Creative Cities

Micropolitan Manifesto – How to Revive Small Cities!

Micropolitan, really? Yes, really. It’s a statistical word but the opportunity is to bring it alive and have it equate to prosperity! Through my Peterborough Economic Development  lens here’s my take is this. Micropolitan means small city and rural blend, … Read More

Moving from the Industrial Age of Control to the Creative Age of Release

Recently, I’ve been listening to some Stephen Covey audio books to help me implement organizational improvements in my new role as CEO at the Greater Peterborough Area Economic Development Corporation. While Covey doesn’t specifically refer to the Creative Economy, or Richard … Read More

Red Penguins in Chicago


Bohemian Serves Barack Obama

Bohemian Serves Barack Obama… or How Our Creative Rural Economy Was Discovered by the Bohemians 25 or so years ago Bill Reddick discovered Prince Edward County. Back them you could find a fixer upper for $20,000, which he did, turned … Read More

Economic Ecosystem…

Economic Ecosystem…in a Creative Rural Economy edging towards sustainability can come from within and trading goods and services with each other in our own communities. Dan talks about how his local economy exhibits Economic Ecosystem Traits. What do you think? … Read More

The Creative Economy Live and in Action!

I loved Steven’s Talk! The Creative Economy Live and in Action! Steven Draper – Ex Pilot and Accidental Prince Edward County Resident and Creative Entrepreneur!   What do you think?

Pottery in the County
image by Bill Longshaw

There is no doubt that Prince Edward County’s economy is experiencing a Rural Renaissance. Somewhat economically sleepy for thirty or so year’s something interesting started to happen in the 1980’s. Artists started to find and discover the place. In some cases they could buy a home with mortgage payments of $200 or so a month. They could ply their trade and make a living.

In some way’s Prince Edward County is a rural version of Toronto’s Queen Street West or New York’s SoHo, where artist’s discover low rent places add life and vibrancy and then the world catches up and adds to the economic vitality of that area. Usually the downside to this is gentrification, are a higher cost of living (housing specifically) and social tension. Prince Edward County for better or worse has not escaped this cycle.

I think communities can prepare themselves for the pressures of gentrification by anticipating them, deciding to be proactive and invest in establishing zones and or pro-active housing policies and learning from groups like Artscape who provide affordable housing options for creatives who often create the wealth that puts pressure on them.

The up side is the revival of a 200 year old community with fabulous inherent loyalist culture, a new and vibrant arts and culture scene with lots of activity, galleries, studios, exhibits, live music, theatre, etc… When you combine activities like Maple in the County with game changing economic shifts like a new wine region and then you add art and culture to the mix you get magic! In fact what you get is a Rural Renaissance. We see this happening in many communities and I truly believe that more rural communities can capitalize on these emerging economic opportunities presenting themselves.

This is what drives our Quality of Place which is our competitive advantage and in turn attracts Creative Class workers and investors which creates another layer towards our Rural Renaissance.


What do you think of this story?


Enjoy our spirits on the “Kentucky Bourbon Trail”

A wonderful guest blog from Kim Huston, Author Small Town Sexy and the Economic Development Department Director for Bardstown, Kentucky – I am a true believer of trails in marketing destinations. We have several in my area of Kentucky.  … Read More

BBQ in the winter
image by Stuart Miles

Prince Edward County is a fairly cold, quiet and lonely place in the winter. Recently my wife (marketing consultant) and I (Creative Economy Economic Developer) attended the first of many to come dinner club party’s. Our newly formed dinner club is a great crowd of creative class folks. Our hosts Mark (artisan) & Mary Jane (talent agent), their friend Kent, an artist from Toronto, Fred (a French winemaker) and his lady Jennifer ( a handmade soap entrepreneur), Lino and Manuel (Toronto creative class expats and “Accidental” artisan farmers) got off to a great start. Our friend Michael (chef) was not feeling well and didn’t make it

To beat the winter blues a BBQ summer theme was conveyed.

They have a modest but tuscan feeling homestead with a fabulous brick and timber kitchen. To kick the evening off we enjoyed mahi mahi fish tacos, charcuterie, red wine and olives as an appetizer around the country kitchen island. Dinner progressed to the farm table dinning room and featured a basil and fava bean salad, bbq ribs and chicken (cooked outside in -20 degree weather) and a quasi cassoulet bean mash. My wife finished the dinner service off with a no-dairy tofu inspired key lime pie that was a winner. There was great conversation to be had throughout the evening.

The key creative moment for me though was post dinner. This is a 30 something and 40ish crowd and they still like to party and dance. Not too many dance clubs in Picton, none:-(  really so Kent via our hosts’ mac and napster music subscription service spontaneously and on the fly put together an 80’s DJ inspired music list, then broadcast it to the impressive full sounding wireless speakers and voila the kitchen was turned into a post dinner dance club.

I was really impressed with the spontaneity of it all and innovation of turning the kitchen into a dance club in the absence of dance options in our charming but dance option lacking Creative Rural Economy.

Stay tuned for my next dance report on Prom Night

Build it and They Will Come

There is a lot to be skeptical about regarding this expression. My experience is that when you take a relevant, valuable idea and build a concept – theatre of the mind if you will – something of quality, of value … Read More