If the pieces of Waterloo Region’s high-tech sector puzzle are coming together nicely, there’s a large, gaping hole in the middle of it all.
Do we have a world-renowned tech community with large, established players as well as tiny start-ups driving our new economy? Check.
Do we have cutting-edge universities and a fine college to produce the new workers who’ll keep this economy growing? Check.
Are we witnessing a 21st-century urban revolution with billions of dollars of new development underway in our urban cores and a sleek, new light rail transit system poised to tie it all together? Check. Check.
And do we have the large, happening cultural community to draw all those young tech workers to this region and keep them here instead of drifting off to the bright lights of Toronto or San Francisco?
Well, sorry folks. Not quite. Not yet. That’s the missing piece. Culture.
And if you get that, if you agree this need is begging to be addressed, you’ll be thrilled by the plan announced this week to expand THEMUSEUM in downtown Kitchener and transform it into a first-class hub for local arts and culture.
A generous offer from BMO to donate $1 million to THEMUSEUM and give it exclusive rights to buy the BMO branch next door for $2 million has kick-started the expansion efforts.
If the vision of THEMUSEUM’s CEO David Marskell becomes reality, he’ll have more space and local funding to partner with other groups in music, film, dance, theatre and the digital arts as well as bring international exhibits to the region.
There are compelling reasons why this region should enthusiastically support this venture. It would be a game-changer.