The City of Pembroke, together with the Ottawa Valley Tourist Association (OVTA) and the County of Renfrew, have joined together to create a cultural map of Pembroke and the Ottawa Valley. Cultural mapping is a process to identify and document the cultural resources or assets of a community. This map is an important new tool to support economic development and to enrich the quality of life in our communities.
What is Cultural Mapping?
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 our identity and sense of place. The broad definition of cultural resources illustrated in this diagram is dynamic. It is, however, a starting point for gathering information on our rich and diverse cultural assets in the Ottawa Valley.
What Are the Benefits of Cultural Mapping?
Building better information on the cultural assets in our communities helps in several ways.
- It helps increase awareness of resources both for residents and tourists; cultural mapping has become an increasingly important tool to support increased tourism.
- It helps improve the base of information on cultural assets in municipalities to inform a wide range of planning decisions.
- It helps build networks and stronger collaboration across a wide range of cultural groups and activities.
The Cultural Mapping of Pembroke and the Ottawa Valley helped to produce the following outcomes.
- A cultural asset inventory – the project will produce a baseline database of cultural resources in the Ottawa Valley.
- An interactive map – this information will be used to create an interactive map to help residents and tourists locate cultural assets across the Valley.
- Regional Cultural Steering Committees – three committees have been formed in different parts of the Valley to provide input and advice to the mapping project. These committees are comprised of a wide cross section of municipal, cultural, business and community representatives and interests.
- Cultural Policy – the project will produce a draft Cultural Policy to provide a broad framework to support cultural planning and cultural development in municipalities across the Valley.
It is important to note that the work of cultural mapping is never done. There will always be new information and new assets to add. What the Cultural Mapping Project will do is to establish a solid foundation and set of tools to continue cultural mapping efforts over time.