Culture Talks Summit [GALLERY]

Starting the Conversation about Arts and Culture in Vaughan

The Importance of Arts and Culture in Communities

Arts and culture have become a driving force in municipal planning with respect to quality of life, by enabling the development of distinctive communities that each have a strong sense of place. We know that cultural programs and facilities, including public art, can help shape a community’s identity and also drive economic development, placemaking and city-building.

Municipalities across the country have developed public art policies to support their planning framework and now Vaughan is doing the same. Our new downtown – the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC) – is taking shape and the opportunity for creative planning and innovation is unbounded.

Vision for Vaughan: A Cultural Framework

The vision for the VMC is of a vibrant, energetic place that attracts residents, businesses and visitors to engage and interact – a stimulating place that encourages people to meet and exchange ideas.

Culture Talks Summit

A cultural framework for the VMC will provide a set of visions, goals and tactics to guide cultural development in Vaughan’s new downtown. It will identify opportunities for the City to use cultural resources for creative placemaking, particularly in early phases, and to advance economic development in the community.

An exciting event was held on Jan. 21 at Vaughan City Hall to kick-start the conversation about arts and culture in the VMC. The Culture Talks Summit officially launched the City’s Cultural Framework and Public Art Plan study for the VMC, and the City-wide Public Art Study. A pop-up art installation was created during the summit and is now on display in the main Atrium at City Hall.

At the event, three leading experts discussed the role of culture and public art in economic development and city-building.

Experts talk about public art

Renee Piechocki, an artist, public art consultant and founding director of Pittsburgh’s Office of Public Art, spoke about how public art, culture and civic design have been essential parts of re-making Pittsburgh. The presentation by Tim Jones, CEO of Artscape in Toronto, focused on creative placemaking, the creative economy and creative entrepreneurship. Toronto-based architect Paul Raff, whose works include a public art installation for the subway station at the VMC, talked about examples of public art installations that have helped to create a beautiful public realm and build the identity of place.

This is just the beginning of the process. This exciting initiative will include future public forums, one-on-one interviews and focus groups with stakeholders, landowners, community groups, artists, educators and businesses. We encourage your input and if you would like to provide any comments, please contact

Amy Roots
VMC Project Manager




Visit the City of Vaughan’s website at

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