- The Beginnings
The Creative City Network of Canada (CCNC) began in 1997 through a staff initiative at Vancouver’s Office of Cultural Affairs. CCNC was the very first effort in Canada to bring together individuals working in municipal cultural service delivery across the country.
While municipal cultural services had been growing in profile since the early 1970’s, there was a broadened understanding of culture as a core service in municipalities at the turn of the century.
The establishment of CCNC addressed the need to provide support for professionals in the field by tapping into the expertise of peer municipalities across the country. The network fostered a virtual and physical connection of individuals working in the field through what was then new technology (listserv, website, etc.), annual conferences, and the development of new and much needed research and toolkits. This could not have happened without the work of Burke Taylor and Nancy Duxbury (who are honorary members of the Network), support from municipalities across Canada, and financial support from the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council, Bronfman Foundation, and the Department of Canadian Heritage. Free office space was provided by the City of Vancouver in its early days.
CCNC established itself as a not-for-profit organization in 2002, hired its first staff that year and subsequently moved into its own office in downtown Vancouver. The organization continued to take on research projects, began charging municipal membership fees and started to receive annual project funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage and the BC Arts Council – crucial support for an organization that serves an entire country in two official languages. Thus CCNC grew from a couple of strong yet informal professional connections to an established network of over 100 members that directly serve approximately 16 million Canadians through the production of: three toolkits (Cultural Planning; Cultural Mapping; and Public Art); eight conferences in eight cities across the country (Vancouver, St. John’s, Regina, Trois-Rivières, Toronto, Edmonton, Whitehorse and Fredericton); six Special Edition Newsletters; the CCNC website host to a members-only resources section; and regular information provision to its members through a monthly e-Newsletter.