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ArtsHab

Arts Recommendation 1: Fund and re-invigorate the Arts Habitat Association of Edmonton (ArtsHab).

Desired Outcome: The development of an organization that will find, develop and manage a full range of space for the arts in Edmonton, including the inclusion of cultural spaces in City facilities.

Actions:

  • Re-build the ArtsHab board and Hire an Executive Director
  • Develop a strategic business plan that:
  • Captures the current cultural facilities in Edmonton
  • Maintains a data base of available space
  • Positions ArtsHab as the “clearing house” on all issues of space for artists to perform, rehearse and live
  • Demonstrates the value of artists being integrated into space all over the city
  • Collaborates with the City administration to determine where arts and cultural spaces could be integrated into City facilities
  • Describes annual performance measures to ensure organizational effectiveness

Current Status:

Edmonton Space Finder Database Project
Edmontonspacefinder.ca is an online resource to post or find non-profit and community space.

Alberta Cycle Building
The Alberta Cycle building on Alberta Avenue has been demolished. A new arts facility at that location is being planned.

ArtsHab Alberta Avenue- ArtsHub Housing Cooperative
ArtsHub 118 is a 16-suite artist co-op where artists live and work in a community that is highly motivated to support the arts. $2.4 million housing grant provided by the Cornerstones Program.

Artist Urban Village
An arts facility to be built in the Quarters downtown is in the concept and design phase of planning.

McLuhan House
ArtsHab has purchased the McLuhan House in the Highlands to repurpose the residence into a centre for the arts.

Bylaws and Zoning
Amendments to Zoning Bylaw 12800 that address regulations that inhibited the effective development of arts spaces in Edmonton have been passed by City Council.

Zoning Bylaws

Arts Recommendation 2: Redraw zoning bylaws and other City practices to stimulate arts activities.

Desired Outcome:

  • Amend the Zoning Bylaw to create development opportunities and associated regulations that will assist in the development of space for arts programming, performance and living space.
  • Business License Bylaw regulations and procedures that encourage and accommodate the artist in their business related activities. To ensure development compatibility with the production, performance, promotion, and sale of various forms of art.

Actions:

  • Establish a working team
  • Develop a work plan for the team
  • Execute the work plan
  • Prepare report that captures the required changes to the Zoning Bylaw

Current Status:

  • A Working Team comprised of members of the Arts Habitat Association and City of Edmonton staff was formed.
  • Consultations with the arts community and other key stakeholders have resulted in administration preparing Zoning Bylaw amendments that will address issues identified in the Arts Habitat Association's Summary Report. These proposed amendments were presented at a public hearing on September 10th, 2012. The recommendations were accepted.
  • Further review of other potential initiatives and incentives including the potential use of development incentives and overlays, will be undertaken by Administration and addressed through further work with Arts Habitat Association.
Education

Arts Recommendation 3: Establish a joint task force on the arts in schools and post-secondary institutions.

Desired Outcome:

  • Improved access to quality fine arts education by all students Kindergarten to Grade 12.
  • New or augmented post-secondary training including but not confined to urban design, dance and architecture.

Actions:

  • Form a Steering Committee including but not limited to Edmonton Public Schools, Edmonton Catholic Schools, Edmonton Francophone Schools, Grant MacEwan College, the University of Alberta, the Province of Alberta and arts education specialists.
  • Detailed review of other jurisdictions (i.e. Manitoba).
  • Develop a discussion paper on the role of arts education in building future artists and an arts aware citizenry and the gaps that exist in the Edmonton education scene.
  • Organize a provincial symposium on fine arts education.  Hosted by the City of Edmonton but supporting funds would be sought from other sources.

Current Status:

The Edmonton Arts Council has a representative on the board of Creative Alberta. This board organized a major symposium in May 2012. Discussions were around creativity and the arts in Alberta schools.

Mentorship Prize

Arts Recommendation 4: Create an Edmonton International Mentorship Prize.

Desired Outcome: Establishment of a major annual award recognized nationally and internationally bringing recognized artists/mentors to Edmonton for a residency, which would feature interaction with Edmonton artists.

Lead Sponsor: Edmonton Arts Council

Key Partners: City of Edmonton

Actions:

  • Identify and review comparable programs in comparable cities.
  • Explore partnerships with other places like northern Alberta or Jasper.
  • Review current guest artist residencies and related programs like the Writer-in-Exile program already in place in Edmonton; explore partnerships and synergies.
  • Develop detailed parameters of Edmonton international mentorship prize including a consideration of any connections it may have to Recommendation #14 (cultural senate).
  • Develop an organizational and financial plan to include:
  • Selection criteria
  • Sponsorship/ endowment elements
  • Nature/ length of residencies (not to exceed 2 months)
  • Communications
  • Program evaluation

Current Status:

This recommendation has had no action yet.

