Kick Off in Calgary! The Creative Spaces Mentoring Network Calgary Begins

On February 14th, ABO launched our Kick Off Workshop in Calgary, Alberta. We partnered with  cSpace King Edward and Calgary Arts Development to bring our core program, the Creative Spaces Mentoring Network out West!

cSpace King Edward Interior

We started the day with a welcome by cSpace at their recently renovated Studio Theatre. cSpace provides shared spaces for artists and the creative sector within Calgary. They offer tenant spaces, venue rentals, innovative programming,and local art exhibitions. During the opening, we also heard from Calgary Arts Development, and listened to a brief overview of some relevant initiatives and grants for the Calgary arts community.

Next, we met our cohort! CSMN Calgary is made up of 19 wonderful mentees from a variety of different arts disciplines. This year, our mentees are:

Atelier Artista One Big JAM
Big Art Riverstation Retreat
Bonny Boom Inc Sankofa Arts & Music Foundation
Buckingjam Palace Snapshot Studios
Canopy Studios Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
Casa Mexico SpanicArts
City of Camrose Springboard Performance
Hispanic Arts Society The Alcove
Legacy House Tribe Artists Society
Turtle Island Multicultural Centre

The projects range from the visionary phase of embarking on a creative space project to working on space specific challenges. We are so excited to hear how these projects progress with their mentor matches. 

Our main panel for the day began after our mentee introductions. Moderated by Joni Carroll, Arts Spaces Consultant with Calgary Arts Development we heard from Kathi Sundstrum, Executive Director of Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, Alex Sarian, CEO of Arts Commons and Sabrina Mueller, Production and Operations Manager at Pumphouse Theatre. Each of these community leaders have embarked on capital projects for their facilities. From large, medium and small scale projects, each panelist spoke to their successes, challenges, and words of advice for our program mentees. With the overarching theme of recovery, recalibration and renewal, the panelists spoke to the need for collaboration within the arts sector. In order to sustain the survival of the arts, there needs to be an underlying trust within partnerships and the community.

Panel Discussion moderated by Joni Carroll with Alex Sarian, Kathi Sundstrom, and Sabrina Mueller

After lunch, we heard an overview of cSPACE and Calgary Arts Development’s Meanwhile Lease pilot project. This project connects real estate professionals with interim tenants active in the creative economy. This pilot project mobilizes the use of under-utilized real estate inventory to the benefit of the real estate and arts sectors.

CSMN afternoon training

Finally we ended the day with some program specific training and goal setting. We are very excited to have launched this program in Calgary and we can’t wait to see how the projects and collaborations unfold.