2017 Arts matter. Artists matter. We need to hear you tell us why. Do you have ideas about how to create and promote vitality in our city? Do you have ideas about the conditions needed to support a healthy, thriving, innovative arts ecosystem? What is the current situation in Calgary, including the opportunities, the certainties and uncertainties? How can we work together to transform our city to one where all Calgarians are living a creative life? Calgary Arts Development is developing its new four-year strategic plan and preparing for conversations with City Council about the next four-year budget allocation (2019-2022). We need your ideas and input to truly represent the needs of our community and city. Join us for a day of provocative questions and deep listening as we work together as Calgarians to build the case that the value of art is visceral and embedded in how we want to live. We want to innovate ways with you to establish an authentic sense of community and enrich Calgary as a vibrant city through cultural expression. We are looking to deepen local cultural capacity, and create an enhanced sense of the place. We want to understand who is trying to make the city great through a creative life. We are asking you to speak up and be heard. Lend us your experience, ideas, and expertise at Congress 2017 on Monday, November 20 from 10:00am to 4:00pm at Grey Eagle Event Centre (3777 Grey Eagle Dr. SW). Refreshments and a light lunch will be served. What can you tell us about what is unique to the character, resources and the local community that could serve as a focal point to brand Calgary’s unique cultural identity? We are ready. We are listening. Contact Kaley Beiseigel at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Background 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 worked to extend its reach to those who may not traditionally be involved in the arts. A chance to bring like-minded people together to connect around opportunities that place the arts at the centre of building our city, each Congress facilitates the conversations necessary to nurture a collaborative, resilient and innovative arts ecosystem in Calgary. Calgary Arts Development used 2015 as a planning year for this initiative with a public event geared towards curious, creative, compassionate Calgarians in November 2016. Living a Creative Life, Calgary’s first long-term arts development strategy, has been aligning organizations from various sectors towards these goals since its publication in March 2014. Using the Congress as a catalyst for a vital, prosperous, and connected city through the arts, a day-long event is planned for November 2017. Questions can be directed to Kaley Beisiegel at email@example.com.