Fred Hacker said this project has become a passion for him as he's seen in grow.  He thinks there's a misunderstanding in the community about the facility and its mandate and operations and wants to help clear some of that up.  He noted the article in last week's Free Press which points out that Midland is poised to become a vibrant cultural community and that it now has a focus, a new centre that will encourage not only outside talent, it will mostly promote local people.
When those locals put on an art show or a play or some other performance it will all contribute to the economy by both developing their skills but also by drawing traffic to the downtown and to the community as a whole.  He added that it has started well with the play Our Town, which is terrific and he says everybody should see it.
As he was talking he showed some pictures of the facility.
The big question people have been asking is why build it at all and he thinks it will complement all that is already here - the recreational, educational and social initiatives that are in place.  The Foundation saw the opportunity to make a physical improvement by revitalizing a key property in the downtown and to stimulate the local economy (as reported in the article mentioned) by attracting new businesses, professionals and creative people.
Every community has to distinguish itself from all the others - branding - and, combined with our geography, health care and now this building, Midland is on its way to doing so.  The MCC will be a home and a focus for the arts, a home for the gallery and the theatre and will be a self sustaining and inspiring year round facility.
The objectives of the place are- to benefit artists and creative groups.
                                                       to be a facility for education and sharing of skills and knowledge and ideas (Quest is already a high quality teaching institution and the Huronia players will be puttin on theatre schools)
                                                       to develop an appreciation for the arts and culture in the region and encourage the vitality of the arts in the community
                                                       to be fiscally responsible - in comparison with Meaford, for instance, which spends 750 thousand on staffing for their facility, most of the operatives are to be volunteers.  It will host weddings and events, for a fee, and will look for local patrons, which all arts groups need.  The facility is paid for and is being given free to the community.
                                                       to operate as a complement to other cultural institutions and groups in the community.
At the moment there are only two employees, the chef, Ivar, and the general manager, Kim.  The theatre is first class with good seating, acoustics and technologies.  Rotary Hall will sit about 300 people in an audience or 150 for dinner, the stage is removable and adjustable and there's a 7 foot piano.
As for operations - it's owned by the Town so it doesn't pay taxes and is leased to the MCC Inc. which is a non profit corporation with a Board made up of shareholders - members of the Town Council, Trustees of the Weber Foundation and members of the public and the arts community.  Space is sublet to the Huronia Players and Quest and there will be funding from rentals and donations.
Fred thanked Rotary for its donation and said he was gratified to know that the Club will be moving to its new home there.  He thinks that is a vote of confidence and as well as giving the Club a permanent home it will make Rotary a presence in the facility and in the downtown.  He said it couldn't have been done without all the wonderful volunteers, John Lister among them.
Tara asked about storage of Rotary archives but that is still being worked out.  Fred spoke to parking, saying that as most events would be in the evening all the lots would be accessible and relatively empty but that there are over 500 spaces within easy steps of the front door.
President's Night will be June 20 and will be held there and the first regular meeting on the 27th will start us off on the new year there.  But on June 13 go to Askennonia at the NSSRC.