About cSPACE Administrator

cSPACE Projects is a social enterprise that supports communities of artists, non-profits and entrepreneurs working at the creative edge of change.

Family Selfies: Tips for Capturing DIY Family Portraits

 

noah-hinton-178198There truly is an art to portrait photography. In addition to being skilled in the technical art of photography, and the visual art of lighting, angles, composition, there is also an art to connecting emotionally with subjects. The most beautiful portraits are captured when people’s emotions, personality and nature shine through. A gifted portrait photographer helps their subjects open up and be natural in front of the camera. Naturally this is much easier when there is a relationship between photographer and subject. Say parent and child for example…

In the age of selfies, high quality cameras on your smart phone and an abundance of affordable technology, parents are better equipped than ever to capture the moments and memories in real time. But it seems someone always end up being missing in action in family photos because they’re behind the lens while the rest of the fam is in front of it. In honour of Family Day Weekend we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks for capturing natural and candid family pics and portraits without a ton of fuss.

 

TOOLS OF THE TRADE

alexandru-stavrica-166342Tripod: Whether you’re working with the camera on your phone, a point-and-shoot camera or a DSLR, the, a tripod allows you to easily position your camera properly and adjust as necessary. And it’s more secure than balancing your phone on a stack of books!

 

Remotes + Timers: Avoid being the blur of clothes and hair entering the photo stage left by using a remote and short timer setting instead of doing the timer set and sprint. It’s especially helpful in that it allows you to stay in the frame vs. jogging back and forth.

 

josh-rose-158801Interval Timers: For candid and lifestyle portraits (our favourite kind), use an interval timer. They’re generally used for time lapse photography but you can set them up to shoot say 20-30 images every 10 seconds so you can relax in front of the camera and forget it’s even snapping away. Most entry level DSLRs don’t have a built in intervalometer but you can buy an external intervalometer for as little as $50.

When you’re using the Timer function on your iPhone it automatically takes a ‘burst’ of 11 images, while you can’t adjust the number of frames it takes, you can set the timer for either 3 or 10 seconds and every time you press the button, you’ll get 11 chances at a fabulous frame.

THE BASICS: FROM LIGHTING TO COMPOSITION

nick-turner-2570Find natural light and simple backgrounds: Pay attention to lighting. Natural is always best. So as you select the optimal vantage point for your camera, try to choose a room with lots of natural light. It’s also usually best to avoid a lot of unnecessary background distractions in the frame, but then again, there’s something to be said for that lived in, ‘this is us’ aesthetic as well. Just scope it out and go with your gut.

 

One Person Rule: When taking group photos, have one person doing something different than everyone else in the photo to add depth, interest and a natural feel. Maybe one person is looking at the camera, and the rest are captured in candid moments. Perhaps one parent faces the camera and the rest face away. Maybe one person is smiling and the rest are making faces. Have fun with it!

 

david-straight-123965Capture fresh perspectives: Set the tripod up low (kid height) so that full body shots don’t completely include the adults. Or set things up so that you’re shooting from behind.   Get creative. You don’t all have to be smiling and facing the camera. Capture life unscripted.

IDEAS FOR FAMILY SELF PORTRAITS

c96957c9fc2fdb4b0f487e0ec68defecDocument the whole day: Mount your camera on your tripod with a fully charged battery and fresh, empty memory card and tote it around all day long. From black and white breakfast shots to candid play time pics, you’d be surprised at the amazing snaps you can capture on even the most banal of days. The hardest part will be going through all the many many images at the end of the day to select the best ones.

 

Let the kids take the directors chair: Letting the kids come up with the instructions for how everyone should pose or what face to make is a great way to keep the kids engaged and snag some fun, playful shots.

 

Let the littles press the button:  markus-spiske-117324You’d be surprised just how seriously kids will take the job of “photographer” and it’s always interesting to get their view of the world. Bravely hand over the phone (on airplane mode), point-and-shoot, or DSLR and let the littles capture what compels them for 15-20 minutes.

Most importantly, don’t worry about everything looking perfect or social media show-off worthy. Life is messy. Art is messy. Embrace the every moment. Those are the ones that will mean the most when you look back later. Matching flannel shirt family portraits make good Christmas cards but the real memories are in the messy hair, laughing faces and candid captures.

Good luck. And happy family day!

 

Meet the Tenants: Paula Timm

In January, we officially welcomed the tenants of cSPACE King Edward. Some are all settled in, some are moving in little by little, but one thing is for sure, the energy at King Edward has shifted from the organized chaos of construction to one of invigorating creativity and activity thanks to the artists, organizations and entrepreneurs who now call cSPACE King Edward home.

One such member contributing to the vibrant new creative energy at cSPACE King Edward is visual artist, Paula Timm. We caught up with Paula to learn more about her path to finding and building her creative practice and her hopes for the future at cSPACE King Edward.

Believing that it wasn’t possible to be an artist, Paula didn’t originally pursue an education or career in art. Instead she sought work in a variety of quasi creative jobs – graphic design, promoter, project manager, teacher’s aid, and purchaser, just to name a few. When Paula was diagnosed with autoimmune disease at age 25, she began to immerse herself in the healing power of creativity and art throughout numerous required medical leaves. But the ultimate wake up call for Paula was when she awoke in the ICU after near-fatal complications during surgery. In that moment she realized her creative passion could no longer take a back seat to the perception of job security. It was then that Paula dedicated herself to living an authentic, creative and joyful life.

