Friday, February 2, 2007

Breaks will be enforced…

The “dragging” feeling that has persisted through the week has, it turns out, its root in a case of strep throat. So, penicillin in hand, here’s a brief update on the week whilst I recuperate in the company of my 1 and 3 and a half year old children.

The week began with my MLA consultation with Premier Binns in his constituency office out in Monatgue. The Premier did answer my questions – so the goals was met. I don’t really know how to comment on the meeting itself. I suppose I’d hoped for more engagement and the meeting was rather low-key. Perhaps the meeting was informed by the impending release of the Conflict of Interest Commissioners report.

The highlight of the week was a meeting with the Southern Kings Arts Council, one of the provincial regional arts councils. The group of five met with Barb Wynne and I. The meeting was very engaging, full of open dialogue, some professional difference of opinion, and, all-in-all, great.

Certainly, I left the room quite enthused. The more of the conversations we have, the more connections we make, the more hope I have for the future and for growing collaborations. Barb will has summarized that meeting with the following points:

  • The Prince Edward Island Council of the Arts could work to improve linkages between arts and culture, and other sectors, in particular with the tourism sector.
  • The province is in need of an inventory, or an ‘inventory of inventories’, of arts and culture organizations to build connections, networks and opportunities for collaboration.
  • The opportunity exists to increase publicity of Southern King’s cultural events such as the Montague High School drama productions, through the Island Arts Newsletter, a free weekly electronic publication.
  • The Southern Kings region needs adequate spaces for art to happen, particularly the visual arts which require adequate space and lighting. Combined venues and adequate facilities do not currently exist in the region and the Southern Kings Arts Council is having difficulty finding an appropriate space for the Spring Festival.
  • To increase understanding of the peer assessment review process used in the Prince Edward Island Council of the Arts grant adjudication, the Southern Kings Arts Council was invited to have an observer at the next adjudication.

We’ll be, formally, sening these points back to the SKAC in a letter for their review and comment. With two regional arts council’s left, we’re nearing the end of this faze of the pre-plan consultations and we’re pretty pleased with the level of cooperation and honest sharing we’ve seen. I look forward to the report on these consultations as much as I did the public set.