By Sharon McLeay Times Reporter
Wheatland County recently approved annual funding for Rosebud School of the Arts, which has acted as a community hub and provided an economic boost to the area.
According to Frank Nickel, executive director of Rosebud Centre of the Arts, Rosebud is where culture, education and economic development collide.
“What appears on the surface to be a cultural initiative is in essence economic development,” said Nickel, who added that with an investment in human capital, the community of Rosebud has managed to raise its profile and that has led to regional, provincial and international outreach.
Rosebud School of the Arts is the hub of the Rosebud community. Housing development has increased, and commerce is bolstered by audience attendance, people coming in from other municipalities who patronize the dinner theatre and musical events.
Nickel requested Wheatland County add $5,000 annually into their budget to support the school.
Council discussed the request on Nov. 2, with some members questioning if this funding would set a precedent for other groups. They wondered if it favoured one hamlet over another.
Reeve Glenn Koester, who represents the Rosebud area, championed the request, stating it was an economic development mechanism for the county and he wanted the funds to be included in the economic development budget. Koester said the school needed to show on paper this municipal support in order for them to acquire other grants that will help the school and the hamlet’s businesses grow.
“Rosebud shows the greatest amount of economic growth… and as far as that it proves what a small community can do starting with a little and developing it into a lot,” said Councillor Ben Armstrong.
Council approved the funding.