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Cultural Plan


A Cultural Plan for the Town of Hanover

What is this Project About?

The Town of Hanover is a community rich in heritage and culture. The Town’s forthcoming Cultural Plan will profile the Town’s rich cultural resources and identify better ways to coordinate, align and promote the Town’s cultural resources to both residents and visitors to our community. The project will also broaden the recognition of the Town of Hanover as a creative and vibrant municipality where the growth of the cultural sector is fostered as a vital component of the community’s social and economic well-being.

To support the development of the Cultural Plan a community engagement process is being used to seek ideas and input from across the town. Details of this engagement process are described in the ‘how can YOU participate section below’.

The final Cultural Plan will be a standalone document designed to support the policies and goals listed in several of the Town’s strategic guiding documents. The plan will include vision and principles, municipal roles and partnerships opportunities, strategic actionable initiatives and a detailed implementation plan designed to assist in monitoring progress and deliverables.

Where are we now?

Based on the foundation laid out by the mapping inventory, the Cultural Plan will also integrate input from the Hanover community and key cultural businesses, organizations, and stakeholders. The input from these sessions will be used to develop a cultural vision for the town, identify appropriate strategies and actions to support cultural development across a wide range of interests, and create a Cultural Plan that will help to inform municipal and community based decision-making across the town.

Contact Us

If you wish to learn more about the Cultural Plan please view the definitions tab under Cultural Plan, or if you have questions or comments, please contact:

April Marshall
Economic Development Manager
Town of Hanover
341 10th Street, Hanover, ON N4N 1P5
t 519.364.2780 x 1253 | c 519.372.5405 | f 519.364.6456

Input on the development of Cultural Plan is provided by the Cultural Plan Steering Committee:

Al Morrow, Bev Morgan, Dave Hocking, Dave Schefter, Dianne Mather, Jennifer Hillier, Pat Butler and staff, April Marshall and Sherri Walden.


Cultural Planning is a priority for the Government of Ontario. In 2011, Municipal Cultural Planning Inc. with support from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport produced Municipal Cultural Planning: A Toolkit for Ontario Municipalities. The Toolkit defines Cultural Planning as:

A municipal government-led process approved by Council, for identifying and leveraging a community’s cultural resources, strengthening the management of those cultural resources, and integrating those cultural resources across all facets of municipal government planning and decision making.

Cultural Planning is part of an integrated, place-based approach to planning and development that takes into account four pillars of sustainability: economic prosperity, social equity, environmental responsibility and cultural vitality.
Cultural Planning is guided by 5 assumptions:

1. Cultural resources – Cultural Planning embraces a broad definition of cultural resources that includes creative cultural industries and occupations, cultural spaces and facilities, natural and cultural heritage resources, festivals and events, community cultural organizations, and intangible cultural resources such as community stories. See Cultural Resources Framework below.

2. Cultural mapping – Cultural Planning begins with cultural mapping, a systematic approach to identifying, recording, classifying and analyzing a community’s cultural resources.

3. Adopting a ‘cultural lens’ – Cultural Planning involves establishing processes to integrate culture as a consideration across all facets of municipal planning and decision-making.

4. Cross-sectoral strategies – Cultural Planning requires new partnership models or mechanisms (such as Cultural Roundtables) to support ongoing collaboration between the municipality and its cultural, community and business partners.

5. Networks and engagement – Cultural Planning involves strengthening networks across all facets of the cultural sector and strategies to support ongoing community engagement.

In this video, Greg Baeker discusses the importance of cultural planning as an essential tool for Ontario municipalities in rediscovering the wealth of place 

Cultural Resource Framework

Cultural mapping is a process to systematically identify, document and analyze the cultural resources or assets of a community. Across the country, more and more municipalities are turning to cultural mapping as an important new tool to support economic development and to demonstrate the quality of life in communities.

Cultural mapping embraces a broad definition of cultural resources as illustrated in the diagram below. This includes a wide range of tangible resources such as arts and heritage organizations, cultural occupations and industries, cultural and natural heritage – among others. It also explores the areas of intangible cultural assets - the stories, traditions and unique quality of life that shape the town’s identity and sense of place. The broad definition of cultural resources illustrated in the diagram is dynamic. It is, however, a starting point for gathering information on the rich and diverse cultural assets in Hanover.

Creativity, culture and quality of place have become major drivers in growing local economies. One reason for the increased focus on culture-led economic development is a basic shift in assumptions about what drives local economies. A traditional economic growth model in which the attraction of large-scale business investment attracts jobs and people is being turned on its head. Instead, we understand that if we build communities with strong quality of place where people want to live and work, business and investment follow people, not the other way around. Places with strong community amenities and a range of cultural assets and entertainment options attract people, which in turn attract business investment. A second factor driving increased attention to culture is rapid growth in the creative cultural industries, one of the fastest growing sectors in the emerging creative economy.

With these conclusions comes the need for new strategies to cultivate cultural resources to drive economic development.

Key Message 1

Cultural planning involves identifying cultural resources and leveraging those resources to support economic and broader community development objectives. The Cultural Plan will help advance a wide range of plans and priorities across the Town.

Key Message 2

Cultural planning adopts a broad definition of cultural resources. The Cultural Plan will employ a cultural mapping process to identify, document, narrate, and analyze the Town’s cultural resources.

Key Message 3

Community input is critical to the success of the Cultural Plan. The Cultural Plan process will engage the community through systematic tools that will capture collective thoughts and voices of the Town.

Key Message 4

A rich cultural life and amenities are important elements to attracting jobs and investment in the economy. The Cultural Plan will assist in identifying opportunities to connect cultural development to the Town’s economic development efforts including how cultural life and its amenities can be connected to tourism, businesses, and main street initiatives.