St. Mark’s – Remarks to Council June 1, 2016

June 1, 2016 GIC Meeting and Recommendations for St Marks – Delivered to Council by Janice Brown

Good Morning Council and Staff.  The Durand Neighbourhood Association is delighted to see the staff recommendations for Phase 2 and 3 to operate St Mark’s as a cultural programming space, and on behalf of the DNA we would like to thank all who have worked so hard on this file.

Thank you:

Culture & Tourism Staff, Councillor Farr, City Council, Ward 2 Community Council and Citizens of Hamilton You have all played an important role advocating for the adaptive reuse of St Mark’s.

Many of you in this room are aware that he DNA has advocated for St Mark’s since 1988.  However, the past four years have truly been a collaborative experience that has engaged all of the stakeholders to finally operate St Mark’s as a cultural programming space.

The catalyst was the St Mark’s Public Open House in 2013, the work of City Staff.  More than 250 people participated and, more importantly, demonstrated their support and interest in St Mark’s adaptive reuse as a cultural programming space.

 In 2013 Councillor Farr introduced Participatory Budgeting to Ward 2 Citizens and in 2014, Ward 2 residents voted to provide $100,000 for roof restoration for St Mark’s

In 2015, Staff presented and Council approved the Cultural and Programming Space Financial and Operating Plan.

In 2015, Ward 2 Community Council (six neighbourhood associations) directed $400,000 to St Mark’s from 2015 monies in Ward 2’s Area Rating Capital Reserve.

In 2015, City Staff, Councillor Farr and the DNA were successful in getting Council support for the St Mark’s grant application for the Federal Canada 150 Infrastructure Program.  More importantly, the Conservative Federal Government awarded the City $280,000 for St Mark’s.  We all know how difficult accessing grant money can be.

In May 2015, City Staff and members of the DNA developed and participated in two days of cultural and community programming for “May is Museum Month” in partnership with Doors Open and Jane’s Walk.  Over 463 guests visited St Marks and enjoyed all of the cultural activities, testimony that we were certainly on the right track.

And today, June 1st 2016,  Staff have provided a Capital Funding Plan that will see the restoration of St Mark’s Phase 2 and 3 be completed by 2020 or sooner.

I can assure you that all who came before us who have been a part of this long journey for the adaptive reuse of St Mark’s and who are still with us today will be invited to celebrate.  That includes former DNA members, Councillors, and of course Staff, because without their work over the past 22 years, none of this would be possible

And finally, the DNA will continue to be stewards for this special place just as we have been for not only St Mark’s, but our Durand Park.  The DNA looks forward to this journey to care for St Marks and our cherished green space. 

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