Thriving Arts District Key to Prosperity

Posted on July 2, 2014

A thriving arts community is integral to a thriving city. The Edmonton Galleria Project will lead to significant economic benefits and a higher quality of life in Edmonton. It will also make Edmonton more globally relevant and help draw the best and brightest to our city. Great cities like New York, Paris, Montreal and Berlin understand the value of art, and it’s a major reason for the number of people that both visit and live in those cities.

The arts can have multi-billion dollar impacts on a city’s economy, like Montreal’s. Prosperous arts districts create jobs and opportunities for artists to stay in their hometown. A lack of facilities has led to top Edmonton talent moving away. In order to retain our great artists, we have to cultivate and support our art community, and provide opportunities for it to flourish.

The Edmonton Galleria Project will not only provide four state-of-the-art theatres, but it will host more than 5,000 University of Alberta students, faculty and staff. Edmonton’s graduate students will have a good reason to stay here, and students outside of Edmonton will be more likely to come to a new campus embedded in a vibrant arts district.

The other side of the coin holds true as well. Top artistic talent, and leading business and academic thinkers from across the country and beyond could make Edmonton their home, but only if we have a vibrant, thriving, world class artist community. Global leaders expect a certain standard of cultural opportunities in the cities in which they live. Without more cultural activities, we are restricting business growth. The Edmonton Galleria Project would help position Edmonton among the top choices for employment destinations.

Beyond the significant economic impacts, the Edmonton Galleria Project will add to Edmonton’s quality of life. It will bring more people downtown and add to the number of things to do in a growing downtown core.

Like the arena project, the new performing arts theatres and the new downtown University of Alberta campus will generate many neighboring projects, initiatives and new businesses. More retail, food and entertainment will cluster in the Arts District to be part of the vibrancy, giving Edmontonians and visitors more reasons to engage with the arts and with everything else that downtown offers.

Our vision is to produce profound benefits for the arts community, for downtown and for Edmonton as a whole. What do you think?