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Culture Committee Terms of Reference


The Niagara Region Culture Committee's purpose is to provide advice and recommendations through the Integrated Community Planning Committee, to help Council implement the Niagara Culture Plan.

Attaining a sustainable community requires consideration for the economy, social development, cultural vitality and the environment. The Culture Committee can assist Regional Council in fostering partnerships, innovation, and commitment for developing a creative economy, creative places, creative people, and creative identity.

As recognized in the Niagara Culture Plan, culture includes:

  • People
  • Spaces and Places
  • Play
  • Expression
  • History


To advise Regional Council via the Integrated Community Planning Committee, ways and means to:

  • Realize the directions and actions outlined in the Niagara Culture Plan
  • Evaluate progress and review the directions and actions of the Niagara Culture Plan
  • Collaborate with the community on ongoing projects
  • Suggest priorities for Council and community actions


To fulfill the mandate of the Culture Committee, the membership will be comprised of voting and non-voting members. The Culture Committee should strive for representation from diverse sectors who will actively fulfill the directions set out in the mission.

Membership Types

Voting Members

The Culture Committee shall be comprised of the following voting members, to a maximum of eighteen:

Representative Members

  1. Up to six members of Regional Council to act as champions on behalf of culture
  2. One member who is a professional from each of the business, education and social sectors (three total)
  3. Two members who are staff or councillors of a local municipality
  4. Three members who are identified as professional cultural workers (paid or unpaid)
  5. Up to two members of Niagara's youth (age range of approximately 17 to 25) who are interested in moving forward the cultural agenda

General Public Members

  1. Up to five members of the general public interested in moving forward the cultural agenda

Organizations with representatives appointed to the Culture Committee shall have a single vote; and any individual appointed to the Culture Committee who has multiple affiliations shall also only be entitled to one vote.

Non-Voting Members

Non-voting members of the Culture Committee include Regional staff, agency representatives, and/or a representative from the Province who act as resource support, offer expertise and assistance on matters under consideration by the Committee, and/or for information sharing purposes.


The meetings of the Culture Committee are public. Members should be aware that their names will be in the public realm and a list of membership may be provided when requested.

Member information other than name or municipality, will be kept confidential in accordance with Provincial legislation.

Role and Responsibilities

All Culture Committee members have the responsibility to help achieve the Committee's Mandate and Mission. The following roles and responsibilities are assigned to specific Culture Committee member positions:


To provide leadership to the Culture Committee, two Co-Chairs should be elected from the Committee membership. An election of the Co-Chairs should happen at the beginning of each year.

Individual duties of the Co-Chairs can be decided upon at their election. The two Co-Chairs should be one each of:

  1. Political Co-Chair
    This member shall be a member of Regional Council that acts as a champion for the Culture Committee
  2. Community Co-Chair
    This member should be elected from the rest of the Culture Committee members

The role of the Co-Chairs on the Committee is as follows:

  • Provide leadership and ensures the effective functioning of the Committee
  • Build consensus through team management
  • Act as a designated spokesperson for the Culture Committee at public or official functions and with the media
  • Represent the Culture Committee's interests at Integrated Community Planning
  • Committee and Regional Council
  • Approve the agenda, meeting notes, and meeting dates in discussion with staff support
  • Provide feedback on any required reports and documentation

Committee Members

  • Review meeting materials in advance of the meetings and arrive prepared to provide a broad perspective on the issues under consideration
  • Submit agenda items to the Co-Chairs and staff a minimum of one week prior to the meeting date whenever possible
  • Make every effort to attend regularly scheduled meetings. If not available, notify the Co-Chairs and Administrative Assistant on inability to attend at least one day prior to the meeting date
  • Work diligently to complete assigned activities
  • Participate on working groups, as appropriate
  • Agree to describe, process and resolve issues in a professional and respectful manner
  • Provide input to help identify future projects or strategic priorities for future years work
  • Communicate activities of the Culture Committee to groups represented or those who may have interest and offer information back to the Culture Committee on community activities and events

Working Group Chairs

From time to time working groups may be established to work on a specific project.

