What Kind of Events and Projects Will Continue After Canada’s 150?
There was no doubt that Canada's 150th Anniversary celebrations were a key highlight of last year. The events, organized projects and public activities were an important part of making the year special.
With the positive engagement from the community, many councillors are now wondering what kind of projects and events will be coming next year to the city to continue the legacy of celebrating heritage, arts and culture.
Councillor Nando Iannicca discussed the importance of celebrating culture in Mississauga and its effect on attracting tourism and heightening the local experience. Increasing tourism within the City is part of the plan of action for increasing revenues and establishing Mississauga as a destination of choice like Toronto.
So, what ideas are being explored?
Having opportunities for projects that engage the community such as public art, banners and colouring the city with public billboards were some of the ideas mentioned at council to grow the culture base.
Iannicca also mentioned improving the look of the city by refurbishing old painted buildings, inspiring the city through more lighting and attractive art across various artistic mediums—think New York City.
"I just think it's a marvellous opportunity and we're off to a great start after 150, I think we need to do more of it to animate the public realm in our city, because it truly is the low-hanging fruit," said Iannicca.
The City of Mississauga had 63 projects city-wide to celebrate heritage, culture and the arts for Canada 150. Some of the projects included the rehabilitation of 19 trails, 26 playgrounds and renovation projects at Lake Aquitaine Park, Riverwood, South Common Community Centre and the Small Arms Inspection Building. Events that brought the community together included the annual New Year's Eve celebration (which attracting 30,000 people), a massive Canada Day celebration and the Light Up the Square Christmas tree lighting event.
Some other highlights of the program included public art projects such as the Hurontario Tree Wraps and recreational activities at Celebration Square through the ParticipACTION 150 Play List.
"Under the theme, Brilliance Together, Mississauga residence and city staff had many opportunities to learn more about their local history, celebrate their heritage, develop a deeper understanding of what it means to be Canadian and show their civic pride," said Sonja Banic, project lead and manager, Culture Services.
The budget for the Canada 150 celebrations was financially supported with $5.8 million in grants from the Canadian government and other organizations. There was no additional budget to fund the program. Iannicca discussed the opportunity of adding additional programs to the city and being able to use existing budgets to fund the activities.
"What do we do next year? I think it's marvellous what we did in the animation in the colour that was put on the streets," says Iannicca. "We saw this year first hand what a beautiful thing it was."
"I think between the culture division and our future tourism directions, you've just started something, I mean it's just the start. As we go through an age of city of maturation, that's what people want, they want to be part and parcel of it and we were certainly shown that by all the residents," says Ron Starr, Councillor of Ward 6.
Looking forward to what potential events and projects will be underway in the community. More updates to follow.