The Midland Cultural Centre recognizes that it is located on land which is the traditional and Treaty territory of the Anishinabek people, now known as the Chippewa Tri-Council comprised of Beausoleil First Nation, Rama First Nation, and the Georgina Island First Nation. This territory is within the pre-confederation Treaty 5 and Treaty 16, and included within the Williams Treaties of 1923. The Midland Cultural Centre also recognizes that it is located on land which was once the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat and that our community is home to many citizens of the Metis Nation of Ontario and to a large and diverse community of Indigenous peoples.
The Midland Cultural Centre is the focal point for culture activities in the Heart of Georgian Bay. The MCC is a community-based, volunteer driven facility where everyone can be involved in artistic and cultural pursuits as a participant or audience member. The MCC is located in the downtown core of Midland, and enhances the vibrancy and the economic well-being of the entire region.
The Origins of the MCC
The Midland Cultural Centre was born from the vision of philanthropist Reinhart Weber and established through the generosity of the Weber Foundation which provided 95% of the $11 million locally funded construction costs. No public funds (federal, provincial or municipal) were used in the building.
Extensive research, focus groups and studies were undertaken to identify the need for a facility to support artistic and cultural expression in the area. The present site was chosen to maximize the economic benefit to the community.
Operational Structure of the MCC
Following completion of construction of the facility, ownership of the Midland Cultural Centre was transferred to the Corporation of the Town of Midland which is now the registered owner of the Centre. Simultaneously, the facility was leased by the Town to Midland Cultural Centre Inc. for 49 years. Midland Cultural Centre Inc. is the operator of the facility.
Midland Cultural Centre Inc. is overseen by a Board of Directors. Eight directors are elected. In addition one director is appointed by the Weber Foundation. There are three ex officio directors, one representing the Corporation of the Town of Midland, Reinhart Weber, appointed as a lifetime ex officio director, and Fred Hacker, Chair Emeritus appointed to serve at the pleasure of the Board.
The MCC sublets parts of the Facility to other cultural partners. Quest Art School + Gallery occupies the front area of the second floor with two galleries and a teaching classroom. Huronia Players has a 121 seat performing arts theatre, a green room, dressing room, rehearsal stage, props area, costume storage area, set storage area and office.
The Café Roxy in the Atrium is leased to the operator.
The MCC operates the event centre in the facility known as Rotary Hall. This room provides seating for 274 people in floor seating and balcony seating for concerts. Many events are produced and presented by the MCC. Other events are provided by third party producers who rent the facility for their productions.
Rotary Hall can also be rented for weddings, celebrations of life, galas, corporate events, conferences and private functions with 130 people being accommodated at table seating.
Food services are provided by local preferred caterers who have exclusive rights to cater events. Alcoholic beverages are provided by the MCC which is the liquor licensee.
Ground Floor Gallery
The MCC operates a ground floor gallery presenting Indigenous Art. With programming and oversite by an Indigenous member majority committee, the MCC will operate the gallery focusing on work by artists and artisans of the Beausoleil First Nation and members of the Georgian Bay Métis community. The inclusive space will also show works by the broader community of Canadian Indigenous artists and artisans.
Funding the MCC
A major challenge facing a facility like the MCC is financial stability. Most facilities of its type are funded to the extent of 40 to 60% of operating costs by local government funding. The MCC received no such operating support at the outset and relied on the benevolence of the Weber Foundation and over 80 individual community donors and sponsors. In 2022, the Midland Cultural Centre reached an organizational milestone of 10 years in operations through funding from operations, donations, sponsorships and grants. As a not-for-profit organization, the MCC is continually looking to expand its network of of supporters in order to bridge the gap between administration and production expenses.