Accountability + Impact Report 2023

Reports & Research Category: Annual Reports: Accountability & Impact

Accountability + Impact Report 2023

We are the city’s designated arts development authority, created to support and strengthen the arts to benefit all Calgarians.

We are proud to put public dollars to work in the interest of the public good. This means all public, not just some. We aspire to foster a resilient and sustainable arts sector that is safe and welcoming to all people regardless of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, language, citizenship, creed, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, marital status, income status, physical or mental abilities.

We believe that infusing the lives of Calgarians with art has the power to build our city.

Welcome to our 2023 Accountability and Impact Report

What did 2023 ask of us?

We live in interesting times. We see our city grappling with a climate crisis and a housing crisis; we hear that people are feeling squeezed by inflation and financial challenges; we read in Calgary Foundation’s Vital Signs report that 88% of racialized Calgarians feel uncomfortable or out of place because of their religion, ethnicity, skin colour, language, accent, gender or sexual orientation. How do we find signs of hope in such challenging times?

One way is to remember the words of Métis Leader Louis Riel who said, in 1885, “My people will sleep for one hundred years, but when they awake it will be the artists who give them their spirit back.” We see truth in this statement. We, too, believe that artists will lead the way, help us make sense of the world around us, and re-ignite our spirits.

These times of reckoning demand greater inclusion to address inequities that have gone unattended for much too long. We see signs of hope within the arts sector with the number of arts activities engaging multicultural communities up by 22%, the number of arts activities engaging people with disabilities up by 45% and the number of arts activities engaging Indigenous communities up by 35%.

Arts and artists are included in more conversations than ever before, in developing the creative economy, revitalizing the downtown, and providing opportunities for Calgarians to feel joy and celebrate.

2023 was the first year of our new four-year strategic framework Ákáakomatapoap — the Blackfoot word for We are now going to begin, which recognizes the transformational times the arts face. The plan will guide our work over its span of four years as we focus on purpose, people, community and resources with all our work centred on the arts and artists.

We are grateful for the commitment City Council and City Administration have made to the arts community, moving Calgary into the top tier of municipal arts funding.  The impact this investment has had on our community has been transformational. The pages of this report outline the work we undertook to be good stewards of the public funds we invest in making Calgary a better city in which to work, live and play.

Let us continue to put our support into the arts and artists and let them lead the way. They can’t solve all the problems of the world, but they can help us heal, connect, find meaning,  move forward and re-ignite our spirits.

— Patti Pon, President & CEO, and Chima Nkemdirim, Board Chair

Read the full 2023 Accountability + Impact Report online at

Download the Calgary Arts Development Financial Statements for 2023 here.