Cultural planning in ontario, canada: Arts policy or more?

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23 Scopus citations


Cultural planning is often explained as a strategic approach to urban cultural development; an approach that involves the 'mapping' and leveraging of a wide range of 'cultural resources' (arts, culture, and heritage). However, it is increasingly being questioned whether cultural planning is anything more than a fairly traditional arts policy with a different name. In particular, it has been observed in Australia that cultural plans usually fail to address more than arts sector concerns. The objective of this paper is to investigate whether this assessment applies to cultural planning practice in Ontario, the province at the forefront of the current 'municipal cultural planning' push in Canada. An examination of all cultural plans in Ontario's mid-size cities and interviews conducted with municipal staff members overseeing these initiatives shows that whereas several municipalities do follow an arts-driven policy agenda, this is not the case with most mid-size cities in the province.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-340
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Policy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Arts
  • Canada
  • Cultural planning
  • Mid-size cities


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