Elder Artists

Arts Recommendation 5: Support programs to retain “elder” artists.

Desired Outcome:

  • A Performing Arts Lodge in Edmonton
  • Elder artists remaining active in Edmonton and able to mentor new artists

Lead Sponsor: Edmonton Arts Council

Key Partners: City of Edmonton and PAL Canada’s Edmonton Chapter

Actions:

  • PAL Canada Foundation (PAL Canada) is a national organization dedicated to providing affordable housing and care for older members and associates of Canada's entertainment industry. The first residence, PAL Place, was built in Toronto in 1993 with PAL Vancouver opening its doors in May 2006.
  • The four major performers’ associations in Canada, whose representatives sit on the PAL Canada Board, endorse PAL Canada. Links are maintained with many other industry organizations as well. All active and past performers are welcomed as members of PAL.
  • Work with PAL Edmonton to:
  • Analyze successes and failures in other centres
  • Explore synergies and partners in Edmonton
  • Develop a business plan including preparing for residence opportunities in arts districts in Edmonton

Current Status:

  • ArtsHab Alberta Avenue- ArtsHub Housing Cooperative:

Partners: Edmonton Inner City Housing Society and Artists Urban Village (formerly PAL Edmonton)

On June 30, 2011 Arts Habitat along with partners Edmonton Inner City Housing Society and Artists Urban Village celebrated the official opening of ArtsHab Alberta Avenue.

The co-op will allow artists to live and work in a dynamic community that is highly motivated to support the arts. ArtsHab Alberta Avenue was funded with a $2.4 million grant from the Cornerstones Program. Cornerstones is an affordable housing program supported by the City of Edmonton and the Province of Alberta

  • Artist Urban Village

Arts Habitat presented at executive committee in November 2011 to provide an update on the Artists Urban Village.

The site is located at the corner of 102A Avenue and 96 Street, only two blocks from the core of the arts district and one block from the proposed new LRT station. “The Artist Quarters” will be a combined low-rise/high-rise development that will provide home and studio space for multi-generational, senior and emerging, mixed-income artists of all artistic disciplines above three floors of arts related commercial space.

  • In the spring of 2011 a comprehensive Business Plan was completed. Artists Urban Village and Arts Habitat are now working on the Feasibility Study to be competed by June 2012. The Feasibility Study is being funded through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and development funds from the City of Edmonton. Kasian Architecture and Williams Engineering have been hired as the prime consultants with the Communitas Group as Project Manager.
Operating Grants

Arts Recommendation 6: Increase grant support for established arts and festival organizations.

Desired Outcome: Increased stability and effectiveness of arts and festival organizations supported by the Edmonton Arts Council.

Lead Sponsor: Edmonton Arts Council

Key Partners: None

Actions:

  • This recommendation calls for a phased-in increase of the City’s operating grant support for arts organizations at 8% of their combined annual operating revenue, and 12% for festivals.
  • Edmonton has close to 130 established not-for-profit arts and festival organizations, and they are the foundation on which the arts community is built. Many of these organizations are civic treasures that must be kept vital for future generations.

Current Status:

  • City Council has been yearly increasing funds for grant support from 2010 - 4.7M, 2011 - 5.8M, 2012 budget is 7.8M.
  • Target is 8% of annual operating budget for grants and 12% for festivals.
Artist Grants

Arts Recommendation 7: Sustain grant support for individual artists and keep the grants open to all artists.

Desired Outcome: Robust support of an effective grant program for individual artists that enhances Edmonton’s entire community of individual artists

Lead Sponsor: Edmonton Arts Council

Key Partners: None

Actions:

  • It is recommended that City of Edmonton Community Investment Grants to Individual Artists remain open to all applicants and no preference or bias be made in favour of any one group of artists by age, previous success in securing grants, ethnic background or artistic discipline.
  • Increases to this grant fund for the next two years should be the same as the increase to the annual cost of living. A review of this grant amount should be made in 2011.

Current Status: Support to individuals has increased. Micro grants have been met with notable success.

Project Grants

Arts Recommendation 8: Increase grant support for community arts projects.

Desired Outcome: To establish support for community arts projects based on the success of the Voices Less Heard program of the Cultural Capital program.

