About Creative Calgary

The arts represent the soul of a city – making cities more livable, interesting and inspirational for all citizens and our children to grow and achieve their full potential through lessons, classes, performances and creative interactions. Creative Calgary is a non-partisan group of citizens that care deeply about the role the arts play in connecting our communities and building a healthy, thriving city.

Calgary’s artists are world-class and we aspire to be a creative hub, accessible to people of every age, ability and background. The arts and cultural sector currently employs more than 50,000 Calgarians and is a critical component of the economic diversification of the city, yet we could be contributing even more.  Unfortunately, the sector is under threat due to persistent underfunding from the municipal government, presenting a substantial risk to our city’s educational, financial and community vitality.

We have a considerable opportunity to enhance Calgary’s future through sustainable arts funding.

Calgary’s municipal support for arts organizations is the lowest among comparable cities in Canada.

  • Calgary art grants per capita are behind Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver, meaning fewer arts sector jobs for Calgarians.
  • Creative Calgary is committed to helping the City in a search to redirect existing budget dollars to the arts.

Arts means business. Arts organizations drive local business and fuel Calgary’s creative sector.

  • Arts organizations deliver returns. $1 invested in the arts returns $1.9 directly and $2.6 when you consider tourism benefits.
  • In North America, the fastest growing industries are creative and technology. In Calgary, creative industries employ over 50,000 of our citizens and are integral to economic diversification of the city.
  • Over 4,000 students graduate from the city’s four major schools each year with creative industries-related degrees and diplomas.

The time is ripe for the City to make a game-changing investment in the arts.

  • Calgary's corporate sector is under strain and can no longer be expected to make up for the municipal arts organization funding gap. 43% of non-profit organizations in Calgary saw a decrease in donations from corporations in 2016.
  • Now is the time for Council to act by making a fair investment that establishes Calgary as a leader among Canadian municipalities. We need to act to ensure this cornerstone of our creative sector not only weathers the downturn, but drives the growth and diversification of our economy over the years ahead.

Arts, community and business organizations supporting the campaign:

Organization Partners


  • Civic Arts Funding Across Canada, Calgary Arts Development, 2016
  • Business for the Arts Report, McKinsey & Company, 2008
  • The 10 Fastest-Growing Industries in the US, Forbes, April 9, 2017
  • Creative Industries Sector Profile, Calgary Economic Development, 2016
  • Highly Educated and Highly Creative, Calgary Economic Development
  • 2016 Alberta Nonprofit Survey, Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations
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