Strategic Framework 2023-2026

Ákáakomatapoap

This Blackfoot word meaning We are now going to begin recognizes the transformational times the arts face.

Calgary Arts Development seeks to renew the true spirit of this land as understood by the Blackfoot, Tsuut’ina, Stoney Nakoda and Métis peoples; a vision that sees art and culture as integral to how we relate to one another in a good way, in concert with the land and stewarding it for our future generations. This framework supports an arts ecosystem approach, which leads to a diversified pattern of relationships as well as a deep connection to this land called Mohkinsstsis.

Calgary Arts Development is a welcoming place where you will belong among “Mohkínstsi’tapii” (people of Calgary).

We acknowledge that the land we gather on, Mohkinsstsis, is the ancestral territory of the Siksikaitsitapi – the Blackfoot people – comprising the Siksika, Kainai, and Piikani Nations, as well as Treaty 7 signatories, the Tsuut’ina Nation, and the Îyâxe Nakoda Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Wesley First Nations. This land is also the home of Métis Nation Region 3. We acknowledge that there has been art, music, dance, storytelling, and ceremony on this land since time immemorial and it is the spirit of this land and its people that we do our work.

The work undertaken by Calgary Arts Development is in service to our community, guided by our vision and mission.

VISION: A creative, connected Calgary through the arts where everyone is empowered to live a creative life.

MISSION: The arts have the power to create vibrant communities and bring together diverse voices and perspectives. We support artists in the development of their skills and the expression of their creativity. Calgary Arts Development supports and strengthens the arts to benefit all Calgarians.

To deliver on our mission, we are:

  • A connector, facilitator and collaborator
  • A champion, supporterand ambassador
  • An investor in artists and arts organizations
  • A catalyst and opportunity-maker

Our work is guided by these VALUES:

  • Equity
  • Diversity
  • Inclusion
  • Accessibility

We are committed to equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility (EDIA)

Equity. We believe in creating equitable access for Calgarians who have had less opportunity for
philanthropic and governmental support due to systemic barriers that exist in our community.

Diversity. We believe in supporting artistic endeavors that reflect our diverse community and in
supporting the work of artists of diverse backgrounds.

Inclusion. We believe in engaging a wide variety of voices and perspectives in shaping and furthering
the work that we do.

Accessibility. We believe in eliminating systemic barriers that prevent people who encounter
physical, mental, or cultural barriers to spaces, programs, and services from participating in the arts.

IMPACT STATEMENT 2023-2026

What is this moment asking of us?

To support and nurture diverse art and artist-led city building to foster not only a resilient and sustainable arts ecosystem but to achieve a truly equitable, inclusive and accessible city where everyone belongs.

Strategic Directions 2023-2026

In the spirit of reconciliation we have framed our strategic priorities using a Treaty 7 Indigenous world view. Placing our priorities in a circle symbolizes that all of the directions are equally important.

Select a Strategic Direction from the medicine wheel to learn more.

Calgary Arts Development’s strategic directions align with City Council’s Foundations for 2023- 2026, particularly those within Social Resilience and Economic Resilience, which reflect the findings of the 2021 Fall Citizen Satisfaction Survey. We are also putting plans into place to support artists and arts organizations who are exploring Climate Justice and addressing Climate Resilience.

Direction:

We will centre equity as an essential element of a healthy arts ecosystem

In order to:

cultivate shared leadership and responsibility for creating a more inclusive arts-ecosystem

By focusing our work on:

truth and reconciliation, applying an equity lens to everything we do, designing our programs with the communities that are affected

This will result in:

increased diversity, belonging, reconciliation, and community participation

Direction:

We will nurture the capacity of artists and arts organizations to flourish in our city

In order to:

improve the quality of life of artists and the resilience of arts organizations

By focusing our work on:

grant investment, skill development, capacity building, education and mentorship

This will result in:

talent retention, artistic development, and creative expression

Direction:

We will leverage and stabilize resources to benefit the arts ecosystem

In order to:

build on strengths in the ecosystem and encourage resource sharing

By focusing our work on:

leveraging funding from The City, developing new funding sources, encouraging new business models, advocacy, facilitating resource sharing, researching how art and artists bring value to the city

This will result in:

increased resources for artists and arts organizations, new business models and stronger partnerships

Direction:

We will nourish a vibrant arts ecosystem in Calgary

In order to:

encourage diverse opportunities for Calgarians to connect, create, participate, and relate to the arts

By focusing our work on:

working with partners to build a diverse arts ecosystem, systems change, supporting artists in community, creating opportunities and arts spaces where people can interact through the arts, public art

