By Jenn Watt
The following are brief reports of items discussed at the annual general meeting of the Haliburton Highlands Arts Council held at the Haliburton Highlands Museum on Dec. 2.
Haliburton County will host a second symposium for SPARC a network for people in rural areas in performing arts.
SPARC held its first symposium in Haliburton in 2014 followed by a summit where people set goals for the organization. SPARC was supported by a $105000 Ontario Trillium Foundation grant. Since that time they have created a website and a communications network for those doing performance art in rural places with more to come.
SPARC network steering committee chairwoman Chris Lynd said SPARC will be changing in coming years.
“The goal is eventually to make that a provincial committee. We don’t want to stay in control. We want to move this out into the province. We’ve always said that” she said.
The group plans to create regional hubs across the province the number of hubs will depend on funding. The first one will be in Haliburton and work has already begun on bringing together theatre types in the region with a Spotlight on Performing Arts planned Dec. 10 at the Dominion Hotel in Minden. Lynd said they hope as time goes on to attract performing artists and supporters from Bancroft and the City of Kawartha Lakes as well.
The council will continue to receive operations funding from the Ontario Arts Council. They have been approved for three years at $9001 per year.
Kernohan-Berning took the funding commitment as a good sign. “It means we are moving in the right direction” she said.
Treasurer Renee Woltz said that Dawson Gray Chartered Accountants had done a review engagement of the organization’s finances and found them in compliance with law and in good shape.
Longtime board member Chris Lynd stepped down from the council after reaching the maximum time on the board: two three-year terms. She was given a standing ovation from the membership in attendance. Barb Bolin called Lynd the “mother to the arts council for so many years.”
Returning to the board in the coming year are Kernohan-Berning Renee Woltz (treasurer) Jennifer Posti and Kate Butler. New to the board are Erin Lynch and Greg Gillespie.