Photo: Courtesy of Calgary Economic Development


As an economic engine for our country, Calgary’s success increasingly hinges on creative thinking and innovation, skills honed by arts participation. Also, a healthy arts sector typically punches above its weight economically and helps attract top talent to our city.

Listening to Our City was part of JUNO Week | Photo: Courtesy of Listening to Our City

JUNO Awards inject $9 million in economic activity

By hosting the 45th annual JUNO Awards and JUNO Week from March 30 to April 3, 2016, Calgarians and visitors had the opportunity to experience our city’s flourishing music and culture scene. From the 15 venues that hosted JUNOfest concerts, to previews of Studio Bell, Home of the National Music Centre, to the JUNO Award ceremony at Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary was on full display, and it shone.


full-time jobs in the arts, recreation and entertainment sector

This is greater than many other industries, including retail trade; accommodation and food services; professional, scientific and technical; administrative and support services; wholesale trade; crop and animal production; and oil and gas extraction.

Research Note: The Economic Impact of Arts Organizations Supported by Calgary Arts Development, Calgary Arts Development, June 2014.

The Convergence of Art and Technology

What happens when you introduce high-end fashion designers and artists to the exciting world of tech wearables? You end up with an array of unbelievably stunning wearable technology—in other words, garments that are beautifully designed and also operational. The next time you are looking for video games embedded into your dress you’ll know where to look.

The Matriarch Speaks by Angel Aubichon (lead designer), Shaylene Lickers, Alexandra Manitopyes, Rebecca Merasty (model), and Tara Smith (make-up) | Photo: Kelly Hofer, courtesy of MakeFashion 2017

IN 2016:

Calgarians work in an artist occupation, comprising 0.7% of our city’s overall labour force*
million in direct economic output, including artistic expenses, facility costs, administration and more, via Calgary’s investment in its arts sector
full-time equivalent staff hired by Calgary arts organizations
artists hired by Calgary arts organizations

Based on data from organizations funded in part through Calgary Arts Development.

*Artists and Cultural Workers in Canadian Municipalities, Hill Strategies, December 2014 (based on 2011 National Household Survey).

Arts in Action | Boosting Economy - ArtsVest

Participants in the 2016-17 artsVest Alberta program | Photo: Courtesy of Allison Moore, artsVest Alberta



ArtsVest is Business for the Arts’ national flagship program that works directly with small to mid-sized arts organizations, equipping them with in-depth training, tools and mentorship relationships. artsVest ran a very successful program in Calgary for two years (from 2011-2013), led by Calgary Arts Development Director of Community Investment and Engagement, Emiko Muraki. Business for the Arts re-launched the program in Calgary in October 2016, this time led by Allison Moore. Local juries approved 47 arts organizations including 33 from Calgary to participate in this round of the program. The Calgary organizations cover a range of disciplines including music, theatre, visual art, heritage, education, dance and multi-disciplinary. So far, participants have completed six webinars and two peer-to-peer training workshops.

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Five Art & Merchandise is a gallery, shop and studio in Calgary’s vibrant East Village neighbourhood that is committed to finding unconventional methods of bringing contemporary art and creativity into people’s lives. With each exhibition they host in their gallery they release limited edition merchandise designed by the exhibiting artist. The merchandise is available both online and in their physical shop beside the gallery space. They also collect and offer some of their favourite creative brands, publications, and art made in and out of the studio. Five Art & Merchandise invites you to stop by, tune in and join them in living an endlessly creative life.

For more information visit

Arts in Action | Boosting Economy - Arts in Action | Boosting Economy - Five Art & Merchandise Gallery

Visitors check out Craig Question Scott’s drawings in his exhibition The Deadly Spawn | Photo: Courtesy of Five Art & Merchandise