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Picture Your Waterloo

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Culture in Waterloo is defined as any form of human expression. This encompassing concept enhances quality of life for people to live, work, learn and play locally. The city recognizes the significant value that culture offers both in terms of quality of life and economic stability. The implementation of the culture plan will be based on principles of flexibility, integration and innovation. The goal areas and recommendations will be implemented through coordinated efforts between the city's economic development department and community stakeholders.

Culture plan implementation report card

The annual culture plan implementation report card provides a summary of the events/cultural programs, initiatives and collaborations that took place in Waterloo's cultural sector. The development of this report assists with evaluating the impact of culture plan implementation by reviewing progress, successes and challenges.

Culture plays a critical role in community vibrancy. This report provides an overview of the key elements that have contributed toward reaching the goals of the culture plan in 2017. It tells the story of connections between belonging, innovation and placemaking in Waterloo.

Download the 2017 culture plan implementation report card.

Download the 2016 culture plan implementation report card.

2017 highlights from the culture plan's six goals





Uncover and build community capacity for creativity, expression and cultural engagement.


The culture plan emphasizes that investment in culture is important but equally so is nurturing capacity for authentic cultural expression by creators of all kinds.


  •  Strengthened relationships with cultural affiliates and added/renewed Affiliation Service Agreements


Strengthen the community's cultural heritage identity by uniting Waterloo's past with its present and future through management and education.


The City of Waterloo has affirmed its commitment to heritage conservation and sharing local heritage identity through development of strategies to guide priorities.

  • Log Schoolhouse Plaque
  • 68 properties added to the Municipal Heritage Registry

  • Reconditioned 1919 Pierce Arrow Truck

  • Museum Outreach  Program development



Enliven streets, neighbourhoods, public and green spaces.


Providing opportunities for community building and cultural development in public spaces has been a focal point for people to gather together and to participate in shared experiences rooted in cultural expression.


  • Artist in residence program collaboration with the Neighbourhood Strategy
  • "14 Neighbours"  installation

  • Installation of We Are Waterloo Portrait Projects in locations throughout the city 


Enhance engagement of community diversity to build a stronger, shared sense of belonging.


A welcoming and diverse city helps to encourage skilled workers from around the world choose to work in Waterloo, and to stay in Waterloo.

  • Hosted joint orientation event with UW and WLU

  • Coordinated a celebration of Indigenous culture in Waterloo Public Square 



Expand community awareness and appreciation of culture.


The City of Waterloo is improving community awareness of opportunities for cultural engagement and participation. The Arts & Culture team webpages and social media tools provide current information on the city's diverse cultural opportunities.


  • Growth of the Artist Roster

  • Creation of What's Happening Waterloo brochure


Foster collaborations in the culture sector.


Collaborations are integral to the success of the culture plan. The city is taking strides to strengthen relationships with other municipalities, all levels of government, education, key cultural organizations, community associations and business affiliates. The Arts & Culture team has also partnered with a number of key community organizations to successfully deliver specific cultural initiatives.


  • Collaborative Municipal Funding and Assessment Process implementation