County of Huron Invests in Local Arts and Culture

July 12, 2016

At their July session, Huron County Council approved up to $500,000 in new funding for the development of the Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity – an arts and innovation hub that will address issues facing rural communities and accelerate economic growth and social renewal across the county and beyond.

“The Board and staff of Blyth Arts & Cultural Initiative 14/19 are delighted about this new partnership with the County of Huron,” says Karen Stewart, Director of Operations. “Arts and culture are not only vital to increasing the quality of life in our communities, but they offer a significant return on investment, too.”

The Ontario Arts Council released a report last year stating that for every dollar spent in the cultural sector there is a 12 dollar return to the community. The Department of Rural Development at the University of Guelph reports that the rural cultural sector grew by 22% between 1996 and 2006, and it continues to grow faster than total rural employment in Canada. The same report forecasts that growth in the rural cultural sector will continue between 2013 and 2025 at a rate of 2.6% per year.

“This funding aligns with Huron County’s Economic Development Strategic Plan goals to grow, support and attract economic growth across various sectors – Tourism, Culture & Art, post-secondary Education, Agriculture, Retail and Information Technology,” said Warden Paul Gowing. “The Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity’s four flagship programs, which include Fashion Arts & Creative Textiles (FACTS), New Media, Theatre Arts and Rural Voice/Rural Policy, will help local industries adapt to the new economy while honouring our culture and heritage.”

The funding will flow from the county’s economic development budget and will be received over five years.

“The Huron County investment is an important key to our success,” Stewart added. “Meaningful community involvement and local partnerships not only help us to leverage federal support, but also make this a true Canadian effort and one not just for today but something that can be passed on to the next generation.”

For more information visit

Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity14-19 logo

For more information contact:

Karen Stewart,
519.441.7629 (ext 1)