Manitoulin Arts and Culture Council celebrates first anniversary

KAGAWONG—The Manitoulin Arts and Cultural Council (MACC) has passed a seminal milestone and will be marking its first anniversary with a celebratory meeting at the Kagawong Park Centre.

“This month marks the first anniversary of the MACC,” noted organizer author Kate Thompson. “To make our monthly meeting special, we’re going to hold it at the Kagawong Park Centre from 1:30 to 3:30 pm.”

Spokesperson Alex Baran of Providence Bay noted that MACC grew out of an initiative of LAMBAC two years ago that sought to bring a profitable coherence to the arts and artistic community on Manitoulin.

“Out of that first conference at the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre we held a day of action at the Kagawong Park Centre,” noted Mr. Baran. “About 40 people came out and the decision was made to try and give birth to something,” he said. Four committees came from that meeting, dealing with structure, communication, innovations/ideas and programming. “Two committees eventually merged,” he said. “One of the things that happened out of that final meeting was that we said ‘let’s try to have something come out of this that represents the thinking that has gone on to date’,” said Mr. Baran. Throughout the intervening months the MACC, made up of a number of local artists and interested people, met either in person at Mr. Baran’s home in Providence Bay or, more innovatively, by SKYPE. “It’s been great,” he said of the technological meeting space. “Instead of having to brave the winter roads in January and February we were able to get together in the warmth and safety of our own homes.”

The meeting at the Kagawong Park Centre taking place this Sunday, June 21 will provide an opportunity for those who attended the original meeting to be briefed on what has been accomplished to date, as well as to learn about a couple of important possibilities for Manitoulin.

As part of the celebrations, LAMBAC’s Maureen Strickland will speak to the meeting about the new Artist Investment Program (an extremely useful and reasonable loans program) being offered by the community investment corporation. Ms. Strickland will also be exploring the topic of ‘Cooperatives for Creative Communities.’

“Cooperatives are really Maureen’s lifelong area of expertise,” noted Mr. Baran. “We are really hoping she will opine on how that model could provide an untapped opportunity that exists here where no other model will work.”

“We’ll have a quick review of what we’ve done this past year and what projects we have on our calendar,” added Ms. Thompson. “We invite you to bring one or two samples of your work to exhibit, for everyone to enjoy for the day. We hope to raffle off a very special item – a surprise.”

MACC is inviting the original attendees and anyone involved or interested in promoting the arts on Manitoulin Island to “come and reconnect with the Manitoulin’s creative community; we look forward to seeing you!”

The anniversary meeting will take place Sunday, June 21 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm at the Kagawong Park Centre.