Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cultural District partners with Calgary Arts Development

Olympic Plaza Cultural District is no more. Well, that’s a little inaccurate; there will still be Calgary’s 8th avenue plaza and surrounding area, only it will now be known solely as the Cultural District.

The Cultural District announced the name change today as part of its new partnership with Calgary Arts Development

The name change is expected to better promote an area that’s chock-full of arts events, shopping, restaurants and of course an outdoor space formerly known as Olympic Plaza Cultural District.

“Our members asked for a name that was more reflective of the district as a whole. In the years to come we expect the Cultural District to be a premiere destination for arts and entertainment in Calgary,” said Michael Brown, Board Chair of the Cultural District, in a press release.

Additionally, the newly named Cultural District has signed a new service agreement that will see Calgary Arts Development manage marketing and promotions for Calgary’s downtown Cultural District to work closer with community partners like the Calgary Downtown Association and City of Calgary.

Calgary’s downtown Cultural District is filled with one of the highest concentrations of arts and culture venues in Canada, including the EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts, the recently restored Grand Theatre, Vertigo Theatre, the Glenbow Museum, the Art Gallery of Calgary, Cantos Music Foundation and Art Central. It is situated along Stephen Avenue Walk and of course Olympic Plaza, a key Calgary landmark that served as the medal ceremonies site for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games.

“We look forward to working with the Cultural District Board to continue building successful initiatives like First Thursdays,” said Terry Rock, President and CEO of Calgary Arts Development. “We’re also very excited about implementing new strategies to make the neighbourhood more visible and a membership drive to increase awareness and involvement of corporate sector employers and other businesses in the Cultural District.”

First Thursday is a way to promote the Cultural District. It’s a “cultural crawl” on the first Thursday of every month that includes live music, theatre, dance and exhibitions at popular Cultural District locations.

The next First Thursday celebration is on July 2 and includes live music and art openings. Also, watch for CJSW’s Summer Concert Series in Olympic Plaza, which kicks off on June 6 with free shows on Saturday nights during the summer featuring a variety of local bands like Dojo Workhorse, Jay Crocker, Beija Flor and Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir.

Calgary Arts Development was created in 2005 to lead long-term, strategic development of the arts sector in Calgary, guided by the 2004 Civic Arts Policy and invests municipal arts funding of $3.75 million annually in 160 local arts organizations. Visit calgaryartsdevelopment.com for more information.

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