Arts Commons Transformation Project takes major step forward

    · 4 min read

    Tri-party agreement in place to initiate the design process for facility expansion project.

    Today, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), together with our partners at Arts Commons and The City of Calgary announced the completion of a tri-party development agreement that will initiate the design process for the Arts Commons Transformation Project (ACT) and position CMLC as development manager responsible for stewarding the design process on behalf of the partners. With the freshly signed agreement in place, the first step in the design process will be a competitive procurement process to assemble the design team who will be responsible for the design development over the next two years.

    The design process, which is expected to take until Q2 2022 to complete, is made possible through $25 million of funding from the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) approved by City of Calgary Council on September 30, 2019. The design process will utilize a portion of the funding with the remaining balance being held for construction of Phase 1 once full funding is in place.

    “A vibrant, well-supported arts sector is a key part of Calgary’s long-term growth and recovery. This is a deliberate investment, providing another pillar of our Cultural & Entertainment District,” says Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “The City has been doing everything it can to see this project completed, and I trust the other orders of government will fulfill their commitment to do the same.”

    The Arts Commons Transformation project is being planned in two phases; Phase 1 valued at $240 million is the development of Arts Commons North – the new Road House – which will include three versatile, purpose-built venues, a connection to the existing building and supporting amenities. Phase 2 - Arts Commons South - involves the revitalization of the resident house which is currently home to six resident companies: Alberta Theatre Projects, Arts Commons Presents, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Downstage, One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre, and Theatre Calgary. The design process will consider both phases to create a comprehensive design strategy for the full project.

    "Today's milestone announcement promises a strong contribution to the economic recovery of our great city; a significant, long-term investment in our arts community; and the financial sustainability of the artists and companies that call Arts Commons home. As we begin to recover from the loss of live performance, ACT will provide a beacon of hope for the creative future of Calgary: a state-of-the-art home that will attract world-class artists, community partners, and arts-lovers from near and far,” says Alex Sarian, President and CEO of Arts Commons. “We are thrilled to be initiating this first step in the process with CMLC and The City of Calgary, bringing forward a vibrant vision that reflects Calgary’s future.”

    The procurement process will initiate in late-October through a series of competitive Request for Proposals (RFPs) that will identify the successful proponents for Prime Design, Theatre Planning, Project Management, Construction Management, Engineering and Specialty consultants to meet the unique requirements for a theatre facility. The procurement and design process will be guided by an oversight committee comprised of representatives from CMLC, Arts Commons and The City of Calgary.

    “Our team at CMLC is proud to be a partner on this project that is adding to the cultural identity of Calgary,” says Kate Thompson, President and CEO, CMLC. “We are confident that through this design process, the team will provide a design solution that improves the resiliency, accessibility and capacity of Arts Commons and that its experiences will be designed to meet the needs of the community for years to come.”

    During the design process, Arts Commons will continue to actively pursue the remaining funding.

    To learn more about the project, visit the Arts Commons Transformation project page.

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