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How do we retain talent in KW?
#21
I agree that the music scene is lacking, even compared to other comparably-sized cities in Ontario (Guelph and London both seem to get more variety of live music). It's the #1 reason I'd want to live elsewhere, and it's odd to me that a city our size with a large student population doesn't have more variety of venues and music. I often see Canadian bands I like do tours of Southern Ontario playing everywhere except for Kitchener-Waterloo. Part of the problem is that we're in Toronto's shadow, not far enough to develop our own music culture like, say, Halifax - any good band I know moves to Toronto fairly quickly.
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#22
(04-06-2018, 03:21 PM)GtwoK Wrote: WR has a lot going for it in terms of tech, of course, but I'd be lying if I said I enjoy the arts community here. I'd really really like to stay in Waterloo Region - I grew up here, there's jobs, there's family. But in all honesty, even moving to Guelph is compelling because of the thriving arts community. The music scene is better, the small businesses and restaurants feel more like they came from the heart and not from the deep pockets of the tech sector... I wish I could put my finger on what exactly could change to improve the region, but I'm not quite sure. I'm sure a lot of people would disagree with me though.

I don't dine or shop in Guelph, so I can't really compare, but I don't know what you mean by the bolded bit.

When people say the Region is "weak" in music, I take it that they mean wrt popular musical entertainment?  

I find that the Region has a fairly strong music culture (if you like classical), but is weak wrt theatre and very weak wrt dance.
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#23
I don't know a lot of people that work in tech but I have a couple friends that do, one works in town and likes the quieter life in KW and the other one was working here but got a job in California and makes way more money (even accounting for increase cost-of-living). I think local tech companies could try paying people more money to get them to work here, as I understand it rent for office space and such is more expensive in Toronto or silicon valley. Commuting around KW is also a breeze compared to other places. I do agree with need faster, more frequent GO train service. HSR would be nice too but that's not really KW's fault it's not a thing.

The other factor affecting my friends is the long hours they often put in, with the company having lunch and supper delivered so there's not really a lot of time to go out and enjoy the "cultural activities" that are happening here, let alone being able to drive demand for more. I know the 40 hour work week seems so antiquated now but if people work 50 or 60 hours a week they aren't gonna be staying up late to attend Nightshift or go out to a club for some music. I work a lot of long hours, though it's skilled trade work, the last thing I want to do after 10 or 12 hours is go home, clean up and go out. Gimme pizza and netflix any night of the week.
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#24
(04-06-2018, 03:21 PM)GtwoK Wrote: WR has a lot going for it in terms of tech, of course, but I'd be lying if I said I enjoy the arts community here. I'd really really like to stay in Waterloo Region - I grew up here, there's jobs, there's family. But in all honesty, even moving to Guelph is compelling because of the thriving arts community. The music scene is better, the small businesses and restaurants feel more like they came from the heart and not from the deep pockets of the tech sector... I wish I could put my finger on what exactly could change to improve the region, but I'm not quite sure. I'm sure a lot of people would disagree with me though.

I think things are getting better, but an issue might be 'advertising'. So while there could be more stuff occurring, that stuff that is occurring isn't advertised enough. For example, you have Maxwell's in Waterloo and The Boathouse in Kitchener. We obviously need more venues, but even then, the word needs to get out.

I wish I could put a finger on it too, of what else exactly needs to be done. But I do think the 3 cities need to learn to work in unison to improve things. So much potential.
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#25
We have a limited amount of large spaces and horrible transit between them.

With limited space we have an abundance of smaller "clubs" with niche themes that appeal less broadly. By clubs I mean groups of people not nightclubs.

There are a lot of arts and culture initiatives. Many of them have been very vocal about their need for low cost space and support to be able to expand. From my outside perspective it does look like it's moving forward as they gain support, however it's a slow process.
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#26
I'd like to see more places to work. Remote work is common, but places to work remotely aren't. Ubiquitous, frequent transit would make this a little better so that the uncommon spaces are possible to reach.

In fact, ubiquitous and frequent transit within the Region with a continued failure to improve transit to/from the GTA (adding all those travel lanes to the 401 is going to make traffic so much worse, it's like They want a parking lot) might help improve the Region. If it were easy to get to the GTA there'd be no pressure to develop anything but subdivisions here. And subdivisions are one of the quickest ways to destroy culture that I've seen.
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#27
This is sort of indirectly connected, but worth a read:  https://www.theglobeandmail.com/investin...-up-their/

Makes you think though, if there's less draw to places like Toronto and Vancouver, could a secondary tier of cities like Waterloo Region see an influx of young talent?  And if so, then how do we make ourselves more attractive?
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