Calgary designated as Canada’s Cultural Capital for 2012. “This is an honour of Calgary that recognizes the importance of our arts and cultural sector,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “Calgarians take great pride in our support for the arts and culture, and we can use 2012 as an opportunity to share that pride with all Canadians while helping our cultural industry to grow even more.”The designation and support from Canadian Heritage will augment the $2 million commitment to Calgary 2012 made by Calgary City Council in April of this year. Today’s designation will enhance the celebrations and investment programs planned by Calgary 2012 which include the recently announced granting programs and grassroots engagement activities.
Elements of t celebration outlined in Calgary’s bid include an artist in residence program, a national and international cultural exchange program, a mass participation spectacle event and the creation of a municipal cultural plan. These programs foster creativity, facilitate connections and build community. A family-friendly celebratory launch will be held at the start of the Cultural Capital year, April 2012. The formal completion of the Cultural Capital celebration will be March 2013. “This is Calgary’s time to shine. Calgary having the designation as the Cultural Capital of Canada will have numerous positive spin-offs for arts and culture, economic development, tourism activity and an increase in the city’s profile nationally and internationally,” stated Karen Ball, Executive Director of Calgary 2012. According to Canadian Heritage, the Cultural Capital of Canada designation is “awarded for merit, on the basis of a candidate community’s achievements that demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the arts and culture.” Being designated a Cultural Capital of Canada puts Calgary on the map for its contributions to culture, which is important as there is growing evidence that Calgary’s arts and culture sector is a significant player in the future success of Calgary and Alberta.