Around Calgary

Part VI: Long Term Goals: Engage


Part I: Community Engagement is a State of Being, Or, Why We're Changing Again

Part II: Lead with Culture: Thriving. Resonating. Energizing.

Part III: 2005 to 2010 Was About First Things First

Part IV: What's Next? Long Term Goals for Arts Development in Calgary: Incubate

Part V: Long Term Goals - Accelerate 

A funny thing happened on the way to my regular blog posting schedule… I took a pause to help finalize Calgary's bid to be the 2012 Cultural Capital of Canada. I couldn't be happier with our bid, and I couldn't be more proud of our city and the people who rolled up their sleeves to make this bid a reality. Included in that long list (our best guess is that over 5000 people were involved in some way, either through the web, or in person) is City Council. They made a strong commitment to our bid very early in the process. Their commitment allowed us to spend a lot of time in the community learning about the ambitions for culture in Calgary.

Through this extensive discussion with the community, we heard loud and clear that Calgarians want to be active participants in their cultural scene. This desire aligns strongly with our third area of focus, engagement. In reality, engagement has always been a driving force for Calgary Arts Development. Through our planning process, we reaffirmed the strategic importance of this goal, and further defined what it means, as described below:

Goal 3: Engage

Our Aspiration: Ensure a critical mass of opportunities for Calgarians to become enthusiastic arts participants.

Calgarians from all walks of life are increasingly showing interest in engaging with culture and the arts. They’re engaging in new ways, every day, on demand. There is a desire for Read more »

Cantos Music Foundation Presents: Designs on Calgary

Space Place #3:

Hi blog-readers!

Here is a great chance for everyone to witness and interact with the development of one of Calgary's biggest development projects currently under way! Please click here if you need to get up to date on what's happened so far in this $100 million project in the East Village!

Cantos Music Foundation Presents:
July 23, 2009. 5-9 p.m. at the Grand Theatre, 608 1st St SW

Join us as five of the world's leading architects compete to design a major project  in Calgary - Cantos' new national music  centre at the King Eddy site in the East Village.
Read more »

Muesum of Chinese Culture in Manhattan expands!

Space Place #2

July 9, 2009

Hello interweb users! I hope you're enjoying a wonderful July day. Today's entry focuses on an arts and culture space that is getting a huge expansion on Mulberry street in Manhattan. I have no doubt that I have walked by this building before, unaware. It is wonderful to see a Chinese cultural hub experience such a massive growth in size! Here's a link to the article:

Calgary also has a Chinese Cultural Centre! This Saturday the Centre is co-hosting a Stampede Breakfast with MLA Kent Hehr! Here is a link to the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre's web site:

Enjoy the article and happy Stampede! 


Taking Up A Torch

Last night I had the honour of toasting (and, OK, roasting!) Colin Jackson's accomplishments as CEO of the EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts.  Colin's stint at the helm of one of the most important arts institutions in Calgary (and Canada) lasted 12 years.  I've known him for about half of that time, and have worked closely with him for the past 4 years.  As I was reflecting on what I would say, it occurred to me that, at 40, I was likely to be one of the “young” people in the room.  And at 62-ish, Colin is technically old enough to be my father... we are essentially one generation apart.  I point this out not to make him feel older (really though… the rocking chair can’t be too far away!), but rather as a jumping off point for thinking about the responsibilities of my generation as an older generation begins to hand over the torch. Read more »

Creation & Collaboration - The New "Table Stakes" for the Performing Arts in Calgary?

Consider today's news from Alberta Ballet (here), recent news from Theatre Calgary (here), the ongoing work of Calgary Opera, Theatre Junction GRAND, ATP, OYR, DJD, Lunchbox... and then add to that impressive list the large number of emerging organizations in our fine city.  If it wasn't clear already, the picture is becoming sharper:

Perhaps more than any other city in Canada, Calgary is distinguishing itself as "the" place in Canada for new creation, more often than not with exciting collaborations at the heart of the work.

Read more »

Tune in 7pm tonight

This just in - you may want to tune your radio dial to 102.1FM in Calgary before you read.

The Calgary Girls Choir has just won the CBC Radio Choral Competition in the Youth Choirs Category! The choir performed this afternoon as part of a "live-to-air" broadcast today, April 30. If you were unable to attend in person, tune in to CBC Radio Two tonight at 7 p.m. MST or listen via the internet (see below).

A huge congratulations from all of us at Calgary Arts Development to the Calgary Girls Choir, artistic director Elaine Quilichini and all the hard-working parents and volunteers behind the scenes!

Internet Listening Instructions

1. Go to Read more »

The Beginning of Something Extraordinary

Somehow the first month of my work term with Calgary Arts Development has flown by without a blog post. Not a single one. As a public relations student at Mount Royal College, I understand the importance of communicating with the public, so I figured it was time for me to jump on the blog train with reckless abandon. And there's no better time to start than now.

The other evening I had the good fortune of attending the dress rehearsal of Alberta Ballet's Dangerous Liaisons. I was pleasantly surprised. Take everything you thought you knew about the ballet and throw it out the window. Dangerous Liaisons pushes the boundaries by having a play and a ballet going on simultaneously. The choreography was visually stunning as dancers held poses that at times were painfully beautiful to watch. This truly is a must see, even if you don't think you like the ballet. Go. I promise you won't be disappointed. Read more »

Nostagia, Media, Geolocality

Memories are powerful. If you look at some current pop cultures trends it's easy to find evidence of the power of nostalgia. The fact that we have an orange Care Bear in the office is a good indicator. 80's revival has been in full swing for some time now and I've got my plaid shirts and doc martins on deck for a 90's grunge revisit. For many of us around the triple decade mark conversations often turn to the music, movies, and television we experienced when we were younger. Those of us who grew up in the 80's were really the first generation to grow up in such a media saturated environment and we can easily relate our media experience with just about anybody the same age in North America. Read more »


It's been a rush. Since today is my last day at Calgary Arts Development, I thought I would attempt writing a blog. I have to admit I've been sort of afraid of blogging (even though blogging dates back to 1983 and I still haven't tried it). How does one write about something in a way that is interesting to read; conversational, yet not silly? But, like Terry says when referring to accepting new technologies, “jump on the train”. Read more »

Building Blocks

Vancouver 2010.  Having been there and in Whistler for the past week, there are sites earmarked all over the area for development ahead of the Winter Olympics.  A series of high class venues and buildings, all built to house this great sporting event. 

However, my friend, who lives in Whistler, was wondering about all this construction.  Why, she asked, when you're surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in Canada, would you want to erect a series of "iconic" buildings?  Read more »


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