Visionary Articles

Calgary’s Arts Plan is the long-term strategy for arts development and investment in Calgary and a legacy of Calgary's year as a Cultural Capital of Canada. The arts inspire our children’s futures, connect our communities, drive our city’s economic growth and energize our lives. Our goal is to work with citizens and artists to craft a bold and integrated plan that sets clear, long-term targets for the resources and partnerships necessary to support a thriving arts sector in Calgary.

Calgary’s first Arts Plan is about dreaming big. It’s about imagining a Calgary at its best, with an arts scene that is diverse, robust and welcoming, and then paving the road to get there. Building a better Calgary starts with foundational questions: What is your vision for the arts in Calgary? What would you like Calgary’s arts scene to look like 10, 20 and 50 years from now?

Answers to these questions take many different forms, and the Arts Plan team is pleased to present you with the thoughts of artistic luminaries in Calgary in an ongoing series of visionary articles.

Towards a Creative Calgary: Realizing the Importance of Fine Arts Education


Sam Gregory was born in England and moved to Calgary with his family in 2005. Sam was one of the founders of Save Our Fine Arts (SOFA), and sat on the executive committee until he moved to Montreal in 2011. Through high school, he performed in numerous jazz and concert ensembles. In his final year, he was awarded the highly recognized Loran Award. He is currently a student at McGill University, studying International Development and Political Science.

I don’t need to write an essay on why the fine arts are vital to a child’s education, and a critical part of our education system. If you are reading this, you likely already know that being exposed to the arts throughout one’s childhood, whether it be some form of music, dance, theatre, or visual art, builds a child’s confidence, encourages creativity, spurs critical thinking, builds strong communities, teaches teamwork and develops leaders. Furthermore, by inspiring students to pursue a profession in the fine arts and by offering them world-class educational opportunities, we will be able to nurture and grow a world-class arts community within our city. If Calgary is to boast that we are a Cultural Capital of Canada, then we need to truly realize the importance of the fine arts in our education system through financial investments and by providing sustainable resources.

Investing in Arts Management

Lara Schmitz works in Calgary as an actor and producer, and is currently General Manager at The Shakespeare Company.

I am concerned with how few people are curious about arts management.

True, Calgary has a multitude of small, independent and established arts organizations, yet how many people who are running these companies really are jazzed by their administrative role? I bet that most small organizations have artists that are masquerading as pseudo arts administrators because they have to and that larger organizations have a few of them as well.