The long awaited Culture, Tourism and Recreation Master Plan was presented to Council at the end of May. To make sure that the final report actually reflects the needs and input of Timmins residents, Councillors requested one more feedback period so people could read it and share their thoughts. They set June 12, 2014 as the deadline to submit final comments on the report.
The responses from this round of consultation have been overwhelmingly positive. Many people recognize that the City is facing increasing pressure to find money for things like roads and maintenance, but commented that it was still important to think about other aspects of life in our city. Good recreation facilities are important because they contribute to overall health, leisure opportunities and community building. They can also help attract big tournaments and tourism, which strengthens our local economy.
A stronger Cultural sector will support local artists, musicians, writers and others and highlight the importance of culture in our city. It will facilitate festival development and business growth in the arts and culture sector. This is especially critical if we want to demonstrate that we have a good quality of life to offer residents, including young people.
Finally, a Tourism Master Plan will help us make strategic decisions about tourism that are based on evidence and best practices. A plan will help us recognize what we should focus on, and just as important, what we should NOT focus on. Plans help us avoid costly mistakes.
The next step is for Council to review the feedback and determine whether to accept the plan. If it is accepted, City staff and community partners will then have a mandate to start implementing its recommendations. That means that future budgets and priorities will include these projects.
The Timmins 2020 Steering Committee, Recreation Committee, Arts and Culture Committee and Tourism Committee want to thank everyone who took the time to help shape this Master Plan. Over a thousand people provided ideas and shared their thoughts. This is a great endorsement of the Timmins 2020 Strategic Plan and its importance to the people of Timmins.