Little Actions Lead to Big Change

On Saturday, September 30th, as we observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, cSPACE Projects stands in support of Indigenous communities and the path toward healing and understanding. This day prompts reflection on the painful legacy of the residential school system and its enduring impact.

In our commitment to allyship, we draw inspiration from The Calgary Foundation’s Indigenous Ally Toolkit by actively creating space for Indigenous voices. In recent programming, cSPACE Marda Loop proudly collaborated with Four Winds Indigenous Market and Showcase. This three-day festival brought Indigenous art, craft, music, and fashion to our Art Park.

At the Eau Claire neighbourhood hub, visual artist Tory Manywounds’ inspiring residency explored his bi-racial roots and was profiled in an interview here.

This Saturday, we invite you to join Xstine Cook at cSPACE Eau Claire for a free screening of Peace Pipeline. This brilliant satirical film will be followed with bannock and an insightful conversation with director and actor Gitz Crazyboy.

Finally, in June of 2023, at our June Report to Community, President + CEO Deeter Schurig took the opportunity to recognize the recent renaming of its flagship project to cSPACE Marda Loop: A Place for Creative Boundary Crossings. At this time we would like to take a moment to share Deeter’s words.

cSPACE Marda Loop: A Place for Creative Boundary Crossings.
Report to Community Address
June 27, 2023

Some of you may remember that a decade ago, we acquired this vacant 100-year-old sandstone school and began to imagine its transformation. 

It’s a prominent building – a testament to Calgary’s sandstone era and built as a colonial landmark, with King Edward VII chiselled above its entrance.

Throughout design development, we put forward our efforts to respect the past and integrate the heritage into a vision for the next century. 

Our design included the preservation of historic features, updated HVAC systems, and sustainable advancements like renewable energy. 

We reused elements from the building’s past in creative ways and integrated public art to bring inspiration to century-old halls. 

Yet, in the past years we recognized a growing awareness for reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. And our colleagues, tenants and community have questioned our facility’s naming strategy. 

June 21st marked the summer solstice and we celebrated National Indigenous Peoples Day. 

We chose this time to formally share that our creative hub here will now be called cSPACE Marda Loop – A place for Creative Boundary Crossings. 

This change recognizes a small shift in focusing on a building to acknowledging the larger locale that cSPACE now serves.  

As part of this process, we are grateful for our collaboration with an Indigenous leader, Dr. Leroy Littlebear from Treaty 6, whose words are also engraved in our Poet’s Walk (realized in partnership with Rockwood Custom Homes).

It was his recommendation that cSPACE should be recognized as, “A Place for Boundary Crossings,” as a reminder that reconciliation will need to cross many divides and boundaries – just as our community endeavours in their artistic practices. 

Recognizing our commitment to stewarding this historic place – and the potential of creativity and collaboration to be a force for community-led change – we are pleased to take guidance from his words. 

As he relayed in a lecture,

“If our contemporary world and governments adopted the mindset of artists, we may come up with new creative solutions to age-old problems such as inequality.” 

Along with this mural entitled We are all Treaty People*, we believe we are enriching our colonial past with a more inclusive narrative – and through artful intent, we will incrementally expand to serve the community more equitably.

— Deeter Schurig
President + CEO
cSPACE Projects

At cSPACE, we are committed to continuing our efforts in promoting truth and reconciliation through amplifying Indigenous voices in our spaces through our events, exhibitions, and public programming. Together, we strive for a more inclusive and equitable future, where understanding, respect, and healing are at the forefront of our shared journey.

*In 2022 cSPACE Marda Loop (in conjunction with the Beltline Urban Mural Project) unveiled We are All Treaty People, a collaboration between Nathan P. Meguinis and Doug Driediger.

Pictured: Maria Montessori Education Centre (at cSPACE Marda Loop) is decorated with children’s art, recognizing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.