The link between culture and the development of healthy, resilient communities is gathering strength in Northern Ontario. This research brought forward a new framework for approaching economic development that places a healthy culture, one that provides a supportive environment for people and their expressions of creativity, at the forefront of a vibrant and economically sound community. By assessing the socio-economic impact of the arts on the economy of Sault Ste. Marie, this study identified local strengths that can bolster the economy. These include community ownership and commitment, increasing economic activities and efficiencies around industry clusters and building on the existing arts economy. The findings point to the potential for increased economic activity where a greater understanding and strategic development planning process is generated. This would give the city a competitive advantage in attracting new business, retaining skilled labour and investment and providing wide-spread community benefits.
Jude Ortiz, Dr. Gayle Broad
2005 – 2007