Collingwood Arts Centre Feasibility Study

The Town of Collingwood is pleased to be partnering with Nordicity Group and Giaimo Architects in the undertaking of an Arts Centre Feasibility Study for the Town of Collingwood.

The Goal
The purpose of the study is to evaluate the needs of the arts and cultural sectors in the community, and to determine if and to what degree an arts and cultural centre would be feasible in Collingwood.

The Process & Results
The process included a market and audience assessment, stakeholder and public consultation, a design and location analysis, and finally, recommendations on financing and governance. The final report has been completed and was presented at the Strategic Initiatives Committee (SIC) meeting on October 4th and at the Council meeting on October 18th.

The results of the study suggest that there is indeed demand for an arts and culture centre in Collingwood and that it would be feasible, “provided certain design, development, and start-up conditions can be met and the overall implementation executed capably”. Nordicity advises that “success depends on many factors from ensuring continued community buy-in, strong leadership particularly related to market attraction, programming and promotions, as well as a commitment from the Town towards the annual subsidy.”

To move forward, Council approved staff to proceed with the following next steps:

A) Staff to review findings and work with community stakeholders to rationalize the options presented in the study

B) Staff and community stakeholders to research potential funding options and an overall funding strategy

C) Staff to refine business analysis indicated in the study to include the potential requirements of debenture funding over and above operating costs

D) Staff to return in late 2022/early 2023 with recommendations regarding a targeted approach for Council to consider

Current Status

To accomplish Step A as outlined above, the Town of Collingwood has partnered again with Nordicity and Giaimo to complete a second phase of the Collingwood Arts Centre Feasibility Study. 

Phase 2 commenced in September 2022 and is expected to conclude in April of 2023.

The objectives of Phase 2 are to:
•    Validate the feasibility of the new arts facilities, including the market, operational, financial, economic, fundraising, and social-impact aspects that would underline a recommendation on size and seating capacity
•    Assess the feasibility of a short list of sites and recommend a single site that Council would put forth for any further consultation deemed to be required, and
•    Determine the target arts disciplines that would be served by the facility, which would include space for live performance of theatre/music/dance, and public galleries and exhibition space for the visual arts. It is noted that the facilities would have secondary halls, workshop space, parking, administrative offices, and classrooms/studios/rehearsal space, as per the final report from Phase 1. 

The results of Phase 2 will determine the recommended site, size, and scope of the Arts & Culture Centre.

Project Documents

Public Engagement
The public survey regarding the Arts Centre Feasibility Study is now closed. Thank you for your participation and feedback. Your responses will be kept confidential and will help shape the vision for a potential arts centre in Collingwood. The public engagement phase also included a focus group and additional stakeholder interviews. The results from each consultation method is helping inform a user needs assessment and audience market analysis.

About the Consultants
Nordicity is a leading international consulting firm providing solutions in research, economic analysis, strategy, and policy across multiple sectors including Arts, Culture & Heritage. For this project, Nordicity has partnered with Giaimo, a Toronto-based architectural practice that integrates design with conservation. Giaimo brings with it unique expertise in working with heritage buildings.