A vision for the future of our regional Arts, Culture, and Entertainment.

Anyone passionate about the Arts will notice that there’s something in the water around Georgian Bay. Obviously, I’ve noticed our music scene’s uniqueness and centre my attention on that with my website Route 26. But in all divisions of the Arts, we have talented, passionate, and productive artists who choose to live and work here. From visual artists to storytellers and poets, to musicians, to dancers, to theatre, and all the nuances in between, we have a lot to share. The recognition of that artistic diversity formed the foundation of CACE: Collingwood Arts Culture and Entertainment Group. This is a relatively new grassroots organization, rooted in Collingwood with outstretched arms for Arts across our intersecting regions, that has come together to try and set a proper foundation for the future of our regional Arts & Culture scene.

CACE’s main focus right now is to build an arts, culture, and entertainment centre in Collingwood. As locals know, we lack a regional facility that could support bigger productions. CACE proposes a 250-600 person theatre, with potential for other much-needed spaces in the building like rehearsal space, an accessible, comfortable, and high-capacity backstage area, gallery space, a lobby, additional space for workshops and smaller events, and ample parking. It would be a centre to bring people together, with something for everybody to enjoy.

In addition to the enormous social benefits, this centre would be a great economic driver for the town of Collingwood. Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson comments on the CACE project: “The proposed Collingwood Arts, Culture and Entertainment Centre is a worthy and needed facility that I am pleased to support. Not only will it provide a home for diverse professional and local art forms in South Georgian Bay, but it will also be an economic boon for our region, providing direct employment during its construction and operational phases and significant spin-offs throughout its lifetime.”

Collingwood already has so much to offer as a place to live, work, or visit. Beautiful public parks, trails, access to the water and the hills, great shopping, fabulous restaurants, thriving entrepreneurs, and small businesses… I could keep going. It’s time to support our wonderful Arts & Culture scene with a beautiful, modern, downtown facility.

It’s also worth noting that it is not intended for a facility like this to take away from any other venues; a higher capacity and more all-encompassing centre would serve as a central space, which sets a foundation for the Arts scene at large to benefit from. The goal is to make the Arts & Culture of Collingwood and surrounding regions shine and give our artists and touring artists a modern facility to shine in. Setting that foundation naturally allows for smaller venues to benefit from a more thriving Arts scene as well.

In partnership with architecture and heritage consulting firm Giaimo, Nordicity is conducting a study to determine the feasibility of developing an arts centre in Collingwood. To ensure this process is meaningful and inclusive, they are seeking input from Collingwood’s community. If you are a seasonal visitor to Collingwood or reside in Collingwood’s broader region, you are also welcome to participate.

Please visit https://collingwoodarts.com to provide your input. The questionnaire should take roughly 5 minutes to complete.

Submitted by: Laura Conning, Owner, Route 26

Route 26 is a music website for showcasing the beautiful music community around Georgian Bay, following along Highway 26 through Collingwood, The Blue Mountains, Thornbury, Clarksburg, Meaford, and Owen Sound. It’s a one-stop website for local music event listings and information on musicians and musical happenings in the area.

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