The following purpose is from the User Group Committee’s Terms of Reference:
The User Group Committee (UGC) for the future Downtown Arts Centre will provide detailed user input and information necessary to refine, validate, and/or confirm the statement of requirements and functional program. The UGC will provide further details and comments throughout the design and specifications phase of the project and, as required, during the construction phase. The UGC will report to the Project Oversight Committee through their City Council co-chair and the director of recreation and community services; and to the design and construction team committee through both co-chairs and all City representatives. The UGC will have direct interaction with the architectural consultant team and other consultants as appropriate.
The UGC will also function as a primary resource for user-related consultations undertaken by the Centre Operation Committee. The UGC's expertise and perspectives can serve in developments related to the future management and operations of the facility, including qualifications and advertising for the executive director, fundraising campaigns, operating plans and policies.
Roles and Responsibilities
Meet regularly with City staff and consultants to inform the functional program, schematic design and detailed design drawings for the future arts centre. Provide comments regarding suitability and implications for the user group community for consideration in the development of the functional program, schematic design and detailed design drawings. The process will include assessment of:
Consult and obtain input with other direct and indirect stakeholders (e.g. other arts community organizations and members, faculty, students, etc.) of the future arts centre, the City of St. Catharines, Brock University, and the Regional Municipality of Niagara. Include consideration of the following in communication/consultation strategies:
Refer matters that require a decision or resolution, beyond the ability or authority of the User Group Committee, to the City's project oversight team.
Committee Structure: The committee will be co-chaired by a City councillor appointed by St. Catharines City Council and by a community member elected by his or her peers. These two individuals will share the responsibilities of chair.
Composition: The committee has representation of approximately 10 user groups. However, in order to ensure ongoing representation, each identified user group can designate a maximum of two representatives. These alternates will share one vote. Both representatives are encouraged to attend all meetings, as available, to maximize participation. Selection criteria developed by the Niagara Centre for the Arts Task Force will be used for selection of any members subsequent to the committee's establishment.
City and Consultant Representation: The committee will have three representatives from the Recreation and Community Services department participating in meetings. In addition, City consultant Martin Vinik will be present in meetings as required, and meetings with the architectural consultant team will be coordinated as per the relevant phases of design and construction. Other consultants may be involved from time to time that may require input from the User Group Committee. The City's cultural planning supervisor will act as primary staff resource for the UGC. When the arts centre executive director is hired, he or she will also participate in meetings.
The Performing Arts Centre User Group Committee meets as needed on the basis of the project.