The Town of Oakville is growing rapidly. Recent demographic trends and polices such as Places to Grow suggest this will continue. Many of Oakville's municipal buildings and public spaces were built 30-40 years ago when the town was much smaller and needs much different. The functional life span of many public buildings is near its end.
As our needs change, the community matures, and infrastructure ages, the Town engages in municipal planning and 10-year capital forecasts. To find out more about the Town of Oakville's planning for growth see the 2006 Masterplan for Oakville , for info on the Town's cultural planning see Blueprint Oakville and click here for the recently released Cultural Plan
Increasingly, the Town became sensitive to the demands from Oakville's creative groups to provide a public space(s) for arts and culture in our town. Creative spaces offer not only physical spaces, but a context for creative and cultural expression. To quote Councillor Roger Lapworth: "Culture is as unique to each resident of Oakville as their fingerprint. Culture is an overall inner expression of humanity. The importance of our cultural plan is paramount to the residents of Oakville so as to maintain the identity of Oakville for all of its cultural assets and beyond."
With the need for physical space on the one hand, and an empty, now Town-owned, former high school on the other hand, different stakeholders set to work to develop different visions for the re-purposed school as a true shared community centre at Queen Elizabeth Park School (QEP).
CommUnity Arts Space was able to advise the Town in detail of current space needs for creative local community groups and guilds. We continue to act as a link between the Town of Oakville and local community groups to ensure that space planning takes a multitude of views and needs into account. The QEP CommUnity Centre is slated to open doors in early 2012 and will provide - under one large 140,000 sq. ft roof - a multitude of recreational, artistic and cultural spaces. A unique shared community centre for Oakville and a creative model for other communties elsewhere.
CommUnity Arts Space is delighted at the prospects for creativity at QEP - we thank Mayor Rob Burton and his fellow council members for their willingness to listen to the community's many needs and their creativity in translating needs into possibilities.