Creative Calgary Congress places the arts at the centre of building our city

News Release Categories: 2014

Creative Calgary Congress places the arts at the centre of building our city

For immediate release
October 23, 2014

Calgarians from all sectors are invited to connect with new ideas and collaborators

(Calgary AB) – On November 6, creative Calgarians will gather for a day of workshops, panels and presentations designed to inspire thinking about how art and creativity contribute to life in Calgary. Organized by Calgary Arts Development, the Creative Calgary Congress will bring likeminded people together to connect around opportunities that place the arts at the centre of building our city.

Formerly the Arts Champions Congress, the Creative Calgary Congress seeks to extend its reach to those who might not traditionally be involved in the arts. The shift comes from aligning the event with Living a Creative Life: An Arts Development Strategy for Calgary, whose goals and outcomes for the arts in Calgary have attracted close to 100 signatories, representing the arts and creative industries, civic partners and funders, community and social services, education and the private sector.

“Increasingly, Calgarians are valuing how the arts can help build a more vital, prosperous and connected city,” says Emiko Muraki, Calgary Arts Development’s Director of Impact and Engagement. “We’re excited to offer people from all sectors and backgrounds the opportunity to connect with one another and to expand their ideas and skills through Creative Calgary Congress programming.”

The full-day event will begin with a keynote address from Erik Takeshita of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the largest community development support organization in the United States. Based in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, LISC provides grants, loans, equity and technical assistance to community-based organizations across the country. Takeshita specializes in supporting arts-based approaches to community development.

In addition to the keynote and a networking lunch, the Congress offers nine breakout sessions, including panels, presentations and workshops:

Innovative Creative Spaces (panel): Success stories of artists who are managing creative spaces in innovative ways.
▪ The Arts and Canada’s 150th (workshop): What opportunities are created through celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary?
Connecting with Millennials (workshop): How to engage and work with a generation born into the age of connectivity, speed and customization.
▪ Citywide Engagement (panel): Innovative ways to bring your programming to audiences across Calgary.
▪ Watershed+ Public Art (presentation, Q&A): How The City of Calgary’s Utilities Department embarked on an ambitious public art project.
▪ Creative Placemaking (panel): How Calgarians are using the arts to shape the city’s social, physical and economic character.
Artist-Centred Learning (panel): How to work as a teaching artist in Calgary classrooms.
Creative Fund Development (panel): A discussion with local innovators engaged in groundbreaking work that is changing the way we look at fundraising.
Diversity and Inclusion (workshop): How to organically and authentically make organizations more inclusive.

Tickets are $25 (includes breakfast and lunch) and are available at

Creative Calgary Congress
November 6, 2014
University of Calgary Downtown Campus (906 8th Ave. SW)

About the Creative Calgary Congress
Calgary Arts Development produced the first Arts Champions Congress in 2011 as a meeting place for people who make Calgary’s arts sector a vibrant and exciting place to work and our city a great place to live. A second Arts Champions Congress was held in 2013. Renamed the Creative Calgary Congress for 2014, the event seeks to extend its reach to those who may not traditionally be involved in the arts. It is a chance to bring likeminded people together to connect around opportunities that place the arts at the centre of building our city. Each Congress will facilitate the conversations necessary to nurture a collaborative, resilient and innovative arts ecosystem in Calgary.

About Living a Creative Life
Living a Creative Life is an arts development strategy for Calgary, by Calgarians. The strategy was produced through a rigorous consultation process facilitated by Calgary Arts Development and is a result of our year as a Cultural Capital of Canada in 2012. The strategy framework was finalized in January 2014 and articulates Calgarians’ shared goals for the arts in five focus areas (Creative Communities, Centre City Arts District, Arts Incubation, Artistic Exchange, and Youth & Education).

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
Cadence Mandybura
Communications Liaison, Calgary Arts Development
Phone: 403.264.5330 ext. 201 (office); 403.585.5390

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