Sunday, December 2, 2007

Our "Creative Economy"

This past week I ran into a local arts patron and due to my involvement with the Chamber of Commerce we had a discussion on the growing economic impact that arts and culture is having on our area. Afterwards she emailed me some interesting information pertaining to a study that the Conference Board of Canada is undertaking on what is referred to as our "creative economy." To gauge the growing importance that creative, artisitic activity and its related products and services has on our economy please note the following:

"In Canada, this sector accounts for 3.8 percent of GDP and provides employment to nearly 600,000 workers. Arts and cultural industries are important drivers of creativity, innovation and job creation. It is predicted that the creative economy will continue to grow rapidly due to the lower costs in accessing technologies that are used to create and disseminate cultural products and experiences." Source: Conference Board of Canada

Our aging population is no doubt playing a significant role in the growth of arts and culture in Canada and closer here to home in the Georgian Triangle. In retirement, many people have both the time and financial resources to partake in artisitic endeavours and with the growing migration of such people into our area, one need only take note of the numerous businesses that have sprung up along Hurontario Street in the form of galleries and other organizations all related to arts and culture including: The Above Group- Level Gallery, Fishbowl, The Bay School of Arts and the Magic of Children in the Arts with their Magic Art Gallery above Saunders Office Pro amongst others.
Collingwood has had for years a very active cinema club and amateur arts following. Add to that organizations such as the Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts, Theatre Collingwood's efforts to establish a new facility in town and the forthcoming new library and it's not hard to realize the growing impact arts and culture will play in the future of our local economy. We've all heard the term "starving artists" and know how hard it is to be economically successful utilizing one's creative talents. My hat goes off to those who have the passion and committment to bring such worthwhile creative additions to our communtities. Your efforts will benefit us all not only socially, but economically as well.

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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.