Directories, Directories, Directories

One place where people can go to see Calgary's diverse arts fabric

Back in early 2019 Calgary Arts Development began to expand our website to include a directory. This directory, or rather, group of directories, was created to carve out a place for the city’s artists, arts organizations, cultural organizations, and partners of Calgary Arts Development to be featured in their own words.

The intention of this ultimately being to have one place where people can go in order to see the diverse arts fabric that Calgary has to offer, and a platform where people can find contact information for those listed in the directories, should they want to learn more about their practice or organization.

As Calgary Arts Development’s Database Coordinator, compiling this information is something that I weirdly love, but let me tell you, it has been no mean feat!

From emailing submission forms to those who are already known to Calgary Arts Development, to requesting that this form is shared throughout people’s arts network and discovering new people and places to reach, it has been a slow process (and thank you all for your patience), and the directories are online and taking shape—and looking pretty good, I might add!

In this process I have become more familiar with the artists and organizations not only that Calgary Arts Development serves, but those who are new to me, which, after working in the arts sector for *coughlongtimecough* over 25 years, it is exciting to learn more about our creative city and those who make it so.

The directories are by no means finished, indeed they are constantly being updated and growing as more artists and organizations submit their information to us in order to be included.

In 2020, I am looking forward to expanding our directories to include spaces. As we work towards finding a replacement platform for SpaceFinder Alberta, a project that I was deeply entrenched in for the past five years, I am happy to know that our Calgary arts (and non-arts) spaces will have a bit of a profile under my care in the meantime.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the role of the directories in a time where we are unable to gather together to celebrate creatively or engage in the community as we did just nine months ago. And, yes, while some may think that self-promotion may not be a priority during these times that I like to call “The Challenges,” I also believe that once the city starts bouncing back and is able to lift many of the restrictions currently in place (Wear your mask, people! Social distance! We can do this!) the need for the arts and access to those that create it, host it, promote it, will be immense. Getting ahead of the game can’t hurt going forward, right? Also, if “The Challenges” becomes a well-used term and makes it into history books at some point, I feel I will have done my bit.

So this is my ask of all of the artists and arts organizations who fuel me through all of this:

  • Submit your information to be included in our directories.
  • Share the submission link within your arts network.

Let me know if you have any questions whatsoever—I may not be able to meet with you over a coffee as I have done in the past, but I am happy to help you promote what you do. I am also happy to talk about professional cycling with anyone who is also interested, so drop me a line!

Feel free to contact me at kari.watson@calgaryartsdevelopment.com and check out the directories at calgaryartsdevelopment.com/community-directory-and-spaces.

Kari Watson is the Database Coordinator for Calgary Arts Development. She spends her days emailing, visiting organizations and artists, and adding listings to Calgary Art Development’s ever-growing online presence—including being on the team that launched SpaceFinder Alberta in 2016.

In her previous life, Kari was the long-standing (and only) Events Listings Editor for Fast Forward Weekly (FFWD), and as such has been involved in the arts community for longer than she would like anyone to know. When not hunting for rentable arts spaces in town, she can be found taking in Calgary’s vibrant arts scene or watching European pro cycling.

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