First Phase of Arts Commons Transformation Gets Funding Go-Ahead
$80 million from Calgary’s Greater Downtown Plan will fund Phase 1 of arts facility expansion
Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), together with our partners at Arts Commons, is delighted by The City of Calgary’s announcement today to allocate $80 million towards the Arts Commons Transformation (ACT) project through its Greater Downtown Plan.
The Greater Downtown Plan is the City’s vision and roadmap for building a thriving and future-focused downtown, of which Arts Commons—the city’s premier arts centre—is a key component. This new funding is made possible thanks to a federal contribution under the Canada Community-Building Fund.
This commitment means ACT can proceed through design development and completion of the Phase 1 expansion. Valued at $240 million, Phase 1 involves construction of a new building expected to include three versatile, purpose-built performance venues plus connections to the existing building and supporting amenities.
“We’re thrilled to learn of The City of Calgary’s contribution to this major project. It underscores the value of the arts to our city’s wellbeing and will ensure the ongoing growth of Calgary’s cultural identity,” says Kate Thompson, President and CEO of CMLC. “Today’s announcement secures the long-awaited expansion of our city’s important arts and cultural centre—something essential not only to the arts community but to downtown’s renewal as a whole. We are grateful to the City and the federal government for their support of the arts in our city.”
The $80 million commitment is a welcome addition to the funding secured over the past two years for ACT, including $25 million from the City’s Municipal Sustainability Initiative announced in October 2020 and $135 million in funding from CMLC’s Community Revitalization Levy secured in March 2019.
"Today's funding announcement is a powerful vote of confidence for this project," says Alex Sarian, President and CEO of Arts Commons. "City Council's decision is a testament to the ability of our arts sector to bolster the economic recovery of our great city, and I am proud of the many ways in which Arts Commons will continue to support that process. Once completed, this state-of-the-art facility will attract and serve world-class artists, community partners, and arts lovers for decades to come."
The project’s pre-design phase, including team procurement and public and stakeholder engagement on the design of a renewed Arts Commons is now underway. CMLC and Arts Commons expect to announce the full ACT project team this summer.