World Class Cities Have Flourishing Arts Sectors

Posted on June 24, 2014

Edmonton needs a flourishing arts sector to be considered a world-class city, and the Edmonton Galleria Project will help move us towards that status. The focal point is four state-of-the-art performing arts theatres. The Edmonton Galleria Project will also integrate a University of Alberta campus into a vibrant downtown and growing arts community.

The Edmonton Galleria Project will be a cultural hub, complementing the existing arts facilities downtown. Our arts community is growing quickly and needs more infrastructure to thrive. Demand continues to grow for affordable, accessible and suitable rehearsal and performing arts spaces (for more info, read this report). The Edmonton Galleria Project will meet this demand, and showcase many art forms, allowing for innovative collaborations and interactions for students, and emerging and accomplished artists.

In addition to the existing and future need for more arts spaces, many other factors make this project worthwhile to pursue right now. Firstly, it is an opportune time to build, as interest rates are low. Secondly, the University of Alberta wants to have a major presence downtown and sees great synergies for its School of Music and the Department of Art and Design. The existing facilities for these faculties are in dire need of replacement. Read Carl Amrhein’s, the University of Alberta’s Provost and Vice-President (Academic), views on the need.

Lastly, City Council’s Capital City Downtown Plan calls for a revitalization and increased downtown density. The Edmonton Galleria Project addresses both of these objectives. It will be a major contributor to downtown’s arts community and it will draw thousands more people downtown as workers, students, residents and visitors.

Not only will the Edmonton Galleria Project boost Edmonton’s arts sector, but it will add downtown vibrancy. Edmontonians will have more reasons to come downtown. As Avenue Magazine’s Steven Sandor noted in a 2013 article: “With plenty of space for restaurants, cafés and shops, the vision is to make the Centre a legitimate arts district, to keep people downtown before and after the shows.

“The project is budgeted to be self-sufficient. While the aim is to offer affordable performance and rehearsal spaces to larger groups like the Edmonton Opera and Alberta Ballet, it is also designed to give smaller theatre, dance and music companies the space they need to flourish.”

How will you engage with the Edmonton Galleria Project? We’d love to hear from you on Twitter, Facebook or by email!