During the Fall of 2012, I had the pleasure of being chosen as a participant for the ‘Citizens’ Reference Panel on Calgary’s Arts Plan’.  It was a four day volunteer commitment to help give CADA some insight on what matters to Calgarians when it comes to art.  36 members were selected randomly and we heard from a wide range of experts, policy-makers and artists.  In the end, we drafted a group recommendation for the YYC Arts Plan.

www.artsplan.ca

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I was so impressed by the professionalism and enthusiasm of the CADA member, presenters and guests.  It was really an eye opening experience.  Before the experience, I had heard that Calgary was nominated as the ‘Cultural Capital of Canada’ in 2012.  To be honest I was not sure how we achieved that title.  After the 4 days of volunteering, I had a whole new perspective on the art community in Calgary.  There are so many hidden gems that I had no clue about.  Fortunately we had amazing guest speakers there to tell us all about what we have as Calgarians, but most of us didn’t know about!  We had an amazing speech and poem from Kris Demeanor, Calgary Poet Laureate.  His poem was called “The Oyster’s Autobiography”, and what a fantastic poem it was.  We also had Mayor Nenshi stop in and chat with us.

 

Olympic Plaza

What I really wanted to point out in this post, is that there is a lot of people working very hard in Calgary to create a wonderful place to live.  The CADA members, presenters and guest speakers were all passionate about bringing up the quality of life for Calgarians.  From public art, to galleries, to support for emerging and young artists, these people are committed to making Calgary a place to call home, and not just a place to work in.  I would suggest checking out the CADA website to find out more about what this city has to offer.

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Family of Man, by Mario Armengol

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Chris