City Councilors spent a lot of time patting themselves on the back for supporting a plan to enhance Arts and Culture in our City.
The Staff report has some lofty and laudible goals but, without an action plan, it really becomes just a wish list.
Truth be told, Hamilton has a woefully inadequate record of promoting Arts and Culture .
Pressure from the City Councilors about minor issues forced Festival of Friends to abandon Gage Park and seek a new home.
The Pearl Company, an incubator for local talent has been waging a battle with the City for years over unimportant zoning differences.
World class Arts groups like Theatre Aquarius, Opera Hamilton ,the HPO and Brott Festival , which could be huge assets to attract the brightest and the best from Generation Next to Hamilton are embarassingly underfunded compared to what other cities contribute to their cultural assets.
In fact, Theatre Aquarius, which stages world class productions like The Mousetrap , Legally Blonde and Cabaret, receives about $70,000 from the City.
Their counterpart in London, receives $500,000 annually from the City.
It’s the same story with most other Arts groups.
Other cities back up their support for the Arts with cash because they realize that people who attend those shows fill area restaurants and hotels and enrich the community and the economy.
Hamilton Council doesn’t seem to get the message; talk is cheap.
If they don’t back it up with money, their verbal support for the Arts is just hot air.