Culture is a vital part of a vibrant and livable community. Creative expression in its many forms is central to both our individual and collective identity. Cultural participants, audience members, volunteers, artists, and professionals all contribute to the economic and social health of our community.
As the City grows, so do the expectations of our residents; we must provide them with access to quality cultural programming, products and facilities, as well as opportunities for personal cultural expression.
The City of Markham manages significant cultural assets and provides an array of programming for residents and visitors. The long-term strategic development and management of these assets, in addition to fostering community-based cultural assets, are crucial to the City's success as a welcoming, livable and prosperous place. Culture is linked – socially and economically – to the broad policy directions for Markham as a globally competitive, sustainable and creative community.
As such, Markham has created a vision for culture as:
- an integral part of the community;
- a way to celebrate cultural diversity; and
- a means to contribute to its economic strength.
The approach to cultural planning has become more rigorous; in 2007, our Culture Department was formed and in 2008, we completed our Cultural Mapping Project. The Culture Plan [PDF]was initiative in 2010 as a recommendation in the City’s Integrated Leisure Master Plan [PDF].
Completed and approved by Council in 2012, the Culture Plan is a strategic document that identifies:
- a vision for Culture in Markham;
- strategies and priorities to strengthen local arts, culture and heritage sectors; and
- the means to integrate cultural planning into municipal processes.
The Role of the Culture Department
- Deliver cultural services through the City’s three cultural facilities: Markham Museum, Flato Markham Theatre and Varley Art Gallery, and in collaboration with community resources;
- Provide community development support;
- Foster a supportive environment for collaboration and partnership;
- Be current on best practices in cultural service delivery;
- Promote cultural learning and skills development;
- Promote and encourage participation in cultural activity; and
- Implement Markham’s Public Art program.
Markham is bubbling with creativity in its workplaces, schools, homes, and the many organizations where people come together to share and experience culture. We all deserve the time to develop our creative selves.
Director of Culture & Economic Development
905-477-7000, ext. 2277