City to explore arts coordinator position

Cornwall Coun. Brock Frost during a December 2014 budget meeting. (Cornwall Newswatch/File)

CORNWALL – The city will look at what it would cost and the duties of adding an arts and culture coordinator.

The new business item from Coun. Brock Frost at Monday night’s meeting is being supported by Coun. Justin Towndale.

Frost is following through on another of his election campaign promises.

“It’s an important issue for the community. There are no shortage of discussions about arts and culture and the creation of an arts center. I don’t think we’re there (for an arts center) in budgetary capabilities,” Frost told fellow councillors.

“How can we say we support the arts if we don’t have an arts department?,” Frost questioned.

The rookie councillor understands some may question his move to add a level of bureaucracy on a platform of cutting spending.

“Council should not look at this as an expense but more as an investment in the community,” he said.

Frost believes the position would cost around $100,000 a year – or one-sixteenth of a $163 million budget, as he put it.

Coun. Carilyne Hebert says having an experienced arts coordinator “could be that key to make this (an eventual arts center) happen.”

“It’s time to put our money where our mouth is,” she said.

The report will look at costs for hiring the person, the location of an office, reporting criteria and administrative costs.

Coun. Andre Rivette also asked that the report, coming back to council by Feb. 9, look at options of absorbing the role by using existing departmental staff somewhere in the corporation.

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