2023 Year in Review

2023 Year in Review

A Success Story of Shared Space, Vibrant Community, and Knowledge Sharing

This past year unfolded, showing our dedication to community engagement and supporting the thriving creative sector in Calgary. With the the generous collaborations of our donors, sponsors, and partners, we continue to build a vision of Calgary as a city where creative enterprise thrives in vibrant communities.

Fueling Calgary’s Creative Potential raises $206k in support of cSPACE Projects’ vision of a city where creativity thrives in vibrant communities. 

Our campaign kicked off with sponsorship from our neighbours at Rockwood Custom Homes and The Edward/Section 23, Calvert Home Mortgage, and a $50k donation from the Galvin Family Fund for which we are deeply appreciative. Following the success of our Fueling Creativity donor event on November 2nd, we express our heartfelt thanks to many individuals, including one anonymous donor who contributed $100k to support cSPACE’s creative placemaking efforts.

The result is that our fall campaign not only met but exceeded its $100,000 target, collecting over $206k in contributions. With sincere gratitude, we recognize each of our sponsors, donors and neighbours from the entire community who believe in our community-building mission to ignite Calgary’s Creative Potential. Thank-you one and all!

These incredible contributions, together with the support of our amazing partners in 2023 at Calgary Arts Development, Calgary Foundation, The City of Calgary, and the Alberta Real Estate Foundation, allow cSPACE to pursue vibrant city building in earnest.

cSPACE by the Numbers

Supporting the arts and culture sector in Calgary with inspired spaces, vibrant community and knowledge sharing opportunities:

  • 43,000 square feet of downtown commercial space was filled by the SPACEPILOT initiative in 2023, supporting diverse arts groups in temporary leases and helping activate our vacant city core
  • 100% leased: Our creative hub at cSPACE Marda Loop is bursting with creativity in our studio, office and Sandbox co-working spaces
  • 589 total events were hosted for the community across all our bookable spaces in Marda Loop
  • 281 children flowed through Quest Theatre’s  summer drama camps, allowing kids a unique opportunity to learn and perform in a professional setting
  • 111 individual events hosted in the Studio Theatre means we were 95% booked to capacity with over 80% of events from the artist and not-for-profit sector
  • 35 artists and artist collectives exhibited in our hallway galleries, including a full house for the 2023 Exposure Photography Festival
  • 245+ arts and culture events were open to the public at cSPACE Eau Claire
  • 28 individual artist-in-residencies took place at cSPACE Eau Claire Neighbourhood Hub, some featuring multiple artist in collaboration 
  • 16 pairs of mentors and mentees spent a year together sharing knowledge through the Calgary expansion of the Creative Spaces Mentoring Network (with Artsbuild Ontario) 
  • 10+ Indigenous performers and student dancers showcased at the 4 Winds Indigenous Showcase and Market on Art Park over 3 days
  • 7 volunteers from Youth Central helped steward our publicly attended Showcase Events
  • 6 student dancers from the University of Calgary were featured during Springboard Performance’s FluidFest festival in the Studio Theatre
  • 4 new websites launched: cSPACE Projects, cSPACE Marda Loop, cSPACE Eau Claire, and the Arts Spaces Playbook (a space-finding and event planning resource aimed at creatives)
  • 3k+ to our building for 7 public engagement events at cSPACE Marda Loop, including 4 Showcase Events, a pancake breakfast, beer garden event, Jane’s Walk, and Report to Community. Each event provided paid performance opportunities for local artists
  • 2 new FLO EV charging stations installed at cSPACE Marda Loop, in a collaboration with Solas Energy and with support from SG-EVCP
  • 1 renaming from cSPACE King Edward. We are now known as cSPACE Marda Loop: A Place for Creative Boundary Crossings

We’ve got your attention, Calgary!

Amid a year of change, our flagship hub underwent a significant transformation, embracing the future while honouring its historic roots. The former King Edward School, which had been dubbed cSPACE King Edward early on, was renamed cSPACE Marda Loop in May 2023. With guidance from our friend Dr. Leroy Little Bear, we are  truly a more inclusive Place for Creative Boundary Crossings, intersecting arts, culture, history, community, reconciliation and sustainability.

It’s evident that 2023 has been a year of substantial progress in our mission to foster a more vibrant Calgary. Our focus has been on building meaningful connections and providing support to the creative sector.

In the coming year, 2024, we are committed to building upon the foundation laid in 2023. The Creative Spaces Mentoring Network and the SPACEPILOT initiative will continue to pioneer partnerships that contribute to the growth of our artistic community. The Studio Theatre will continue to showcase the best in theatre, opera, and dance performance, creating a space for artistic expression and appreciation.

Our galleries will remain vibrant, community-building showcase events will continue to shine a spotlight on local talent and bring together communities, reinforcing cSPACE as Calgary’s placemaking powerhouse.

In the spirit of collaborative growth, 2024 will be a year dedicated to further nurturing our community. Together, we will continue to build a cultural landscape that not only showcases the richness of artistic talent but also fosters a sense of belonging and shared creativity for everyone in Calgary.