Medicine Hat Media

Cultural Centre – College and City Engage Key Stakeholders

Medicine Hat College has approached the City of Medicine Hat with a proposal to gain full use of the Cultural Centre for the relocation and expansion of the Visual Communications Program. The City has agreed to work with the College and key stakeholders to determine if a viable solution can be found for the relocation of the current City supported user groups.

City and College officials met with key stakeholders last night in three small group meetings to provide information, address concerns and answer questions.

“The initial meetings last night were intended to start the engagement process with key stakeholders by providing information and setting expectations for the process,” said Ron Webb, Commissioner of Public Services for the City of Medicine Hat.” To date, no decisions have been made and the City is interested in discussing options with stakeholders at the next meeting.”

A closed stakeholder workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, June 2, 2010. Stakeholders will be asked to identify and assess potential options through participation in facilitated discussions. Once a recommendation is complete, it will be presented to City Council for their final decision.

To date, the Cultural Centre has been used as a shared space for college and community cultural groups, but the needs of the College have changed and without full access to this space, they cannot expand the Visual Communications program.

“The relocation for this hallmark program will not only serve the students and faculty of Medicine Hat College, but will contribute to the vibrant cultural growth of the city,” said Dr. Ralph Weeks, President of Medicine Hat College.

As the project progresses, open houses will be scheduled accordingly to inform the community.

User Comments

5 Responses to “Cultural Centre – College and City Engage Key Stakeholders”

  1. May 20th, 2010 at 2:30 PM

    Sean says:

    I wish that when I took Visual Communications at the College that we had a sweet building to use like the Cultural Centre… The main downside that I immediately think of is that it was annoying enough to walk from the current art buildings to the College, but walking from the Cultural Centre to the college for lunch or school supplies would be even more annoying for students.

  2. May 20th, 2010 at 2:51 PM

    Vaughn says:

    While this is a great space for VC students, I don’t think this is fair to the numerous clubs, presentations, meetings, music classes that take place there. Although, if the College does in fact own it solely, I guess they can do whatever they want really.

    I can also see the VC students ruining the building eventually.

    Medicine Hat News post on the subject:

  3. May 20th, 2010 at 9:46 PM

    Taylor says:

    I agree with Vaughn. It makes little logical sense to move the numerous current users of the cultural centre somewhere else, and if the college is going to pull rank I think that is pretty inconsiderate. Sure VC needs new buildings and would benefit greatly from the use of this building, but the costs outweigh the benefits when we consider the inconvenience the current users will face.

  4. May 20th, 2010 at 10:52 PM

    Timmy says:

    Good comments, guys! I believe that the College fully utilizing the Cultural Centre building is the LOGICAL action for them to undertake, since having under-utilized space on campus is undermining their efforts to get more building grants. It’s also a good choice for the VC program (good natural light, nice views, its own parking lot, built-in gallery, display cases, pottery kiln, lots of locking storage compartments, etc.)
    However, as Taylor said, for the College to oust a dozen or so arts and culture groups, all of which are PAYING RENT for their space, and some of which have been there for almost 30 years, is “pretty inconsiderate” to say the least. Downright cold, I would say.
    Secondly, sorry to disagree with you, Vaughn, when you said “…if the College does in fact own it solely, I guess they can do whatever they want really.” This is simply not the case. The City put up millions toward the initial construction of the building because it was to be a COMMUNITY Cultural Centre; a place where arts and culture groups could be together collaboratively. In fact, the College and the City have a contract which was signed when the building was constructed, which is valid, as Alderman Kelly put it “in perpetuity.” This contract, which the current users of the Cultural Centre have copies of, states:
    “The City and the Medicine Hat College shall enter into a separate joint use agreement to provide for adequate use to the GENERAL MEDICINE HAT USERS as represented by the Community Services Committee of the City of Medicine Hat.”
    and further,
    “This agreement shall remain in force in perpetuity unless amended by agreement of both the Board of Governors of Medicine Hat College AND the City Council of the City of Medicine Hat.”
    So you see, the College cannot simply “do whatever they want really.” They must get City Council to agree. And if City Council is going to agree to break up this highly prized community centre of arts and culture because the College wants it all to themselves, then the City should be REPLACING it with something just as good. And Council should be ensuring that the College is going to pay handsomely to help achieve that.

  5. May 20th, 2010 at 11:01 PM

    Vaughn says:

    Sorry Timmy, I meant to stress the “IF” more. It is not true that the College owns this building solely, I was merely stating “IF” they did, they could do whatever they want, but because they don’t, they can’t – I know it’s a little redundant of me.

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