of the City.

Huzaifa currently works as the Policy and Research analyst at the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. Huzaifa works with stakeholders to create a more hospitable environment for business and provides leadership on emerging economic clusters including the Creative Industries. 

Huzaifa graduated from McMaster University in June 2013 with an Honours BA in Political Science and Sociology. During his time at McMaster Huzaifa was heavily involved in various facets of student life, including serving as the Vice President Education of the McMaster Students Union in 2012/2013. His involvement within the campus community and beyond were recognized with numerous awards, including the “Honour M”, the highest student leadership award at McMaster. 

Huzaifa joined the Roundtable with an interest in youth engagement and culture’s relevance to the business and economic health of the city.

Renee is Senior Social Planner with the Social Planning and Research Council where she manages six Community Developers as part of the City’s Neighbourhood Strategy. Renee is the past Executive Director of the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre, a national centre focused on working class and marginalized communities’ history, culture and arts. 

Renee has extensive community leadership experience. Renee served three terms on the Arts Advisory Commission (AAC) and is the past Co-Chair of the AAC, is a Board Member of Wellwood, a local agency serving people surviving cancer and is a member of the City’s Lesbian Bisexual Gay Transgender and Queer (LBGTQ) Advisory Committee. 

Renee is a McMaster University graduate with a degree in Art History and a Masters Degree in Globalization and the Human Condition, which focused on art and social change. 

Renee joins the Roundtable as an artist and cultural worker with a keen interest helping artists and arts organizations become more sustainable.

Current Status

  • All three phases are completed resulting in the Transforming Hamilton through Culture: The Cultural Plan.
  • We are now implementing the Plan and assembling the Cultural Roundtable to oversee the plan.
  • July 6, 2015 - Progress report on Cultural Plan (PED15088)
  • September 2014 - City’s first Cultural Plan Roundtable announced
  • October 2013 - The City of Hamilton’s Cultural Plan was approved by Council
  • May 2013 - Consultation on the Draft Cultural Plan Workshop
  • November 2012 - Cultural Indicators Workshop
  • June 2012 - The Phase 2 report was approved by Council in June, 2012. (PED12117)
  • March 2012 - Municipal Cultural Planning Incorporated Workshop
  • June 2010 - The Phase 1 report was approved by Council in June, 2010 (CS10057)

Culture Plan for Hamilton

Transforming Hamilton through Culture: The Cultural Plan 2013 (PDF, 6.19 MB)

Phase 1 - Community Profile - Cultural Mapping


Phase 2 - Cultural Policy

Information update

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