Aurora Cultural Centre Community-Focused and Volunteer-Driven

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This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

The Aurora Cultural Centre (ACC) serves the town of Aurora, population 55,445 (Statistics Canada, 2016). Over 26% of the population is made up of visible minorities, though the town also has a wide range of people who are diverse in other indicators, with many linguistic backgrounds. Like similar organizations, the ACC operates as a not-for-profit organization at arms length from the town council.

“Every one of the 12-member board of directors brings a wide breadth of talent to the table. We work under a Provision of Cultural Services with the municipality,” says Jane Taylor, ACC’s communications and events manager. “Every one of the 12-member board has a buy-in and brings a great deal of talent to the table. We are very much a provider of cultural services for our municipality as a third party.

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“The core of our programming revolves around the visual arts, and we like to give youth the opportunity to take ownership of the arts,” Taylor says. One of their programs aims at exhibiting the works of local Grade 12 students of the visual arts and provides mentoring, particularly in the area of how to conduct publicity in the arts. “The students who are in the lower grades look forward to their final year and the opportunity for such mentoring,” stated Taylor, adding: “The Mayor and his office provide a great deal of support for this event, which is in fact called ‘The Mayor’s Celebration of Youth Arts’ and has been running since 2011.”

The buy-in from community members is the biggest thing going in Aurora. In the area of music programming, Bonnie Silver and her husband, classical guitarist Norbert Kraft, curate the Great Artist Music Series which consists of four classical concerts per year. “In addition, with the sponsorship of RBC we also have what we call the Emerging Artists Series and additionally we have the Meridian Magic Carpet Series aimed at youth, and the Kaleidoscope Family Series,” Taylor says. “All of these are hosted in the very intimate setting of Brevik Hall, which seats 150 people.”

The Signature Series is well established. Taylor feels lucky to have John Sheard, musical director of Stuart McLean’s long-running programme Vinyl Café, as a host. “He’s worked with so many outstanding artists,” Taylor says with a note of excitement.

“We use all the standard metrics for measuring success, though one thing we are extremely proud of is our receipt of Imagine Canada’s Standard Programs Trustmark, which focuses on five key areas: board governance, financial accountability, fundraising, staff management and volunteer involvement.”

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


About Author

Vasyl Pawlowsky holds a B.A. in Slavic Languages and Literartures from the University of Waterloo, an M.A. in the same, specializing in 20th century Ukrainian literature from the University of Ottawa, and a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University. He has worked in the aerospace, educational and legal sectors as an information specialist, in both Canada and Ukraine. He has also experience in both print and broadcast journalism, as a copy writer, editor, producer and program host. He has published in the Eastern Economist, The Kyiv Post, The Kyiv Weekly, The Ukrainian Weekly, FreePint and Maclean's Magazine.

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