The arts and culture sector in Kitchener is getting a boost thanks to a collaboration with Harvard and Bloomberg.

“I know it’s going to be something special,” said Allan Cayenne, director of marketing for Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest.

Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic, along with 40 artists and event coordinators, met with experts from Harvard and Bloomberg to discuss a way forward from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What it allows us to do is really take the strength of our community, which is our people, particularly our artisans and our performers and so on, and to support them and see how we can bring more life and vitality, not just to the downtown but to the city of Kitchener.”

The group discussed pandemic shutdowns in the arts sector, which drained wallets and creative drive.

“We’ve all got to come together to tackle the issue how do we re-engage the community in arts and culture after it got hit so hard in the pandemic,” Cayenne said.

Cayenne said he’s excited for the future for the sector as it recovers from the pandemic.

“That’s the most exciting for me, the possibilities of what could be,” he said.