Strategic Plan Survey Results

In total 33 people completed the survey, a good mix of people who have been involved with SweetWater with 25% of respondents involved over 10 years, and the remainder involved from 1-9 years.  Several respondents attended the very first festival and one person hasn’t been involved to date. There was also a good range in the types of involvement - from board members to audience participants, and some who took part in workshops and jam sessions.


Survey highlights includes:

  • On the whole participants rated the festival as healthy, with the highest rating going to the artistic programming.  
  • Accessibility, musician development and planning/evaluation were all rated in the good to excellent range for organizational health.  
  • Although there were no ‘poor’ ratings for any category, the areas considered least healthy were financial health and audience development.  
  • When asked how successful SweetWater is as an organization 80% rated it as very or extremely successful, and 20% rated it as somewhat successful.  
  • Some of the barriers to success identified by the survey participants were (in order of importance): long term financial sustainability, lack of accommodation in Owen Sound for festival patrons, competition with other arts organizations for donations and sponsorships, younger audience members under represented, and that SweetWater is not well known outside of the area.  


Survey participants offered many suggestions on how the board can address these barriers that will be incorporated into the final plan.  Some of the biggest priorities for action for SweetWater identified by the survey participants include:  

  • Maintaining the calibre of performances
  • Being more visible in other geographic areas
  • Not losing the ‘magic’, accessing a younger audience
  • Increased collaboration with schools and local music teachers
  • More advertising outside of the Owen Sound area  

THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the survey.  We appreciate your thoughtful and helpful comments, and your input makes the work of Strategic Planning much easier!