Celebrating Arts Champions in YYC!

Mayor'sLunch_logoWhen Calgary was named ”The Cultural Capital of Canada” in 2012, right away the city started thinking of ways to celebrate this noteworthy title, and to further Calgary’s reputation as a booming cultural destination. As a result, the first-ever Mayor’s Luncheon for Arts Champions and the Arts Champions Congress were created, two events that brought over 850 leaders from the arts, government, business and cultural sectors together over two days to recognize the important role artists play in Calgary’s community. Just last month, TELUS had the honour of being the Champion Sponsor for the event, while I had the pleasure of introducing two very accomplished and inspiring leaders from the Trey McIntyre Project. Both keynote speakers engaged the crowd with inspiring discussions around innovation, creativity, relevance and authenticity.

To mark this very special occasion for Calgary, TELUS commissioned a poem from local artist Kirk Miles to include in my introduction.

Stepping OffMayor'sLunch_Imagery

Stepping off this cliff called culture;
 our feet clad in runners, in soccer cleats, in high heels
 and black dress shoes, in cowboy boots and steeled toed leather.

Our feet, our legs our Chinook-blown faces precisely placed
on this sandstone sculpture of 2012.

Stepping off this celebration precipice. Nifty with Nenshi and cozy with CADA,
flying from this cliff of creativity.

Where will we land?

Into classrooms, boardrooms, lunch rooms,
in micro factories and malls. We will float
like dust motes of inspiration.

Living in a city is the art of civilization.

We here at TELUS are sincerely passionate about engaging, educating and empowering youth – so, we were happy to announce the new Young Artist Community Innovation Award! It’s an annual award of $5,000 for a deserving artist under the age of 25 in YYC. We’ll be presenting it for the first time at the 2014 Mayor’s Luncheon.

Looking forward to next year’s event!