Celebrating Community and Creative Expression in Calgary and Southern Alberta

News release

CALGARY, August 29, 2019

Creativity and community celebration were in the spotlight today as the Honourable Kent Hehr, Member of Parliament (Calgary Centre), announced investments totalling $1,450,300 to support local festivals, the performing arts and community celebrations in Calgary and southern Alberta. Mr. Hehr made this announcement on behalf of the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism.

These investments will benefit 36 organizations that promote Canadian talent, showcase Alberta’s thriving cultural scene, drive economic growth and foster a stronger connection between diverse communities. Among the many recipients receiving support are the Pride Calgary Planning Committee, the One Yellow Rabbit Theatre Association and the Calgary Fireworks Festival Society. See the attached backgrounder for additional details.

Funding has been provided through the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage (BCAH) program and the Canada Arts Presentation Fund (CAPF).

Budget 2019 announced more than $50 million to support a wide range of artistic and cultural events, including performance series, festivals and celebrations throughout Canada. Eligible organizations have received supplemental funding as a result of these increased investments, which include $14 million over two years for the BCAH program and $16 million over two years for the CAPF.


“Canadians are proud creators of music, dance, and visual and performing arts. We host celebrations that promote diversity and inclusion, and come together to celebrate our shared history in many different ways. Our government is proud to invest in the creative sector because these festivals, performance series and community celebrations boost our economy and help build identity, pride and a shared sense of value.”

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

“It’s a pleasure to announce our government’s continued support for arts and culture in Calgary and southern Alberta, especially during Calgary Pride. Alberta’s creative scene is among the most unique and exciting in Canada. We know that investing in artists, performances and festivals bolsters our economy and strengthens civic pride. I’m proud that this funding will keep helping organizations throughout the province grow and flourish.”

—The Honourable Kent Hehr, Member of Parliament (Calgary Centre)

“The Department of Canadian Heritage, through the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program, has been instrumental in allowing our festival to continue to advance and celebrate the rich multicultural diversity that is found in Calgary. GlobalFest provides an annual platform for over 20 locally based ethnocultural associations to showcase their culture through heritage performances and dress, cultural pavilions and cuisine. Funding has also supported GlobalFest in creating programs such as The Canadian Cultural Mosaic. This program tells the story of the foundation of Canada and celebrates the contributions of the many cultural groups to our national fabric. These same programs are in demand by external organizations across the region, who have approached GlobalFest about bringing our unique multicultural programming to their events and facilities.”

—Ken Goosen, Producer, Calgary Fireworks Festival Society (GlobalFest)

“Calgary today is a thriving mosaic of cultures and communities, each with their own unique, and powerful, contribution to the city’s soul. Arts are what make a city worth living in, and our programs here at Arts Commons wouldn’t be possible without the support of the federal government through the Canada Arts Presentation Fund. This funding allows us to bring performers from all corners of the world onto our stages. Through Arts Commons Presents, we proudly provide opportunities for artists who normally wouldn’t be able to perform in Calgary, like performers from India, Africa and Latin America, as well as talented blues and jazz artists from around the globe, and National Geographic Live explorers who are just back from expedition.”

—Greg Epton, Chief Development Officer and Interim Co-CEO, Arts Commons

Quick facts

  • The Local Festivals component of the BCAH program provides funding to local groups for recurring festivals that present the work of local artists, artisans or heritage performers. This includes the celebration of LGBTQ2+ communities and Indigenous cultural celebrations.

  • The Canada Arts Presentation Fund provides financial assistance to organizations that professionally present arts festivals or performing arts series (arts presenters) and organizations that offer support to arts presenters. Through the CAPF, Canadians have access to a variety of professional artistic experiences in their communities. Each year, the Fund supports approximately 600 professional arts festivals and performing arts series, as well as other activities related to art presentation, in more than 250 cities or communities across Canada.

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For more information (media only), please contact:

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

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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