City of Edmonton – The Mayor’s Think Tank: Our Arts, Our City

Brave Girl – Lunchbox Theatre
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City of Edmonton – The Mayor’s Think Tank: Our Arts, Our City

The Mayor’s Think Tank: Our Arts, Our City

June 21, 2011

The Mayor’s Think Tank: Our Arts, Our City brought together artists, entrepreneurs, activists, performers, students, developers and community leaders for a lively and important dialogue about a broad, bold vision for the City of Edmonton that integrates arts, culture, business and community.

Co-Chaired by Dianne Kipnes and Brian Webb, the Mayor’s Arts Visioning Committee is turning to the community to understand how Edmonton can use arts and culture to promote citizens’ pride in the city through 2035 and beyond.

“Arts and culture form the very heart and spirit of a community, and are the things from which great cities are made,” said Mayor Stephen Mandel. “I believe that Edmonton’s vibrant arts community, knack for creativity and innovation, and unique multicultural character position us for success. This Think Tank event is about listening and working with the community to start to pull together an integrated and coordinated plan to raise the profile of arts in our city.”

Participants heard from Peter Kageyama, co-founder and producer of the Creative Cities Summit, exploring the challenges in shaping Edmonton into a city that is attractive to artists, businesses, and innovators. The morning also included a Pecha Kucha style event of six presentations, each inviting people to think critically about the arts.

In the afternoon, a panel of experts in arts and business, which was moderated by Todd Babiak, novelist, writer, and columnist for the Edmonton Journal, explored more themes about the future of arts in our city.

“Investment in the arts is investing in the very soul and identity of a city,” said Co-Chair Brian Webb. “Edmonton’s future depends on our ability to pull together an integrated and long-term approach to the sustainability of arts. We have the commitment from all levels – the City, business, and the community – and to see everyone coming together is very exciting.”

“I am inspired by the passion, creativity, and innovation shared today, and the tremendous potential when collaboration happens across disciplines,” said Co-Chair Dianne Kipnes. “All the elements of greatness are here, now it is the time to pull it all together into a strategy for shaping Edmonton into our dream city.”

The Arts Visioning Committee’s work builds on 2008’s The Art of Living, a plan for the future of arts and culture that came out of a strong partnership between the Edmonton Arts Council and the City of Edmonton.

 For more information:
      Catherine Keill

Office of the Mayor
      2nd Floor, City Hall
      1 Sir Winston Churchill Square
      Edmonton, AB   T5J 2R7

Telephone 780-496-8100
Fax 780-496-8292