By Wendy Elliott
A map of Kings County will pay tribute to our heritage while promoting today’s culture.
The Kings County Cultural Map will be launched on Feb. 6 at Kingstec Campus in North Kentville.
The event will include a demonstration of the map, a viewing of digital stories and discussion on the 18-month long project.
Project manager Genevieve Allen says culture in Kings County plays an important role in defining and enhancing our quality of life, as well as developing economic sustainability in the region.
"The Kings County Cultural Map represents culture in the area on an interactive, open-sourced and community-driven map, which can be updated and modified over time,” she said. “The map offers a ‘one-stop-shop’ for a full range of local cultural assets in every corner of the county. While the map gives the physical lay of cultural assets in Kings county, it also makes visible ‘intangible’ cultural assets such as stories and histories."
These intangibles are captured through a multimedia process of digital storytelling, Allen explained. First-person narratives of local residents have been recorded and are embedded into the map.
"These stories focus on the impact of local arts practices and cultural activities, and look at the role local residents play in creating a vibrant cultural milieu," she said.
Among the digital stories posted on the map are Dempsey Corner Orchards, the Women of Wolfville, the Back to Back Festival at Gaspereau Fibres, the Alexander Society for Special Needs, the Greenwood Aviation Museum and the Kentville Farmers’ Market.
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The map includes two vital pieces of cultural infrastructure: a comprehensive cultural inventory and a way to locate each asset providing contact information, civic addresses, descriptions and web links.
Ed Symons and his Community Mapping class at the Centre of Geographic Sciences in Lawrencetown helped create the electronic map. The class focused on software mechanisms to bring modern mapping to the local community level.
This public launch will take place in room 2101 at 6:30 pm.
Championing culture in Kings
Genevieve Allen is a Kings County native who believes her early passion for the arts was cultivated by this county's unusually rich and diverse cultural environment.
Allen studied arts administration at the Acadia University School of Music. Following graduation, she spent 18 months in Asia teaching English, volunteering and travelling.
Returning to Canada, she completed an internship with the Dancer Transition Resource Centre.
She also worked on behalf of Piano Plus, an organization committed to bringing classical musicians to communities across Canada and with Arts Etobicoke.
She spent a summer in the Deep Roots Music Festival office in Wolfville and just completed a graduate degree in environmental studies at York University in Toronto, where her focus was on community development through the arts.