Florida’s chicken/egg problem

There’s a great story in Macleans this week about Calgary’s arts sector turning the city into a cultural mecca.

Richard Florida says that the creative class leads to strong and successful economies so economic developers are scrambling to become ‘creative’. I have always said that strong and successful economies lead to creative cities because there’s lots of dough around to fund creative endeavour.

Calgary is a perfect example. Did the city become creative and that led to an oil boom? Maybe Andy Warhol was up there drilling for oil.

Or did a very strong economy generate the money to fund creative endeavour?

I do think it becomes a virtuous cycle. Economy begets creativity begets innovation begets economy.

But it starts with economy. So the next time an economic developer in New Brunswick wants to cut business attraction and sector development efforts in favour of funding creativity, I think they should pause and think it through.