Calgary arts sector stepping up

News Release Categories: 2020

Calgary arts sector stepping up

April 14, 2020

Artists and arts organizations connecting with audiences and participants online

(Calgary AB) – Despite being one of the first sectors hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, Calgary’s artists and arts organizations are stepping up, offering online programming while facing massive losses.

“A healthy and vibrant arts community is the lifeblood of any city and artists and arts organizations were some of the first to feel the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Calgary Arts Development President & CEO Patti Pon. “Some theatre companies, for example, had a curtain time of 7:30pm on March 12 when the necessary edict came down to cancel mass gatherings, so they had to pull the plug for that night’s and all future performances, indefinitely. Galleries and museums are closed, concerts, plays, workshops, and classes are cancelled, artists’ gigs are gone—critical revenue streams that keep these organizations and artists afloat dried up instantly. But that hasn’t stopped artists and arts organizations from stepping up, with many of them delivering online programs. And many of them for free.”

From concerts to happy hours, classes to workshops, Calgary’s artists and arts organizations are figuring out ways to continue to connect to audiences and participants. There are a number of ways to stay up to date on what’s being offered including Calgary Arts Development’s and other resources that are listed on our continuously updated COVID-19 information page.

“We need our artists and the arts now more than ever,” continues Pon. “Throughout history artists have been meaning-makers, helping us understand the world around us. They provide us with colour, music, stories, images, new ideas, and innovation. They reflect the world around us, connect us to each other, and create a sense of belonging. And this pandemic isn’t going to stop them. It is our great privilege at Calgary Arts Development to steward your tax dollars to enhance the quality of life in our city. For the small investment of about $10 per Calgarian per year, the social and economic returns from the arts community are immense. We will do everything we can to ensure our city has a vibrant and sustainable arts sector when all of this passes, and we thank artists and arts organizations for stepping up at this challenging time.”

About Calgary Arts Development 
As the city’s designated arts development authority, Calgary Arts Development supports and strengthens the arts to benefit all Calgarians. We invest and allocate municipal funding for the arts provided by The City of Calgary and leverage these funds to provide additional resources to the arts sector. Our programs support hundreds of arts organizations, individual artists, artist collectives, and ad hoc groups in Calgary.


Further Information
Helen Moore-Parkhouse
Director, Communications and Engagement, Calgary Arts Development
Phone: (office) 403.264.5330 ext. 102; (mobile) 587.227.0150

Share this page