From Chicken Coop to Cultural Centre – Let’s Start Small, Dream Big!
This was the message from Saskia Praamsma, this past Monday in her presentation to the Town's Culture and Recreation Committee. Supported bythe volunteer directors of the Mississippi Mills Community Culture Corporation (M2C4), Ms. Praamsma outlined a win-win proposition whereby thevacant spaces in the newly renovated Almonte Old Town Hall (AOTH) would bemanaged by M2C4, at no cost to the town, and made available as "incubatorspaces" to Mississippi Mills' cultural groups and individuals
.The M2C4 was established in 2002 to address the community's need for a physical centre to house cultural initiatives such as an open galleries,studio spaces, rehearsal and performance spaces, lecture and classfacilities. Over the years the cultural community has "made do" with a variety of creative spaces throughout our community. The Town's Community ConversationII this past fall, however, identified the "Creation of a Cultural Plan for Mississippi Mills, which includes long-term planning for the creation of a 'physical' cultural centre (building) in MississippiMills" as a top priority.
Recognizing the financial and staff investment needed by the Town to address this priority, the M2C4 has offered to take on the challenge at no cost,starting small and using the available spaces in the AOTH for the next 12 months. In addition to increasing traffic and the visibility of the AOTH,Ms. Praamsma noted that M2C4 will engage with the cultural community to assess priorities and identify specific needs so that any future plans are developed with true input.Drawing parallels between Mississippi Mills' other outstanding institutions,including our newly upgraded Recreation Center, the Almonte General Hospital/ Fairview Manor and our high school and primary schools, Ms. Praamsma said,"it was now time we addressed the needs of the creative community in Mississippi Mills."