“I think there was some great feedback from the community and that was really what this whole session was about,” says vice-chair of the Culture Centre Karen Mason-Bennett. “It was nice to see people really engaged and continuing to kind of show that this organization and the function that it serves within the community is important to them.”
Some ideas for improvement brought to light by attendees include creating outside access to the library, more Saturday matinees for children, more of a directional focus for the Centre, better kitchen space and equipment, and better security to monitor the behaviour within the Centre.
“This was a chance really for people to get some of the stuff off their chest that we know that they’ve been kind of walking around with,” Mason-Bennett goes on to say. “We’re very cognisant that there have been issues in the past, and this is part of the process of kind of moving forward from that.”
Some other suggestions include more demand-based programming, a re-evaluation of their operating hours, and more communication between user groups and the Centre.
Mason-Bennett says these changes should help ensure a viable future for the facility as they reach their 25th anniversary in 2017.
“Change is constant, and we as an organization have not necessarily embraced that as wholeheartedly as we could have,” Mason-Bennett explains of the Centre’s change in direction. “So that part again is listening to what the community really wants out of this Centre because it may be something that was totally not on our radar.”
The Centre was also fielding some solutions, and coming out that portion of the nights includes a more transparent policy arrangement, pro-rated rental for community groups and corporate groups, advertisements out of the traditional realm, corporate sponsorship, and seeking out experiences from other communities.
The Centre also took the opportunity to hear what the community likes about them, and that included low ticket prices, the showcasing of local talent, the new board and staff, as well as the kids’ programming and its accessibility.
Mason-Bennett says the Centre plans to have another consultation with the community sometime in March, but if you have suggestions that you want to send today, email email@example.com.
“Being able to kind of see what people really value about the facility, what has happened in the past, and what people would like to see into the future is really the focus of the next one,” Mason-Bennett concludes.