Today, on the ninth hour of the ninth day of the ninth month of the ninth year, The Lakeview Legacy Project , a non profit organization, was to stand before Mayor Hazel McCallion & the Mississauga City Council to ensure that the proposed Small Arms Building creativity centre would receive the infrastructure repair funding it so richly deserves. I wondered, (as both a visual artist and with AIM, Artists in Mississauga) would the 09/09/09 date bring good news or not for the arts & artists in Mississauga?
Now, I knew that the team that makes up the Legacy Project has such experience, dedication and vision, that I really needn't worry. But a little chink in my faith resulted when, as just before I headed out the door to the council meeting, my teenage daughter asked for a whopping $300 for school, and that the number on the cheque I made out was 333! (add them up- they equal 9)
My anxiety grew, when stuck in traffic snarled by back- to - school buses, and construction everywhere, it took me 3x as long to reach city hall. Then, thinking I was lucky to grab a free parking spot behind the Living Arts Centre - it wasn't till I was far from my car - I saw there were now new automated ticket booths. With no change on hand, I couldn't get mine to work with my charge card. I had the joy of adding some feelings of inadequacy to those feelings of frustration at being late... until I passed a gentleman equally perplexed at getting his card to work.
I moved my car to the Square One Parking lot instead.
Racing over to city hall, I held the door open for an out of breath young man who, all dressed up, looked quite perturbed as he ran up the stairs towards me. Aha! a fellow witness also late to this historic event!
But then, across the great hall, little flower girls dressed up in white and pressed against the glass - caught my eye . A wedding, and he made it.
Jim Tovey, Chair of the Lakeview Legacy Project, and the Lakeview Ratepayers Association was presenting his case as I entered the Council Chambers. With no further a due Council unanimously agreed the cause was worthy and deserving. Huzzah!
And then, but with a little more difficulty, the Art Gallery of Mississauga, also got approval for funds toward their much needed and deserved expansion ideas. Huzzah again!
Happily, I returned to my car only to find a ticket on my windshield. Somewhere in time, what had been part of a large mall parking lot, still looked like the mall's parking lot, and has no obvious signs otherwise, at least not to a frustrated motorist, was now just for private use by who knows who?!?
I could pull a "23" story line and point out that the ticket # ended in 9 (which it did) and so did the officer's number. But that's not the real point. The real point is that Mississauga is getting all grown up. It is getting mature enough enough to recognize that the arts matter, and sometimes, the value of money spent is not just about numbers. And that the nuisance of traffic, and parking that has to be paid for (sigh) are simply growing pains of coming of age.