This will result in:

a diverse and interdependent arts ecosystem and a flourishing creative economy

butterfly
Squirrel Bison
Purpose People Resources Community
Direction

Purpose

We will centre equity as an essential element of a healthy arts ecosystem

People

We will nurture the capacity of artists and arts organizations to flourish in our city

Resources

We will leverage and stabilize resources to benefit the arts ecosystem

Community

We will nourish a vibrant arts ecosystem in Calgary
Why

Purpose

In order to:

cultivate shared leadership and responsibility for creating a more inclusive arts-ecosystem

People

In order to:

improve the quality of life of artists and the resilience of arts organizations

Resources

In order to:

build on strengths in the ecosystem and encourage resource sharing

Community

In order to:

encourage diverse opportunities for Calgarians to connect, create, participate, and relate to the arts

How

Purpose

By focusing our work on:

truth and reconciliation, applying an equity lens to everything we do, designing our programs with the communities that are affected

People

By focusing our work on:

grant investment, skill development, capacity building, education and mentorship

Resources

By focusing our work on:

leveraging funding from The City, developing new funding sources, encouraging new business models, advocacy, facilitating resource sharing, researching how art and artists bring value to the city

Community

By focusing our work on:

working with partners to build a diverse arts ecosystem, systems change, supporting artists in community, creating opportunities and arts spaces where people can interact through the arts, public art

Desired
Outcome

Purpose

This will result in:

increased diversity, belonging, reconciliation, and community participation

People

This will result in:

talent retention, artistic development, and creative expression

Resources

This will result in:

increased resources for artists and arts organizations, new business models and stronger partnerships

Community

This will result in:

a diverse and interdependent arts ecosystem and a flourishing creative economy

About The Artist

Autumn Whiteway (“Night Singing Woman”) is a Saulteaux/Métis archaeologist, artist, traditional craftworker, and curator; born and raised in Mohkinstsis (Calgary, Alberta). She belongs to Berens River First Nation in Manitoba. She explores Indigenous themes from a contemporary perspective through painting, digital art, and photography. Her painting and digital art is primarily focused on the heavily symbolic Woodland Style of Indigenous art, while her photographic practice is used as a form of activism to highlight Indigenous issues. Her curatorial work focuses on elevating the voices of Indigenous creatives through a series of Indigenous focused exhibitions. She has an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Manitoba (2017), a B.Sc. in Archaeology (2011), and a B.A. in Greek and Roman Studies (2011).

We appreciate the assistance and guidance of the following people and groups in developing our strategic framework for 2023-2026: Blackfoot
Elder Saa’kokoto; the Strategy and Public Policy committee of the Calgary Arts Development board: Barb Howard, Kelly Morstad, Chima Nkemdirim,
Courtney Walcott, Wil Knoll, Jeff deBoer, Kathleen McNally-Leitch, and Brian Frank; JD Derbyshire; Cesar Cala; members of the Community Working
Group; Calgary Arts Development leadership team: Patti Pon, Sable Sweetgrass, Brandy Dahrouge, Melissa Tuplin and Helen Moore-Parkhouse.

Calgary Arts Development values partnerships and works closely with many organizations to build community and make Calgary a great place to live, work and play, including: hundreds of artists, arts organizations, arts collectives, arts spaces, festivals and arts events; the Office of the Mayor and City Council, The City of Calgary Administration, Arts and Culture, Downtown Strategy, Public Art, Indigenous Relations Office, Indigenous Guiding Circle; Calgary Arts Development Indigenous Advisory, Community Working Group, Cultural Instigators; Calgary Economic Development, Tourism Calgary, Heritage Calgary, Calgary Public Library, Parks Foundation and other civic partners; Calgary Hotel Association, Calgary Downtown Association, Platform Calgary; Calgary Foundation, Rozsa Foundation, Calgary Arts Foundation; Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Department of Canadian Heritage, Calgary Local Immigration Partnership; ActionDignity, Federation of Calgary Communities; Calgary Municipal Land Corporation; Calgary Board of Education; Creative Calgary; cSPACE, Arts Commons; Chinook Blast, RISE UP; the Trico Changemaker Studio, Mount Royal University; West Anthem.

Illustrations by Autumn Whiteway
Autumn Whiteway (“Night Singing Woman”) is a Saulteaux/Métis archaeologist, artist, traditional craftworker, and curator; born and raised in Mohkinsstsis (Calgary, Alberta).
Design by Robyn Chell of GOOD Company.