City of Edmonton Receives $1.5 Million to Revitalize the Quarters Area Downtown

News release

EDMONTON, November 16, 2018

The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, today announced $1.5 million in support from the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund for two cultural infrastructure projects that will help revitalize and strengthen the Quarters Downtown Edmonton, a vibrant, diverse and inclusive community.  

As part of its 20-year plan to renew the neighbourhood, the City of Edmonton is repurposing municipally owned buildings that will be made available through a competitive process to not-for-profit arts organizations for redevelopment as cultural amenities.

The City will receive $750,000 for a project to renovate and retrofit a 6,945-square-foot, two-storey structure built in 1962, to be used as an Indigenous contemporary art centre and gallery, under a long-term lease by the Ociciwan Contemporary Arts Collective. This facility will become Edmonton’s first collective-run centre with a focus on contemporary art, providing a space for Indigenous artists to gather and work, and a place for mentorship of Indigenous youth and emerging artists.

Additionally, the City will receive $750,000 for another project to retrofit and renovate a 7,240-square-foot, one and a half-storey structure, built in the mid-1950s, creating a community-driven arts centre to be occupied under a long-term lease with the Quarters Arts Society. Once construction is complete, this facility will provide flexible rental spaces for local artists and organizations that currently do not have access to affordable creation and performance space in the neighbourhood.


“Our government knows that investments in arts and culture help build vibrant and connected communities, allowing local economies to grow and prosper. Thanks to this funding, the City of Edmonton, Ociciwan Contemporary Arts Collective and the Quarters Arts Society will bring renewed energy to the downtown area through these creative and artistic spaces.”

—The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism

“The Quarters is one of the City’s catalyst projects, intended to create a solid foundation to strengthen the heart of our city and ensure our pulse remains strong. These two projects couldn't be better suited to add to the growing vibrancy of the area, building on its history while creating exciting and inviting spaces for different cultural conversations and artistic innovation.”

—Councillor Scott McKeen, City of Edmonton Ward 6 Councillor

“The opening of Ociciwan Contemporary Art Centre gives the collective a home to connect to a broader audience, supporting the work of Indigenous contemporary artists, curators, designers, educators and culture workers. This art space will allow the city to fully engage its relationship to Indigenous contemporary art and build capacity for exhibitions, dialogue and criticality.”

—Tiffany Shaw-Collinge, Core Member, Métis Artist, Independent Curator, Intern Architect, Ociciwan Contemporary Arts Collective

“Through this project, our Community Arts Laboratory will be an arts hub that offers the unique opportunity to connect communities, to share knowledge and ideas, to collaborate, create and celebrate so that all people can share in the joy of local artistic expression.”

—Darren Radbourne, President, Quarters Arts Society

Quick facts

  • The Quarters District is a 100-acre area located on the east side of downtown Edmonton, close to the central business core, cultural districts and the river valley. The vision for the area is that of a healthy and dynamic community that respects the unique character of existing neighbourhoods, while welcoming new residents and new spaces.

  • Created in 2015, Ociciwan Contemporary Arts Collective is a registered not-for-profit society with a goal to support the work and discourse of Indigenous contemporary artists who engage in experimental creative practices and innovative research. The organization functions as a collective with four core members and a project coordinator, curating four projects a year.

  • The Quarters Arts Society was established in 2013 and is a community-driven, non-profit organization committed to art-centered community building. The organization brings professional artists, community artists and audiences together through festivals, concerts, special events and exhibits in the Quarters.

  • The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund supports the improvement of physical conditions for arts, heritage, culture and creative innovation. The Fund supports renovation and construction projects, the acquisition of specialized equipment and feasibility studies related to cultural spaces.

Associated links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Simon Ross
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

Amber Medynski
City of Edmonton

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