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'I allow myself a mini-wallow': how to handle rejection in the arts

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Opinion: City council’s bold investment in the arts will elevate Calgary when we need it most – Calgary Herald

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Not only does increased arts funding make Calgary more vibrant and livable, but it also boosts the economy, say columnists.


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Times are tough, but Calgary’s city council got moving with a game-changing investment that positions its arts sector to lead nationally.

We recognize the political risk inherent in the decision to elevate Calgary from one of the lowest arts funders per capita — behind Edmonton and Winnipeg — to one of Canada’s leaders, alongside Vancouver and Toronto.

It’s a bold move, and not a moment too soon.

Calgary needs big wins and must strengthen its creative industries, break out of the current downturn and grow the economy in the years ahead. In cities that have faced similarly daunting challenges — from Chicago to Miami to Denver — the results are clear: Developing an international reputation as a vibrant arts hub attracts and retains North America’s top creative talent, which in turn acts as a magnet for business.

We need look no further than Calgary’s experience bidding for Amazon HQ2 to understand the competitive landscape. Calgary not only lost the bid, it didn’t even make the final round. The only Canadian city on Amazon’s short list? Toronto. Mayor John Tory attributed Toronto’s success to its creative talent, quality of life and vibrant civic culture. The data backs up the claim. Toronto is a champion of the arts, funding artists and arts organizations at $5 to $10 more on a per capita basis than comparable Canadian municipalities.

By nearly doubling funding for the arts in 2019 and increasing funding to an estimated $15.9 million or $14.60 per capita by 2022, the City of Calgary has closed the municipal arts funding gap.

We know the immediate impact this funding will have on arts organizations and artists in the city. At city council on Nov. 26, representatives from Glenbow Museum, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, Quest Theatre for Young People and Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra described how additional municipal support will enable dynamic new programming, increasing paid attendance, drive memberships and attract new philanthropic support from the community.

Beyond these immediate benefits, arts organizations fuel Calgary’s creative sector and deliver economic returns. It is estimated that $1 invested in the arts returns $1.90 in direct spending and $2.60 when you consider increased tourism benefits. In Calgary, creative industries employ over 50,000 people. Each year more than 4,000 students graduate from the city’s four major schools with creative industries-related degrees and diplomas.

Perhaps most significantly, the arts transform lives, making our city more livable, interesting and inspirational for everyone. Children grow and achieve their full potential through lessons, classes, performances and creative interactions. Each year, hundreds of thousands of children and youth participate in arts education events across Calgary.

To realize the opportunity presented by the city’s strategic arts investment, it will take a co-ordinated sector-wide effort. We know that Calgary’s artists, arts executives, philanthropists and city builders are ready to do the heavy lifting because they have been the driving force behind the non-partisan Creative Calgary campaign over the past year and, together, we have achieved historic results for the sector. The group convened in early 2017 around the audacious goal of positioning Calgary as a national champion of the arts. Since then, we have worked collaboratively with city agencies and institutions to find win-win strategies to help move Calgary forward. Over 60 civic representatives signed Creative Calgary’s pledge to work with council and Calgary Arts Development to close the municipal arts funding gap. In response, city council showed real leadership and vision by more than doubling its arts funding commitment by 2022.

The time is ripe for growth in Calgary. Let’s get creative and seize the opportunity presented by the city’s bold investment in the arts when we need it most.

Irfhan Rawji, CEO of Calgary-based tech startup MobSquad, and Mary Rozsa de Coquet, president of the Rozsa Foundation, are co-chairs of Creative Calgary.

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New home for Creating Space community arts studio in Peterborough – ThePeterboroughExaminer.com

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REVIEW: Arts Club's Pemberley is a Christmas gift to Vancouver – Vancouver Courier

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One of the Arts Club Theatre’s Christmas gifts to Vancouver this season is their production of Christmas at Pemberley, a modern imagined sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

One of the stars of this show is the immediately charming set by set designer Ted Roberts.  It creates a large, elegant mansion atmosphere in the small confines of the theatre on Granville Island, with its open gazebo ceiling over the large drawing room and huge glass windows onto an outdoor scene.  There’s also a tall Christmas tree and even a view to part of the rest of the house. 

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The dialogue is witty and entertaining, and the actors stay very much in character with the original novel. Staid and prim Mary is now revealed to be bright and yearning for a wider life, excellently portrayed by Kate Dion-Richard, with a mixture of intelligence and gawkishness bringing the character to life.

Matthew MacDonald-Bain is equally awkward and believable as her hopeful suitor, and the rest of the cast bring the other original Austen characters to lively Regency life in elegant costumes by Amy McDougall.  Baraka Rahmani is just as giddy as the original Lydia, and Carmela Sison is the reincarnation of her snobbish mother, Lady de Burgh.

A guaranteed entertainment for mind and eye, with suspense – as true love does not run smoothly – but with a welcome happy ending for  this festive season.  The show runs till Dec. 30.  

See www.artsclub.com for information and tickets.

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