An image of Sayonara Cunha
Sayonara Cunha | Photo: Ainara Serrano

Sayonara Cunha

Calgary Arts Development's Community Liaison wants to understand how to better support artists

Cherie McMaster

Originally from Brazil, Calgary Arts Development’s Community Liaison Sayonara Cunha had worked in the preservation of Brazilian cultural heritage prior to her moving to Calgary in December, 2019. She relishes the opportunity to explore and support the arts community, and channels her own creativity to navigate her transition into her new life during a pandemic.

“Moving to a new country is so challenging. I found in art and drawing a way that I could draw what I was feeling and I could better understand what I was going through. (Through art) you kind of forget all the challenge that you are living and you access something different. It’s just such a powerful experience.”

For Cunha, community means figuring out a better world together. She takes inspiration from Indigenous Australian artist and activist Lila Watson who says “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

Listen to this week’s podcast to hear more of Cunha’s story, what her role as Calgary Arts Development’s Community Liaison entails, what community means to her and how discovering a new creative endeavour has inspired her while settling in Calgary.

About The Storytelling Podcast

Sharing diverse stories of creativity in our city, The Storytelling Podcast shines a spotlight on artists and projects that connect Calgarians to the arts.

Part of The Storytelling Project, this series raises awareness about Calgarians who, by living creative lives, are making Calgary a better city, effecting positive change and enriching others’ lives.

Have a story to share? Email us at

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