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Public Engagement Innovation Lab: City of Brampton (Brampton, Ontario)

The City of Brampton is the 9th largest city in Canada and boasts the youngest community in the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA) with a median age at 34.7. The population is represented by more than 170 different cultures that speak more than 70 languages.

Brampton’s Innovation Lab aims to engage the city’s children and youth in a rich literary culture and encourage their participation in the local literary economy. The Lab speaks to goals outlined The City of Brampton’s 2016 - 2018 Strategic Plan.

The objectives of this Lab are growth of the local literary economy through the development of strong and diverse writers in Brampton, the connection of young readers with authors who reflect and promote diversity, and the establishment of Brampton's place on Canada’s literary map. The Lab will be measured by persons attending all Lab events and programs in the 0 - 29 age categories (programming will be divided into sub-segments different age groups), with an emphasis on attracting Brampton residents, as approximately 70% of attendees at the FOLD Festival in the spring of 2016 were from outside of the City of Brampton’s borders.

Programming will be designed for each of the following three age segments:

1) Intro to Authors (exposure to Diverse, Canadian Authors)
Target audience Children/Youth (0 - 14 year olds)

  1. Author Readings w/ Q&A
  2. Spoken Word Performance
  3. Book Bashes

2) Writer to Writer (giving writers access to industry expertise, networking, mentorship)
Target audience Youth / Young Adults (12 - 29 year olds)

  1. Young Writers Competition
  2. Author Panels
  3. Human Lit Libraries

3) Writer to Reader (helping independent writers to bring their work to market, supporting entrepreneurs)
Target audience 18 – 29 years olds

  1. Professional Development Workshops

Programming will run throughout 2016, with main events during Culture Days and the 2nd Annual FOLD Festival in May 2017. In 2016, the FOLD had 600 registered attendees at the festival. The majority of the attendees were ages 40+.

Targeted Audience: Children and Youth 29 years old and under

Lab Leader: Kelly Stahl, Senior Advisor, Creative Economy, City of Brampton

Partners: City of Brampton Economic Development Office; The FOLD Canada; Brampton Library; Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives; City of Brampton Recreation and Culture Division; City of Brampton Entrepreneur Centre; City of Brampton Office of the Central Area; Downtown Brampton Business Improvement Area (BIA); Canadian Publishers (Groundwood Books, House of Anansi, etc.); Academia (Sheridan College, Peel District School Board, Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board); Canadian Artists (both professional & emerging authors, writers, poets, spoken word, etc...).