Don’t cancel the Drayton Theatre project

I wrote a rebuttal to a commentary in the local Cambridge Times mentioning the idea of canceling the Drayton Theatre project in Cambridge. Who knows if it’ll get published?

I wanted to comment on the idea that canceling the Drayton Theatre project would be a boon for Cambridge taxpayers.  I think making a move like this would be quite shortsighted and hurt our community in the long run.  Cambridge is in need of a facelift, badly.  In a recent Conference Board of Canada report we were given a “D” grade, which lumped us among Brantford, Windsor and Oshawa when it comes to attracting new people into our community.  That is not the type of company we want to be keeping when compared to other cities.

Cambridge needs to progress and evolve our community away from its manufacturing roots and begin to attract new, sharp, forward thinking minds to the area.  We need to work be towards a knowledge and information based economy in our region.  This can be achieved by giving people a reason to move here, investing in innovation and the arts instead of shuttering projects like the Drayton Theatre.  Stimulating the arts helps make our city a more vibrant and desirable destination for newcomers.

I think people of this community will forever feel second fiddle to cities like Kitchener, Waterloo and Guelph because we’re doing so little to attract new thinking and ideas to our area.  I’m a local web designer and frequently go to get togethers and meetups in Waterloo to interact with like minded people looking to enrich their skills and make new contacts.  I know of many other people from Cambridge making that same trek into Waterloo, since there isn’t any similar type of community available here.

We need to encourage the arts, not crush them in the name of shortsightedness.

Writing a letter to the editor definitely makes me feel like an old man. It’s the first time I’ve ever done it, so hopefully it gets into the paper.

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