Lead Sponsor: Edmonton Arts Council

Key Partners: City of Edmonton

Community Partners: Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, Multicultural Health Brokers, Assist Community Services Centre, iHuman Youth Society

Actions:

  • A new granting stream is required.
  • The Edmonton 2007 Cultural Capital of Canada program included a one-time community arts grant program called Voices Less Heard.
  • It distributed over $400,000 to 21 community arts projects.  The success of that one-time grant program is an important legacy of the cultural capital year but there are not adequate grants funds currently available in the Edmonton Arts Council to build on this legacy.
  • Develop Terms of Reference and process for a new City of Edmonton Community Investment Grant (CIG) program for Community Arts.  This will consider combining this grant program with the existing COE Community Public Art CIG program and ensuring that the criteria for grant application to each program is clear.
  • An internal and external communication plan to describe the grant criteria would be essential.
  • Edmonton Arts Council budget presentation to City Council in 2009.

Current Status: This grant is for community groups to do work with local artist. Funding has increased from $50,000 in 2011 to $168,000 budgeted for 2012.

Cultural Industries

Arts Recommendation 9: Sustain and explore support for cultural industries/entrepreneurs.

Desired Outcome: To support, in partnership with the province and private sector, viable and indigenous cultural industries in Edmonton including but not limited to book publishing, film and video production and distribution, sound recording, and the establishment of commercial live music venues.

Lead Sponsor: Edmonton Arts Council

Key Partners: City of Edmonton, Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) (Edmonton Film Office)

Actions:

  • The City and the Edmonton Arts Council should carefully monitor the effectiveness of the Lionsgate contract and determine if this is an effective way to support arts and economic development.
  • If applicable, the principles that make this agreement effective should be identified and applied to other types of cultural activities, including book publishing and sound recording.
  • The Edmonton Film Office further recommends the creation of a “film friendly” City policy. This, in a general sense, includes working collectively to provide a supportive civic environment for the screen production sector, including local, national and international productions.  Specifically, film friendly means an easily accessed and focused point of contact within the City where a producer can negotiate for all services and support required from City departments.
  • In addition, some American cities have created music commissions that are comparable to the Edmonton Film Office. Through the work of these bodies, “live music zones” have been created.
  • This can include incentives for local bars, lounges and restaurants to contract local musicians.  Further study of this in a Canadian context is recommended in partnership with Edmonton Tourism, the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, the Food and Restaurant Industry Association, Business Improvement Areas, the Edmonton Musicians’ Association and other stakeholders.
  • Establish and effective review process for the Lionsgate project with the Film office and EEDC.
  • Call together a Business Improvement Area, Alberta Music Industry Association, musicians’ unions committee to begin talk about music zones.
  • Explore and develop a provincial commitment to cultural industries based on their stated position in their cultural policy.

Current Status:

  • Edmonton Arts Council met with the staff of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and developed a survey on what initiatives other cities are doing.  Survey was implemented and is being reviewed.
  • Brad Stromberg with the Film Commissioner for the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation provided this update;
    • City Council approved $5 million for the Edmonton Film Entertainment Fund on Aug 31/11.  Launched in March 2012, the $10 million Edmonton Filmed Entertainment Fund invests in film and television projects made in and around Edmonton. A partnership between Edmonton Economic Development Corporation and Los Angeles-based Kilburn Media, the fund is profit-motivated. Both partners invest jointly and exclusively in projects that have a pre-sale agreement in place. Profits resulting from EEDC’s investment will be returned to the fund to generate more opportunities for Edmonton film crews and ensure the fund’s sustainability and viability.
Official City Gifts

Arts Recommendation 10: Ensure official City gifts are made by local artists.

Desired Outcome: All City gifts for visitors and employees are locally made cultural products including existing books, recordings, fine craft and other visual art as well as items made especially for this purpose

Lead Sponsor: City of Edmonton, Corporate Communications (now Communications & Public Engagement)

Key Partners: Edmonton Tourism, Edmonton Arts Council, City of Edmonton

Actions:

  • Since the presentation of the Art of Living to City Council in April 2008, the Edmonton Arts Council has been contacted by the City staff responsible for Councillor gifts.
  • Items from the Alberta Craft Council are now being used as signature gifts.
  • Develop a City-wide policy that where possible, “Made in Edmonton” arts gifts should be secured by all Departments for their gift-giving
  • Edmonton Arts Council commits to advising the City on nature and range of available and suitable gifts
  • The Edmonton Book Prize winning book should be considered an ongoing suitable gift

