Enterprise Square is located in the historic Hudson’s Bay building on Jasper Avenue. In 2005, the University of Alberta partnered with the City of Edmonton and provincial and federal governments to purchase and renovate the building. Today, Enterprise Square is the University’s downtown campus which includes the Faculty of Extension and School of Business.
The Enterprise Square Galleries presents a new opportunity for collaboration between the City of Edmonton and the University of Alberta.
The City and the University of Alberta are interested in using the existing downtown gallery space at Enterprise Square to animate the Enterprise Square Galleries, display the University’s extensive museum collections and provide a venue to showcase the work of local artists for all Edmontonians to enjoy.
Edmonton currently lacks medium sized gallery space that can present large exhibitions and special exhibitions that relate directly to Edmonton and region visual art. Enterprise Square Galleries are ideally situated to facilitate a collective effort to provide this needed space.
The vision of the partners is the opportunity to create a collaborative, arts/cultural history and learning centre which offers a truly unique experience with local visual arts and history in downtown Edmonton.
A Business Case was developed in summer 2012 to review and assess the potential for this initiative. It determined that the need for this kind of space was identified in recommendations from various sources including:
- The Art of Living Implementation plan, which supports the City’s vision of Edmonton as a “recreation city, an arts city.”
- The Way We Live, Edmonton’s People Plan, which advances the City’s commitment to the arts, recognizing its importance to our overall prosperity.
- The Mayor’s Arts Visioning Committee, which also articulated the need for additional exhibition space in their final report and recommendations.
The City of Edmonton and the University of Alberta are interested in developing this joint venture with the collaborative support and expertise of a number of other partners. Together they see the opportunity to create a lively and authentic hub in the heart of downtown Edmonton.
They believe it could integrate visual arts, culture and heritage in a local context and engage Edmontonians in first hand activities and learning opportunities.
Their vision also encompasses a flexible, affordable and collaborative space in our downtown for new and emerging local and multicultural artists (and curators in training) looking to launch their work in a unique community arts and heritage space.
The Business Case proposes a shared services operating model and outlines possible revenue and funding sources. The aim is to ultimately be a multi sourced funding model with resources being sought from different partners, sectors and orders of government.
The Business Case further suggests initial seed funding from the City of Edmonton to support the incubational period of 2013-2015. It also indicates that an evaluation of the success of the Enterprise Square Galleries will be results based, measuring the Galleries’ success at attracting visitors and generating revenue and support from other sources to ensure financial sustainability of the initiative.
Partners in the Enterprise Square Galleries initiative include: City of Edmonton, University of Alberta Museums, the Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton Arts Council, and Edmonton Heritage Council.
All partners are contributing significantly in unique ways, through in kind or cash resources, to support operations, marketing and creative programming of local visual arts and history. This proposed partnership supports the objectives and goals of the University of Alberta, the City of Edmonton and other key partners.
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