MCI Initiatives

Muskoka Cultural Impresarios was Project Co-ordinator/Facilitator for a year-long Ontario Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Rural Affairs Job Creation Strategy project with partners from post-secondary education, community economic development, a music festival and four resorts to re-shape Muskoka’s image as four-season culture and heritage tourist destination. The following objectives were undertaken: building new strategic alliances with cross-sectoral partners to develop creative cooperative marketing initiatives; enhancements to events and venues to augment the quality and accessibility and to expand the season; developing and using new technology in creating a specific database and economic impact study of the arts and culture in Muskoka to create new linkages, business opportunities, skill development, mentoring and training.

MCI facilitated a community development feasibility study for an international centre for the arts and humanities. We assembled a team of professionals from the fields of education, arts, health care, housing and finance. A cross-sectoral group of ten volunteers during a six month period (6657 hours), with funding from Human Resources Development Canada, created a very extensive feasibility study for a comprehensive, community economic development project.

MCI completed a contract with the Trillium Lakeland District School Board and Muskoka Community Futures Development Corporation to assess current music programming in elementary schools throughout Muskoka with a view to bridging inequities and making recommendations regarding the development and implementation of broader, more accessible instrumental music programming.

The principal partners founded the Muskoka Lakes Music Festival in 1996 and bring world class musicians and artists to Muskoka in the summer. The Festival received the 2007 Ontario Trillium Foundation Arts & Culture Award for its Kaleidoscope Artists in the Schools project bringing programming and arts-based projects to schools in the Muskoka area and its renowned Kaleidoscope Children’s Festival.

MCI was part of a team of consultants that conducted a research study for the potential to create an Economuseum network in Northern Ontario. MCI researched and inventoried artists, crafts people and agri/food tourism businesses in the Muskoka Parry Sound area to determine numbers, assess potential interest and make recommendations of potential candidates to the International Society of Economuseums in Quebec. This lead to the establishment of the Ontario Society of Economuseums which is currently in the process of developing the first sites in Ontario.

In June of 2004, MCI opened the doors to a new Gallery and Art Centre at 1182 Foreman Road, Port Carling. Muskoka Place Gallery hosts solo and group exhibitions including local and internationally acclaimed artists, provides a variety of art classes, workshops and retreats, and is home to a “learning community of painters”.

In 2007 MCI was retained by Red Leaves Muskoka, a 1400 acre, $700 million resort development, as Directors of Arts and Culture with a vision to position Red Leaves as the leading arts and culture based, year round community and resort destination in Canada. We will be developing quality and relevant programming through a culture-led regeneration of Muskoka’s prestigious past within the larger context of local, regional and international realities and trends.