We have been dedicated to using research to gain evidence-based knowledge about our sector for a number of years. Data from our own studies as well as external projects build our knowledge and guide our decisions.

Calgary Arts Development is seen as an arts research leader in Canada. Our research activities increase our capacity as a knowledge hub and improve our ability to be a strategic advisor to City Council. 

Research projects in 2020 included the following:

MAY 2020

Calgary Arts Development, in partnership with Calgary Economic Development, The City of Calgary, and the Rozsa Foundation undertook a survey of arts organizations in Calgary to better understand and plan for the COVID-19 disruption to the arts, culture, and creative industries. This was important to help guide our strategies to respond in the best way to ensure the sustainability and resiliency of the sector.


We also supported:

Multiple waves released in 2020 & 2021

Calgary Arts Development is one of the sponsors of a longitudinal study Stone-Olafson is undertaking to measure the public’s attitudes toward live experiences. It has been extremely helpful in gauging the public’s concerns as well as their motivations, behaviours, and pent-up desire to return to in-person gatherings. The learnings from this work will help guide arts organizations as they plan for re-opening when the time is right.

October 2020

The Alberta Music Industry Ecosystem Report studied the Edmonton and Calgary music industries and made recommendations of key changes to make Alberta an internationally recognized music hub. The creative industries are key to diversifying our economy and this research helps advance Calgary as an emerging music city.


October 2020

Calgary Arts Development participated in the creation of a discussion paper on Calgary’s creative economy alongside partners from RISE UP Calgary, Calgary Economic Development, and Mount Royal University.


In 2020, we also did the field work on our latest Arts Professionals Survey and will publish results in the summer of 2021.


In 2020, Calgary Arts Development’s Research and Policy Manager Gregory Burbidge became chair of the Cultural Research Network, a resource-sharing community of practice for people involved in arts and culture related research. With approximately 900 members from around the globe, the network emphasizes the practice and process of current research, and the opportunities to inform that active work among peers, academics, and fellow professionals. Primarily it is a collaborative platform that provides opportunities to explore project or professional connections, methodological challenges, technological innovations, standards and practices, and shared infrastructure.