Current Status: Complete

  • Council Services' Corporate Gift Program oversees the selection and purchasing of gifts, art, and promotional items for presentation by elected representatives of the City, and in some circumstances for the City Manager and other senior civic officials.
  • This program ensures that we source gifts, art, and promotional items that reflect appropriate city themes and are representative of the City of Edmonton. Our practices continue to include a concerted effort to source items made by local artists or companies, and items which are made and obtained through environmentally sustainable practices.
  • Edmonton Arts Council runs the City store at Tix on the Square.  This has been rebranded to “Local goes Live” and coordinated with Churchill Square to create a brand “More hip than Square”.  Tix sells tickets as well as city goods.  Does not compete, but rather compliments what other local businesses are doing.
  • This store is stocked with local art including “Writing the City” a book of the 2005- 2013 Poet Laureates which engages local artists.
Arts Awards

Arts Recommendation 11: Stabilize arts awards and increase cash prizes

Desired Outcome:

  • Establish the Edmonton Urban Design Awards as an ongoing City-supported award.
  • Increase the size and profile of the Edmonton Book Prize.
  • Stabilize the Edmonton Book Prize within the Edmonton Arts Council.
  • Initiate similar prizes for other arts disciplines.

Lead Sponsor: Edmonton Arts Council

Key Partners: City of Edmonton

Actions:

  • This recommendation is already in motion: the Edmonton Urban Design Awards are a biennial awards program that should continue.
  • Identify working team to develop plan for increase in the Edmonton Book Prize from $2,000 to $10,000 and to examine potential for other prizes in a range of disciplines. Plan to include:
  • Review of criteria
  • Identification of prize sponsors
  • Potential to use interest from grants to the Edmonton Arts Council as a source of revenue for prizes
  • Endowment fund structure
  • Prize naming

Current Status:

  • Book prize is now at $10,000.
  • This is the first year of a film prize which awarded $10,000.
  • Facilitated visual arts award of $10,000 with funds from Edmonton Community Foundation
Arts Festival Showcase

Arts Recommendation 12: Create an Edmonton biennial arts festival showcasing the best of Alberta artists

Desired Outcome: The establishment of a biennial festival in Edmonton celebrating Alberta talent.

Lead Sponsor: Edmonton Arts Council

Key Partners: City of Edmonton

Actions:

  • It is recommended that the City of Edmonton lead the creation of a biennial, three-day festival celebrating Alberta artists, to take place in Edmonton, beginning in 2010.
  • Consideration should be given to linking this showcase to an Edmonton Winter Festival.
  • Develop working team made up of partners in the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, Edmonton Tourism and other community partners, including the Province Develop festival plan, including:  programming models – number of days, type of arts events and locations; branding and communications; projected budgets; sponsorship opportunities; development of festival production organization; evaluation criteria.

Current Status:

  • With the re-development of the legislation grounds, the Edmonton Arts Council has made connections and is developing a relationship with the Office of Visitor services with the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.
  • Participated in a conference in August “Culture Roles and Responsibilities and the Challenges of Capital Cities”.
City Naming

Arts Recommendation 13: Include artists in City naming opportunities

Desired Outcome:

  • Increased recognition of the contributions artists have made to the city
  • Increased name recognition of Edmonton’s iconic artists

Lead Sponsor: City of Edmonton Naming Committee

Key Partners: Edmonton Arts Council and the Edmonton Heritage Council (once formed)

Actions:

  • This recommendation is already underway and the City of Edmonton Naming Committee and the Edmonton Arts Council have connected on this issue.
  • Many city parks and streets are named after artists and arts developers, including Shoctor Alley, Tommy Banks Way and Beatrice Carmichael Park but to date no major city park or street has been named after an artist.
  • The City’s Naming Committee is embarking on a promotional initiative to highlight features that have already been named after Edmonton artists in our city and will continue to consider artists when choosing names for major new parks, streets or sites.

Current Status:

Edmonton Arts Council has done a complete review of all named places and streets to determine which are named after artists, and compared them to the artists in the City’s Cultural Hall of Fame. Have completed this analysis and have forwarded this information to the City archivists to go to the naming committee. Overall the strategy is to ensure recognition.

Poet Laureate

Arts Recommendation 14: Stabilize the poet laureate position. Create a “cultural senate”.

Desired Outcome:

  • Stability of the role of official artists like the poet laureate.
  • Recognition of the important perspective artists bring to general civic discourse and planning.

