APAN Summit: Calgary 2012

APAN Summit #2 2012
Calgary, Alberta

In September 2012, the second annual Alberta Public Art Summit saw 60 delegates from 15 municipalities converge in Calgary to celebrate achievements, share experiences, and gain insight into operational challenges. While the delegates’ roles and responsibilities were varied, it was clear that all share the same goal of supporting and promoting the creation and protection of great public art in cities and towns across Alberta.

After a welcome reception on the Thursday night, the Summit began in earnest on Friday morning with addresses by such distinguished guests as the Minister of Culture, Heather Klimchuk, and Calgary’s Mayor, Naheed Nenshi. The morning presentations were followed by facilitated working groups, organized to promote discussion and shared learning on four priority areas within the public art process – Project Management, Collections Management, Education and Awareness, and Working with Artists. Participants shared successes, discussed current issues and challenges, and identified significant trends and commonalities to begin creating an overall picture of the status of public art in our province. Finally, many delegates met on Saturday morning to get the ball rolling on an Alberta Public Art Coalition. The intention of this coalition is to provide public art administrators and facilitators with a professional support system through which to network, advocate, share resources and best practices, and work together to create, promote and sustain a thriving public art presence in Alberta.

As Cultural Capital of Canada for 2012, Calgary also wanted to show off some of its culture, its creative spirit and its artful nightlife. The Art Gallery of Calgary provided a great venue for summit activities, and gave participants the opportunity to experience, in addition to other exhibits, Thinking Big: Unveiling Public Art Projects co-presented by the City of Calgary Public Art Program and the Alberta Craft Council. ONE RESTLESS NIGHT in Calgary was the Friday night reception held at MOCA Calgary, which featured a unique mash-up of some talented local musicians and Derek Besant’s FIFTEEN RESTLESS NIGHT exhibition to set the mood. A guided bus tour on Saturday afternoon introduced delegates to many pieces from Calgary’s Public Art Collection, and gave them the chance to enjoy some fantastic fall weather with an al fresco lunch along Riverwalk in East Village. Those who opted to make a weekend of the summit were treated to Nuit Blanche Calgary, the first late night contemporary art festival of its kind for the city and by all accounts, a resounding success!


Photographs courtesy Ellis Bartkiewicz and Brad Hays

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