Update from Indefinite Arts Centre

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Following the roof collapse of the Fairview Arena on February 20, 2018, there was a lot of uncertainty around our organization’s future. But many things have occurred since then that have allowed us to move back into our home in Fairview and also present some exciting ideas around reenergizing the site that is the heart of the Fairview community. At the time of writing, work is underway to plan the first what we hope to be many community engagement opportunities to seek feedback on some of the ideas that have been brought forward.

Guided by a new strategic plan that can be found on our website (ourIAC.ca), the Centre secured a number of grants – including the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund – to begin work with an architectural firm that could analyze our current and future usage, align our programming aspirations with a master plan, and make significant adjustments to the site that would allow for the facility to be more accessible for our artists and have more opportunities for public engagement. Within weeks of starting this work, the roof collapse forced us to shift the direction of our planning work to think about a completely new rebuild – incorporating some bolder ideas about truly creating a world-class community arts hub that would be purpose-built for artists of all abilities and disabilities. Using ideas presented in Fairview’s Community Objectives Workshop (2017), Recreation Amenities Gap Analysis, and best practices in disability arts centres across the world, our architects at DIALOG – well-known for their recent work on the new Central Library project – have come forward with a bold vision for the Fairview site, and we were pleased to share some of the preliminary plans and renderings at our welcome back block party on July 16.

The key word is preliminary, and through ongoing stakeholder consultations – one of our key stakeholders being the Fairview Community – we envision an evolutionary process where we are able to develop a stunning, community- and city-building project that serves the community as much as it serves our participating artists. Following an initial community engagement session planned for August 22, 2018, we hope to begin a process to determine feasibility with public sector funders, particularly at the provincial and federal levels, and to also begin a preliminary process to get all of our documentation ready to seek initial approval in principle from the City of Calgary. Like many capital projects, public funding and approvals are a key determining factor of whether a project moves ahead. We are confident that the public sector will acknowledge the value that we bring as a charity serving artists with disabilities, but the incredible potential that redevelopment will have in bridging our space and our programs to the broader community of Fairview and beyond.

I encourage all of you to keep up-to-date on the latest news regarding our redevelopment ideas by visiting our website at ourIAC.ca, and following us on Twitter and Facebook (@IndefiniteArts). As we hear from the community and our public-sector partners, I will commit to regular updates to the community and additional opportunities for community engagement that will undoubtedly lead to a stellar project for Fairview and our artists.

Jung-Suk Ryu, CEO, Indefinite Arts Centre