Lead Sponsor: Edmonton Arts Council

Key Partners: Edmonton Public Library, Edmonton Heritage Council (once formed)

Actions:

  • Discussions to stabilize the poet laureate position within the Edmonton Public Library are underway.
  • This involves assigning responsibility for ensuring that the funding continues if the current private source becomes unavailable, providing administrative support, directing an ongoing evaluation of the impact of the position on the city and guiding the overall direction as different poets assume the post.
  • Building on the role of the poet laureate, it is also recommended that the City consider instituting a Cultural Senate (potentially a first in North America), wherein distinctive artists from various disciplines, including the existing poet laureate and writer-in-exile, as well as new comparable positions such as a City historian, will form a collective cultural senate to act as an advisory body to the Mayor and Council.
  • Identify potential types of artists or positions that could make up the cultural senate, e.g., Chairs of all of the fine arts departments in all post-secondary institutions in Edmonton, or all past recipients of the Mayor’s Celebration for the Arts Life time achievement award, or all Edmonton artists who are recipients of major awards like the Governor General Literary awards or Order of Canada.
  • Develop cultural senate plan which would:
    • Define roles and responsibilities
    • Determine governance structure
    • Determine frequency of meetings (suggest two times per year)
    • Define evaluation criteria

Current Status:

Artist in Residence

Arts Recommendation 15: Create artist-in-residence programs in City departments and agencies.

Desired Outcome:

  • Stability of the role of official artists like the poet laureate.
  • Recognition of the important perspective artists bring to general civic discourse and planning.

Lead Sponsor: Edmonton Arts Council

Key Partners: City of Edmonton

Actions:

  • It is recommended that resident artists be placed in selected City departments and agencies.
  • The purpose of the residency would be specific and include acting as a catalyst for the creativity already in the department, identifying and engaging civic employees who are also artists, and producing at least one artistic work that reflects and showcases the talent and skills of the people in the department.
  • Develop a working team to: 
    • Identify best practices from comparable places
    • Identify interested City departments
    • Create general awareness in the City of the program and its benefits and obligations
    • Do two trial residencies with artists – two months each
    • Evaluate success of program

Current Status:

  • Partnership with Boyle Street Community Services will continue, they will provide space, support and supplies for two Writers in Exile.
  • New location for 2012 at the Youth Emergency Shelter who will provide space, support and supplies for one Writer in Exile.
  • In discussion with another group for a third location.
Neighbourhood Artists

Arts Recommendation 16: Establish neighbourhood artist awareness programs and sites city-wide.

Desired Outcome:

  • Awareness of artists in neighbourhoods as well as pride in their presence.
  • Arts events throughout the city that are accessible and relevant to a wide range of citizens.

Lead Sponsor: City of Edmonton

Key Partners: Edmonton Arts Council

Actions:

  • The Edmonton 2007 Cultural Capital of Canada Inventory has shown that artists are living in all parts of the city.  Just as the city takes pride and identity in being associated with successful resident artists, individual communities do as well.
  • This initiative will be coordinated by the Office of Great Neighbourhoods. It could be implemented at six neighbourhood or community sites throughout the city and then expanded to include an annual Edmonton tour of the best of Edmonton artists to sites established in and by communities.
  • Develop inventory of artists by neighbourhood (partially completed in the cultural capital year).
  • Identification of two key communities for a pilot project.
  • Meetings with those identified neighbourhoods or communities to bring in other organizations associated with their community.
  • Development of scope of pilot projects (to include a range of arts disciplines and aboriginal and multi-cultural artists).
  • Marketing and communications strategy developed.
  • Presentation of pilot “great neighbourhood arts programs”.
  • Evaluation of pilots.

Current Status:

  • Continue to work with Heritage Council and Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues (EFCL).
  • Second year of Living Local grants. Rely on EFCL and the artists living in the community. Grant has increased from $50,000 to $75,000.
  • Working with EFCL to develop an inventory of public art on community grounds.
Edmonton Arts Council

Arts Recommendation 17: Reaffirm the position of the Edmonton Arts Council in the city and foster a healthy, evolving climate for the arts in Edmonton

Desired Outcome: Increased stability and effectiveness of the Edmonton Arts Council representing the artists of Edmonton.

Lead Sponsor: Edmonton Arts Council

Key Partners: City of Edmonton

Actions:

  • The Edmonton Arts Council must continue to be an effective voice for Edmonton artists; provide expert, objective advice and analysis to the City on arts issues; and support the arts in Edmonton in every way possible.
  • The Edmonton Arts Council will mentor new organizations, engage in all suitable civic forums and discussions, and commit to developing even more effective partnerships with business and the voluntary sector while reaching to all parts of the city.

Current Status: Edmonton Arts Council continues to recognize Council's strong support of the EAC through contributing to the arts.

For More Information

Lara Pinchbeck

Telephone

780-496-8358

Email lara.pinchbeck@edmonton.ca

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