Chaired by Doug Reycraft, the Task Force met last week and received a variety of updates on various initiatives including two devoted to the creative economy.

Creative Economy Economic Analysis Tools that are made available by the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs. The Ministry offers a variety of services which are available for municipalities to use. These include a self assessment tool for municipalities to measure the potential size and scope of a community’s creative economy. The Ministry’s analysis can point to creative occupations that enjoy a local competitive advantage and an identification of a community’s relative strengths compared to provincial averages. This quantitative analysis combined with local community consultation efforts can be very effective tools for any municipality. In addition, more specific ministry work can be available on Trade Area Analysis, Market Threshold Analysis, Community to Community Retail and Service Business Comparisons. Municipalities wishing to discuss how the Ministry can be of assistance should contact Mike Florio, Community Economic Development Specialist at michael.florio@ontario.ca.

The City of Hamilton’s Creative Catalyst Project was also a topic of discussion for the task force. This presentation was based on information provided at AMO’s Annual Conference in August. Hamilton has focused its Creative Catalyst project on three priorities: music, digital design, and film. It includes collaborations with McMaster University and Mohawk College as well as McMaster’s Innovation Institute.

St. Thomas’ Sterling Truck Site Revitalization was the featured case study for this meeting. Members were provided with an update on Masco’s establishment of operations on the site and other temporary uses including a courthouse.

Regional Strategic Research Projects launched by the Economic Developers Council of Ontario was presented to the Task Force. The program will include Tools and Tactics for Effective Regional Strategy Development; Best Practice Models and Innovation in Regional Economic Development; and Academic and Applied Research Initiatives.

AMO also provided an update on its Electricity Policy.