A photo of Jeff De Boer
Jeff De Boer | Photo: Samuel Obadero

Jeff de Boer

  • Artist

I eat and breathe visual art 24/7. My passion is to make my living from my art and in doing so not just bring beauty into the world but simply make people smile and mentor emerging artists. With 31 years of experience as a professional in the private sector I believe I have insights that can contribute to ways artists and art organizations can become more sustainable.

Art is the centre piece of what we call a creative economy. Through the arts we have an opportunity to not just make the city a more beautiful and better place to live, art attracts the kind of creative entrepreneurs that can transform all of Alberta into an innovation economy beyond oil and gas.

Calgary Arts Development is a public funder, which is important for the arts because artists and arts organizations need to be able to take risks and with risk comes occasional failure. Without sustainable funding the critical culture of risk taking cannot grow. History only celebrates the risk takers.

I also believe in Calgary Arts Development’s commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility (EDIA).

A world without diversity and equal opportunity is a world without empathy. The arts are the great equalizer and a perfect platform for a never-ending conversation. Only through open and honest conversation can we grow and become more aware. EDIA will never be a final destination—it needs to become a state of mind! Calgary Arts Development has a critical leadership role to play and believes in leading through its actions—when you know the way, you can go the way, and show the way.

Art has been in our DNA since the time of the first cave paintings. We take it so much for granted that we no longer appreciate what our world would look like without it. Without art there would be no world, no nice clothes, tasty food, music, cool cars, beautiful architecture. There would be no such thing as science, medicine, engineering, there would be no invention. Without art there would be no you or me either. Art is what defines us sentient, problem-solving beings with unrealized infinite potential.