Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions

An invitation for the 2020 Mayor's Lunch for Arts Champions

The sold-out Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions, which was scheduled to take place on April 1, 2020, has been cancelled due to COVID-19. We are hoping to celebrate with you again in March 2021.

All ticket buyers will be given a full refund. Contact if you have any questions.

2020 Legacy Artist Award Winners Announced Online

The Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions, organized by Calgary Arts Development and the Office of the Mayor, is normally where the winners of each year’s Cultural Leaders Legacy Artist Awards are announced. Even though this year’s Mayor’s Lunch has been postponed indefinitely, the Legacy Artist Award recipients are being announced and celebrated on April 1, 2020, the original date for the 2020 Mayor’s Lunch.

“Just because we couldn’t gather in person to honour these extraordinary Calgary artists doesn’t mean we have to wait until later in the year to distribute their awards,” says Calgary Arts Development President & CEO Patti Pon. “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. A public event will be planned once we are able to gather again, but we didn’t want to wait to distribute these awards and celebrate the recipients.”

Recipients of the 2020 Cultural Leaders Legacy Artist Awards were announced through a video featuring interviews with award-winners and sponsors posted on the Calgary Arts Development website. Each Legacy Award winner receives a $5,000 cash prize, which is funded by a contribution from a local philanthropist or organization with equal matching money from a legacy fund of Calgary 2012. Recipients are selected by a jury of peers.

This year, 47 outstanding artists and organizations were nominated, representing just some of the artistry that vitalizes our city every day. We thank all the nominees and congratulate this year’s recipients.

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Mayor's Lunch for Arts Champions logo for 2020

The Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions is a collaboration between Calgary Arts Development and Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

In consultation with business and cultural industry advisors, this event was developed as a new way of expanding the circle of Arts Champions in Calgary, building on the Mayor’s Luncheon for Business and the Arts’ long history of bringing together the business and arts sectors.

The Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions celebrates the transformative power of the arts, building momentum for the future.

A limited number of reduced price tickets are available for practising artists. For more information please email

Proceeds from this event go to artists and arts organizations through granting programs.

A Note from His Worship Mayor Naheed Nenshi

Calgarians should be proud of our artistic community. Its growth and achievement not only enriches our community, but also communities across the world.

The Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions is our opportunity to celebrate that success. But it is also our chance to reflect on what more we must do to help our arts and culture thrive, especially in challenging economic times. What more can we do to become true arts champions by attending, promoting and investing in the arts? What more can we do to create more arts champions?

This lunch is both a celebration and a challenge, and I look forward to seeing you there.

Naheed Nenshi
Mayor of Calgary

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.


The Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions is the continuation of a longstanding event established by the Calgary Professional Arts Alliance (CPAA) in 1993 to bring Calgary’s business and art sectors together in recognition of the important relationships that foster artistic achievement in Calgary. The Mayor’s Luncheon for Business and the Arts, and later the Mayor’s Evening for Business and the Arts, enjoyed support from each civic administration since their inception. From 1993 to 2010, the CPAA and the Mayor’s Luncheon for Business and the Arts recognized over 30 outstanding arts and business partnership and over 20 emerging, established and innovative Calgary artists.

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