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An overview of Connections & Exchanges - Edmonton’s 10-year arts and heritage plan.

Connections & Exchanges: 2019 - 2029


Infuse culture, arts and heritage into every aspect of Edmonton’s civic fabric, support cultural makers and interpreters, and grow Edmonton’s arts and heritage audiences.

City Council directed the Edmonton Arts Council to lead the process of creating a plan to achieve this objective. Connections & Exchanges: A 10-Year Plan To Transform Arts and Heritage In Edmonton was the result, and was a collective effort between the Edmonton Arts Council, Edmonton Heritage Council, Arts Habitat Edmonton and members of the community. The Plan was approved unanimously by City Council on October 23, 2018. It replaces The Art of Living plan (2008–2018).


Connections & Exchanges (14 MB)

Connections & Exchanges is Edmonton's 10-year arts and heritage plan. 

Alive With Arts and Heritage

Arts and heritage are fundamental elements of any operational, infrastructural public project—from refurbishments, to civic planning, to new transportation projects.

Private and non-profit enterprises understand and constantly activate and rely on the arts and heritage sector as an essential part of their own endeavours.

Edmonton’s support and integration of arts and heritage in everything it does will be a foundational part of our civic identity.

Alignment with Council’s Strategic Plan

Connections & Exchanges was developed at the same time as the City of Edmonton’s new strategic plan. The ambitions, aims and actions that make up Connections & Exchanges were influenced by, and are purposefully aligned with, the vision, principle and goals emerging from that process.

The plan is contained in three separate books, one for each ambition.

Alongside the actions and under each aim is the way the Measurement, Evaluation and Learning framework will be applied (“How We Will Measure Progress”).

Plan Components

3 Ambitions

  • Paint a long-term view of the population, system and sector-wide changes that should occur as a result of the plan’s success 
  • The aggregate of the ambitions contributes to a desired change in Edmonton that goes beyond the arts and heritage sector and speaks to a bigger impact

8 Aims

  • Describe medium-to-long-term measurable changes in status, condition or behaviour as a result of the successful implementation of the plan’s actions 
  • Are measured through a purposeful mix of qualitative, quantitative, emergent and community-based evaluation and learning approaches

55 Actions

  • The interventions, initiatives, programs or activities we undertake to achieve the desired aims 
  • Set in the short- to medium-term and come alive through implementation plans
  • Measured on an ongoing basis with clear and predetermined key performance indicators, process and progress metrics
Indigenous Cultural Independence*

This plan makes a commitment to the Indigenous peoples of this territory. While developing and carrying out implementation plans, the Edmonton Arts Council, Edmonton Heritage Council, and Arts Habitat Edmonton have committed to the following implementation principle:

*Indigenous peoples have agency in their journeys of revitalizing and participating in traditional, contemporary and future manifestations of their culture (page 59 of Connections & Exchanges).

The principle recognizes that in order for vibrant and diverse Indigenous communities to thrive, cultural organizations need to support making space for Indigenous peoples to exercise autonomy.

Book 2: Alive With Arts and Heritage


  • Edmonton's neighbourhoods come alive with meaningful and relevant
    opportunities for participation and engagement
  • Edmontonians feel a sense of belonging and connectedness to
    peoples, places and stories
  • Arts and Heritage leaders are actively engaged in civic planning
    and implementation
  • Conditions are in place to remove barriers for all Edmontonians to
    participate in cultural experiences

Alignment with Council's Strategic Plan

  • Healthy City
  • Urban Places
Book 3: A Hub for Extraordinary Creation and Reputation


  • Dynamic exchanges of ideas and expertise occur between Edmonton’s
    arts and heritage sector and the world
  • Diverse platforms for collaboration exist within Edmonton that allow artistic and
    heritage communities to connect, create and collaborate

Alignment with Council's Strategic Plan

  • Healthy City
  • Regional Prosperity
  • Climate Resilience
Book 4: A Thriving and Well-Funded Arts and Heritage Ecosystem


  • Arts and heritage practitioners are economically resilient
  • New and existing arts and heritage organizational capacity enables innovation and builds resilience in the sector

Alignment with Council's Strategic Plan

  • Healthy City
  • Regional Prosperity


Phase 1 - Development

Phase 1 Status - Completed
Spring 2017
  • Council Commissions a New 10-Year Plan
Fall 2017
  • The Project Team is assembled
  • Advisory Group created to provide feedback
Winter 2018
  • Methodology developed
Spring 2018 
  • Engagement Sessions
  • Research Validation
  • Measurement, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Framework created
  • Plan crafted
Summer 2018
  • Plan presented to key committees at the City of Edmonton
Fall 2018
  • Plan approved by Edmonton City Council

Phase 2 - Implementation

Phase 2 Status - In Progress (2019-2022)
  • Granting portfolio review to include:
    • Community consultations
    • Integration of best practices into program design
    • Improved, streamlined approach to program delivery
  • Launch new granting programs, services and activities
  • Redesign operations, build information management capacity and integrate performance measurement
  • Leverage strategic partnerships to maximize community impact

For More Information

Marian Bruin



Fax 780-577-3525

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