The Mayor's Task Force on Heritage, Culture and Arts



The Mayor's Task Force on Heritage, Culture and Arts was assembled to recommend ways that Winnipeg can move forward in “supporting and structuring Winnipeg’s vibrant arts, culture, and heritage sectors”.  The Mayor's Task Force, chaired by Councillor Mike Pagtakhan, included individuals representing all these sectors and organizations integral to the arts, cultural and heritage community, including Heritage Winnipeg’s Executive Director Cindy Tugwell.

The Task Force submitted their final report and very appropriately Mayor Brian Bowman announced it at the annual Mayor's Luncheon for the Arts at the Fort Garry Hotel on Thursday, June 8th, 2017.  The Mayor indicated that "a new liaison committee will be formed to advise Council on the next steps". 
 
One of the proposed recommendations requests that the City of Winnipeg support Heritage Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Arts Council to establish a new “arm’s length” granting program for Museums going forward, which would ultimately reside with Heritage Winnipeg.  The Task Force felt that Heritage Winnipeg’s expertise in the conservation of historic/heritage structures and sites lent itself well to the nature of museums, and the fact that many museums are located in heritage buildings.
 
Heritage Winnipeg’s capacity would be built with the support of the Winnipeg Arts Council, a pre-eminent city-building organization recognized for its grant programs to artists. The Winnipeg Arts Council’s experience in developing and implementing peer assessment processes that are removed from the political decision-making sphere would lend to the credibility of the new structure.
  • That the City of Winnipeg maintain the Museums Board during a two-year transition period until December 31, 2018, during which a special services agency for city-owned museums and a peer assessment process under Heritage Winnipeg will be established to allocate funds to eligible museums beginning in 2020.
  • That the City of Winnipeg maintain the Museums Board for the remainder od 2017 and entirety of 2018, enabling a transfer of funding to other organizations proposed herein.
  • The City of Winnipeg support the Winnipeg Arts Council and Heritage Winnipeg in the establishment of a partnership in service of the museums community of Winnipeg, as described in the statement of Intent provided in Appendix C of this report, inclusive of capacity funding for Heritage Winnipeg through the transition phase.
  • The Winnipeg Arts Council and Heritage Winnipeg sign a memorandum of understanding to outline the process of transitioning from the Museums Board to a juried granting process for museums (approximate annual value of $240,000), understanding that the City of Winnipeg will delegate authority for final determination of grants distribution to this partnership.
  • The Winnipeg Arts Council and Heritage Winnipeg work collaboratively to establish appropriate application criteria and processes for a new juried granting process open to all museums located in the City of Winnipeg, including consultation with the Museums community.
  • The Winnipeg Arts Council provide its expertise to Heritage Winnipeg in developing and implementing a peer assessment process for the allocation of grants.
  • That City Council dissolves the existing City of Winnipeg Museums Board.
The City of Winnipeg provide an annual operating grant (i.e., a portion of current operating budget of the City of Winnipeg Museums Board), to establish a special services agency within the City of Winnipeg Archives to accommodate the six “City Owned” museums, with an annual operating budget based upon 2016 funding allocations (approximately $790,000 based on 2016 funding allocations).
 
The City of Winnipeg provide an annual operating grant (i.e, a portion of the current operating budget of the City of Winnipeg’s Museums Board) to Heritage Winnipeg to assume responsibility for the role of advocate for Museums in Winnipeg, and to implement and manage a peer assessment process for the allocation of program and project grants to non-city owned Museums on behalf of the City of Winnipeg, with a total funding pool (based upon 2016 funding process allocations of approximately $240,000 annually).
 
The City of Winnipeg in cooperation with relevant stakeholders, has an opportunity to adopt a leadership role with respect to built heritage. As the owner of numerous heritage and historic buildings, the city has an opportunity to act as stewards, and develop and adopt appropriate policies and management practices to maintain these resources. Heritage Winnipeg has been identified as one organizations with a keen interest in better coordination with the city’s heritage-related activities.

The Task Force identified the reallocation of the Gail Parvin Hammerquist Fund as a mechanism to support city-led heritage initiatives. Although the fund currently helps support CentreVenture’s projects, the Development Corporation was established with an aim of becoming self-sufficient over time. This means that as CentreVenture moves towards its entrepreneurial aim, the Gail Parvin Hammerquist Fund could be allocated to achieve its intended purpose of heritage protection, education, and conservation. To this end, the Task Force has recommended several actions to support on-going built-heritage conservation and re-development efforts.

Thank you to all the stakeholders that participated and contributed to this report!  A special thank you to Mayor Bowman and Councillor Pagtakhan for their vision and commitment and also to InterGroup Consultants Ltd. for their help with the consulting process.

To read the full list of reccomendations set out by the Task Force, please click here
 
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