Anti-Racism Statement

Anti-Racism Statement

We need to confront racism every day.

Since the beginning of the global pandemic, there has been an alarming rise in anti-Asian racism in North American, which has tragically come to the forefront of public consciousness with the killing of six Asian women in Atlanta. There also continue to be horrible acts of racism against Black, Muslim, Indigenous people, and other people of colour  in cities across North America, and the arts community in Calgary is not immune. These hateful acts are unacceptable and must not be tolerated.

At Calgary Arts Development, we stand firmly against these racist acts and will act in solidarity with Black, Indigenous, Asian, and people of colour. As an organization we are committed to re-imagining an equitable future for all Calgarians and to learning what we need to learn as we endeavour to centre our commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility (EDIA) in all that we do.

In June of 2020 through our Black Lives Matter statement, we committed to support and show our solidarity for Black artists and the trauma that has and is experienced by all BIPOC and artists with disabilities (AWD).

In light of recent events, we felt it was time to update the community on some of the work we are undertaking:

  • Commissioning and compensating a community working group to help us re-craft our commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility, and further develop anti-racist policies and practices governing our work, including:
    • Recruitment of board, staff, and program assessors.
    • Greater access to granting programs for all artists.
    • More thoughtful procurement processes.
    • Broader community engagement with artists from a diversity of backgrounds.
  • Continuing our commitment to our reconciliation journey as led by the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation commission and the teachings of Elders and Indigenous artists who have generously provided counsel.
  • Continuing to support the work of diverse artists through our granting programs, with emphasis on the Original Peoples Investment Program, the ArtShare Program, and the Artist as Changemaker Program.
  • Contributing financial support for the Cultural Instigators—a group of artists-organizers learning and helping to build collective capacity in the arts communities for equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility, working on community initiatives for change.
  • Amplifying the stories of artists that reflect the rich cultural diversity of our city through The Storytelling Project, with a particular focus on sharing diverse stories through the podcasts and web series.

We are public stewards of public funds for the public good. This means all public. We aspire to foster a resilient and sustainable arts sector that is safe and welcoming for all, regardless of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, language, citizenship, creed, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, marital status, physical, or mental abilities.

This is an ongoing process and there is much work to be done. We cannot do this work alone. We call for deeper collaboration among communities, organizations and institutions working for equity to strengthen our actions and shared aspirations for social change.

If you wish to reach out to us with comments, please contact us at

On behalf of Calgary Arts Development,

Patti Pon
President & CEO

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