CANADIAN, TX (KFDA) - Canadian is the northern-most and smallest state cultural district. But it’s already making a large impact on the town.
Executive director of the Canadian-Hemphill County Chamber of Commerce, Shane Spencer said it’s a huge asset to the community.
“That designation as a cultural district is a huge asset to this community,” he said. “It’s a tourism driver, it’s a business supporter, it supports everything economically that’s within the city of Canadian and the county of Hemphill.”
The designation was years in the making by city leaders who wanted to highlight everything Canadian has to offer.
“We have several galleries,” said Spencer. “There are several retail shops within the cultural district.”
Board president of the Canadian Art Alliance, Mistie Walser said the town’s cultural qualities can be found anywhere from the art museums to the rich history downtown.
“We’ve been brought up to appreciate art, to love art, and we’ve carried that on through the generations,” she said.
“It’s actually the culture of our town the area that’s all captured into one and marketed to where it shows all of it off,” said Spencer. “You capture all of what you have and you take it and you say, ‘This is what we do, and we do it all the time, whether we’re considered a cultural district or not.’”
Canadian is also on track to becoming a ‘film-friendly’ town certified by the Texas Film Commission.
“It’s just a beautiful place,” said Walser. “And I think if we can get people into Canadian and get that on the big screen and just show them what we have up here, that’s just going to do wonders for our tourism and our little town.”
Spencer believes different aspects of the town, including what qualified it as a cultural district, will make it a perfect fit.
“Your traffic is a little less, the ability to shut down a road, film a home and not disrupt a lot of things and then beyond the city there’s the topography, there’s trees, there’s the river,” he said. “Definitely film and TV and any type of media production would fall under that category of qualifying for the cultural district.”