Member Spotlight: Calgary Arts Development

For the month of April, GIA’s photo banner features work supported by Calgary Arts Development.

Calgary Arts Development supports and strengthens the arts to benefit all Calgarians. The agency invests and allocates municipal funding for the arts provided by The City of Calgary to support hundreds of arts organizations, individual artists, artist collectives, and ad hoc groups in Calgary, Alberta, in Canada.

The agency believes the arts have the power to build its city. Through the arts development strategy, Living a Creative Life, Calgary Arts Development's vision is a creative, connected, prosperous Calgary where every resident has the opportunity to live a creative life. The agency fosters a sustainable and resilient arts sector and support arts-led city building.

In November 2018, City Council doubled the agency's budget, from $6.4M in 2018 to $12.4M, with additional funds over the subsequent years that will increase the investment to $15.9M by 2022. To Calgary Arts Development, this is the most significant show of confidence from City Hall regarding the arts sector’s role in the economic and social development of our city.

This additional funding enables greater access to its grant investment programs by underrepresented artists, collectives, and arts organizations. One of the programs the agency's most excited about is the new Original Peoples Investment Program (OPIP), a program that was co-designed by and with First Nation/Métis/Inuit (FNMI) artists, community, Elders, and Knowledge Keepers.

“OPIP is an important part of our reconciliation journey as we develop right relations with Indigenous communities through the arts,” says Patti Pon, president and CEO of Calgary Arts Development.

Other initiatives include Aisinna’kiiks, a dinner series involving Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders, artists, educators, Elders, and youth; and the agency's Land Acknowledgement to which they added music and visual arts at the recent Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions.

As stewards of public funds for the public good, the agency's focus is on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI). “By adhering to the following three principles –nothing about us without us, one size fits one, and creating a virtuous cycle (not a vicious one)– we strive to ensure the conditions are present for all Calgarians to live a creative life, not just some Calgarians,” adds Patti Pon, president and CEO of Calgary Arts Development.

Calgary Arts Development joined Grantmakers in the Arts in 2012.

You can also visit the Calgary Arts Development Authority photo gallery on GIA’s Photo Credits page.

Image: Chantal Wall, courtesy of MoMo Movement Dance Theatre

Calgary’s MoMo Movement Dance Theatre shapes how disability is felt, perceived, understood, experienced, hailed and resounded through performance and community classes. Supported by Calgary Arts Development’s Operating Grant Program.