While entering the silent tomb that is Church Street School during a typical 9-5 weekday aside from noticing a complete void of any cultural activity I did find this poorly cobbled together survey that the “Cultural” Centre believes constitutes their “commitment to continuous quality improvement”:

Even the phrase “commitment to continuous quality improvement” comes off as little more than mashed together meaningless buzzwords not unlike this Dilbert cartoon:

Continuous Quality Improvement ( or CQI ) is defined as an approach to quality management that builds upon traditional quality assurance methods by emphasizing the organization and systems: it focuses on “process” rather than the individual; it recognizes both internal and external “customers”; it promotes the need for objective data to analyze and improve processes.

Iowa state University outlines Core concepts and Core steps here:

It appears several post secondary institutions are implementing said approach, here are a couple more:

Montana State University:

Penn State:

Michner Institute:

Closer to home the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in collaboration with Health Quality Ontario along with health care organizations and health sector associations have released a Quality Improvement Plan guide:

Now do you think any of these organizations water down such a commitment to something as a cheesy as a discard-able 8.5″x11″ paper survey?

Given the hundreds of thousands of dollars they receive from the town surely they could have purchased one of those amazing “happy or not?” gizmos that’s in place at town hall:

One of the only requirements of the “Cultural” Centre’s controversial Cultural Service Agreement with the town of Aurora is that they are to provide Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

KPIs are not some gelatinous abstract, they are concept credible, measurable & relevant metrics to measure achievement:

The “Cultural” Centre is all giddy about celebrating 5 years of operation yet over that entire period they have only provided a single KPI to the town: a total number of visitors in a calendar year.

And it’s not a KPI at all, it’s a KRI.

KRIs define success, while KPIs dissect and measure it. Here’s a greater explanation of the difference:

But even without the KPIs laid out in the Cultural Services Agreement town council voted to provide them with continued grant funding this year, because, well why would we bother establishing a baseline for performance and hold a board accountable for their performance?

Nah, they dispense “culture” automatic free pass.

Implementing pathetic surveys as a way to suggest the Centre has a “commitment to continuous quality improvement” isn’t a surprise as it aligns with how they have fulfilled other commitments over their history.

The original name of the “Cultural” Centre, the one included on their letter of incorporation is “The Church Street School Cultural Centre” as it served to acknowledge the historic building. Of course the commitment to the heritage of the building was too much for the snotty “Cultural” Centre crowd and they opted to trash that in favor of the “Aurora Cultural Centre”. I commented on that in this post here:

Or how about the commitment to name a room in the Centre after the town’s former curator that they outright declined, yet had no problems selling the name of another room for sponsorship $:

Or the commitment to provide a space for heritage in the Centre which they nullified in order to rent out the very space reserved for this purpose to make more $:

Or how about the commitment to becoming self sustainable, which was understood up until the Town’s March 2nd budget meeting where one of their representatives said point blank : “The Centre will not be self sustaining, ever.”. I commented on that here:

The Aurora “Cultural” Centre has a lot of improvements to make and unlike their approach I’m not afraid of commitment.

I am however afraid of committing to someone, or something who won’t commit to me, and my town as a whole.


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