All working groups are of a time-limited nature that is clearly outlined in their formation and the groups shall cease at the completion of the assigned project.

It is expected that prior to creating a working group the Culture Committee shall clearly outline the scope and purpose of the working group.

Members that form the working group shall generally be Culture Committee members, however consideration may be given to seeking additional advice and assistance.

  • Schedule meetings, set agendas, identify work activities, and ensure the smooth functioning of their work group
  • Provide regular verbal updates regarding the progress of working group initiatives to the Culture Committee
  • Provide written summaries to the Culture Committee at key work stages as appropriate or requested
  • Consult with Committee Co-Chairs and staff if any issues arise

Term of Office, Recruitment, and Replacement

The term of membership of the Committee shall be four years coinciding with Regional Council's elected term of office, save and except for the term of membership for those members representing Niagara's youth which shall be for a one-year term. The membership shall be approved by Regional Council.

Mid-term Replacement of Committee Members

It is important to have numbers of committee members relatively consistent. The following shall be done based on the type of members.

  1. If a representative member leaves the Committee during the four year term, then the Committee shall request a replacement representative from the group identified. The new member would then have to be endorsed by the Integrated Community Planning Committee for approval by Regional Council.
  2. If a general public member leaves the Committee during the four year term, then a call for membership shall again be given (e. g. advertisement). The new member would then have to be endorsed by the Integrated Community Planning Committee for approval by Regional Council.

Unless absolutely necessary, calls or requests for membership replacements should be limited to once per year to limit disruption.


Members who miss three unauthorized consecutive meetings, shall be deemed to have resigned from the Committee and will be notified of this in writing by the Committee Chair.

Recruitment Process

Staff shall solicit membership applications from the representative members and general public members through traditional and non-traditional media sources, and may specifically request membership submissions from identified representative groups.

Applicants shall be required to provide a:

  • Letter of interest on their area of expertise, general availability, work ethic and style, and special project interests
  • List of other memberships/associations
  • Current CV

Members will be evaluated and appointed on the basis of experience; how their knowledge and skills complement the expertise of the Culture Committee; diversity representative of our community; availability; and their ability to think broadly and work collaboratively. The membership will be approved by Regional Council.



Meetings shall be held at least four times a year and may be more frequent as necessary or at the call of the Co-Chairs. Meetings are open to the public.

Conflict of Interest

Voting members of the Culture Committee will be asked to declare any pecuniary conflict of interest at the start of each meeting, or prior to discussion occurring.

If any such conflicts, either actual or perceived are declared, the member will not take part in voting related to the item(s) identified, and may be asked to leave the meeting for any related debate/discussion.

Record of Proceedings

The staff appointed to provide support to the Culture Committee shall record meeting notes of the meetings and circulate them to the membership prior to the next meeting of the Culture Committee.

Meeting notes of Culture Committee meetings shall be included on the Integrated Community Planning Committee meeting agendas with notations for motions or approval.

Procedural By-Law

Committee meetings will be governed by Regional Council's by-law for governing the proceedings of Regional Council and its Committees, the conduct of its members and the calling of meetings as amended.

Support Service to the Culture Committee

Technical Support

The Culture Committee shall receive technical support from staff for tasks and projects initiated by the Committee. It is recognized, however, that staff time and level of participation will be dependent on other departmental priorities and budgeting.

Administrative Support

Administrative support shall be provided and shall include the organization of meetings; booking meeting rooms; preparation and distribution of agendas, meeting notes, other background information and similar administrative functions.

Amendments to the Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference for the Culture Committee should be reviewed in tandem with the Niagara Culture Plan at minimum every four years, or at the change of Regional Council. Changes to the Terms of Reference shall be approved by Regional Council.

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