creative cities

“I said to myself -- I'll paint what I see -- what the flower is to me but I'll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking time to look at it -- I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers.”

Georgia O’Keeffe

If you don't think creativity and innovation have a place in business and in economic development, think again!

Ottawa addresses creative leadership!

In October 2009 the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board hosted a conference addressing creative leadership capacity building within organizations and how this impacts on the health, growth and sustainability, not only of the organization, but the city.

If creative leadership is the answer to the workforce of the future...what will inspire our current workforce and motivate the leaders of tomorrow?

Located in Toronto, The Lloyd & Delphine Martin Prosperity Institute is the world’s leading think-tank on the role of sub-national factors – location, place and city-regions – in global economic prosperity. Led by Director Richard Florida , it takes an integrated view of prosperity looking beyond economic measures to include the importance of quality of place and the development of people’s creative potential.

Headquartered at the MaRS Centre in downtown Toronto, they are affiliated with the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. They also serve as a special resource to the province of Ontario and the greater Toronto region. The MPI works closely with the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity, an independent, not-for-profit organization that deepens public understanding of macro and microeconomic factors behind Ontario’s economic progress.

Creativity is in the driver’s seat

The following is a message from Bruce Graham, the president and CEO of Calgary Economic Development.

“The Conference Board of Canada's recent report, How Canada Performs, compared Canada's socio-economic performance with that of 16 other countries. We didn't look good.  In fact, according to the report, Canada's performance was mediocre.  Although the report measured several areas of performance, one of the lowest ones was a "D" in innovation.

Why does failing in innovation affect a country's economic performance? Isn't it much like flunking art class in junior high? Not all that important? Well, maybe we should have paid more attention to the art teacher.

Creativity and innovation are two sides of the same coin. While, art, culture, design, architecture, multimedia, skill, passion, imagination and inspiration are all synonymous with creativity, it is much more than that. It is also the use of our intellect to solve problems and is needed and relevant in all industries and professions.

Why should we care so much about creativity? Besides the fact that a creative city is a vibrant and culturally rich city, providing us with a more enriching living experience and a better quality of life overall, it turns out that creativity is also a vital tool for businesses and the economy. Creativity leads to innovation, to problem solving, to new products, improved services and new technologies. It is creativity with innovation that finds cures, increases productivity, entertains us and makes our lives more meaningful. Creativity is an economic driver, as well as the foundation on which our city is built. I'm not sure if Calgarians, and the rest of the country for that matter, ever thought of Calgary as a creative city. But, in my opinion creativity, is one of our core foundations.

Author Richard Florida, Professor of Public Policy at George Mason School of Public Policy in Virginia, believes that creative cities attract and retain people; his Bohemian Index ranks a city by its concentration of creative workers. According to Florida, creative cities attract and retain people. Using his index, Calgary ranks as the top performing city in Canada. Our cultural heritage, history of innovation, diverse population and highly educated labour force all contribute to our identity as a creative city.

Creative cities support opportunities, attract people and inspire the creative spirit.....

....We have a strong foundation to build on and most importantly, we have the interest and the will to further develop our creativity

and innovation.

So get your crayons out, expose yourself to new things, let your imagination flow and, who knows, you may just find a solution to

a problem. If not, at least you'll be having fun.”

“Creativity  is  the demonstration that  shows every citizen  to be an artist.  When  that dignity is found  and enjoyed, a city  will not fail to prosper  as an economy, because it is a caring place.”

Pier Giorgio Di Cicco

"When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not."

Georgia O’Keeffe                                   

The Creative City Network of Canada (CCNC) is involved in  communities across Canada. Its website is host to a plethora of resources. In addition to their toolkits and ‘Making the Case for Culture’ series, the CCNC has compiled a collection of documents, research and links that are essential for anyone working in arts and culture.  Creative City Network of Canada holds highly successful national annual Conferences and Summits each fall in a different Canadian community since 2002.  Click here for more information.

Richard Florida, Economist and national bestselling author, is one of the world's leading intellectuals on economic competitiveness,
demographic trends and cultural and technological innovation.

The Rise of the Creative Class

Why cities without gays and rock bands are losing the economic development race.

Florida’s two recent national bestsellers detail his provocative look at how creativity is driving the next wave of the global economy.


Georgia O'Keeffe 1887-1986

Georgia O'Keeffe
Georgia O'Keeffe
Georgia O'Keeffe

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