Today Paula has a thriving art practice that blends her love of teaching, writing, and creating fine art. In addition to her own fine art practice, Paula partners with Calgary artists and non-profit organizations to foster community engagement initiatives that promote and encourage the healing relationship between wellness and creativity. Her hope is to inspire others to consider their own personal journey and its important connection to self-expression.

We caught up with Paula for a brief Q&A to get to know her a bit better. Read on.

Why do you do what you do?

I paid the ultimate price of not living a creative life; now I am compelled to create and help others to find their creative voice. I know the cost it has on our physical and mental health when we don’t find a way to express. We have such tough inner critics which hold us back from expressing – be it in art, words or emotions. I hope that I can inspire others to consider their journey to connect with their own self expression.

What do you feel is integral to the work of an artist?

Whether you call yourself an artist or not, we are born of creativity. Without it we are not expressing fully the range that we posses. We have the ability to sense and create, if we suppress the urge we suppress a very important part of our being. It can be painful, sometimes, to feel the range of emotions when creating but ultimately it is rewarding to feel our range of emotions. It is integral that we commit to the practice of creating so that we give voice to the depth of our capacity to express.

How does Calgary nature and support your work? And at the same time, are there obstacles to overcome working in Calgary, what are they? 

I am so very fortunate that I came to my arts career at a time when the Calgary community is embracing a collective, creative vision in a powerful way. I have the most amazing supports in both individuals and agency that exist to support artists in Calgary. I have had the amazing opportunity to both exhibit, sell, teach and advocate in a multitude of environments in our city. I am excited for our creative community future, we are on the edge of amazing things!

What role do you feel the artist have in society?

I feel the role for an artist is the same for the person who works in an accounting firm. We are made of the same bits – we express, learn, teach, create, and offer great acts of kindness to offer wisdom, beauty and support to each other.

 

What will you bring to cSPACE and why do you feel it’s the right fit for you?

It is an honour to be one of the inaugural tenants. My personal and professional values are community, connection and creativity so it’s the perfect place for me to launch the next phase where I can develop my own practice but also rent space to other creative business minds to operate workshops. Paula Timm Artist Studio will be a hub of creativity and collaboration with classes, gallery and retail of unique goods.

You can find Paula on Facebook or follow along with her on Instagram

Meet CreativeMornings Calgary | cSPACE King Edward

Have you heard about CreativeMornings? It’s an international monthly breakfast lecture series specifically for creative communities (hence the title). Founded in Brooklyn in 2008 by Tina Roth-Eisenberg (a Swiss designer based in NYC) to bring together creators, designers, photographers, illustrators, and artists for inspiration, collaboration and learning. Lectures are held monthly on a Friday morning  over breakfast (8:30-10 A.M.) with the goal of hosting a city’s creative community and encouraging meaningful conversation while being inspired by a guest speaker. The topics of the lecture series range from education and urbanism, to bravery and food and true to the spirit of community and collaboration, they’re all filmed and posted online for public access.

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Sounds pretty cool right? But NYC is so far away…if only there was a chapter closer to home. Good news. CreativeMorning are hosted in 108 cities across the world, including here in Calgary. And we’re especially excited because the Calgary chapter of CreativeMornings has a new home for their events at cSPACE King Edward. But wait, that’s not all: CreativeMornings monthly events are free and open to anyone who shares a passion for recognizing and celebrating the best this city has to offer. Just register online to secure your spot and then show up on Friday ready to get creative, inspired and make some new friends.

cmyyc“Calgary is full of amazing talent and it is such a great opportunity that we get to inspire, challenge and motivate one another each and every month.”

Creative Mornings Calgary

To learn more about this month’s theme (Moments), meet the speaker (Lisa Gareau, Candy Event Consulting) and/or register for a spot, visit the CreativeMornings Calgary Chapter online. And visit the cSPACE King Edward Events page so you don’t miss any of the awesome upcoming events! Hope we see you at a CreativeMornings event at cSPACE King Edward soon!


“We tend to measure our lives by days or years, but what we seek in our dreams and cherish in memory are the moments that define us… The challenge of our times is not to chase after moments, but learning to embrace the one we have right now and do well with it.”

Theme 51: MOMENTS

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Meet the Artists: daniel j kirk and Katie Green

daniel j. kirk and Katie Green are two visual artists who work under the banner of Blank Page Studio. The team has numerous public artworks displayed around Calgary, including THE FIELD MANUAL (collaborative mural and installation part of the Riverwalk Public Art Program), the Bowness Public Library mural, and kirk’s most recent mural on 9th avenue in Inglewood. Together they have submitted a proposal titled ‘Imaginarium’ which would transform the Contemporary Main Entrance of cSPACE King Edward into a full-scale, mixed-material installation exploring how the surrounding community of Marda Loop as well as the tenants of cSPACE King Edward relate to creativity.

daniel j kirk (Photo: Kelly Hofer for Timeraiser)

daniel j kirk (Photo: Kelly Hofer for Timeraiser)

daniel j, kirk was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta and has been practicing art professionally since graduating from the University of Calgary in 2006 with his BFA. He is well known in Calgary for his many murals and public art installations and active role in the arts community. His public commissions and private work can be found throughout Canada, the United States, Central America and Turkey. In 2014 daniel co-founded BlankPage Studio, a local creative hub with a mission to encourage dialogue and active participation in the development of Calgary’s cultural sphere.

Katie Green (photo: artist's website)

Katie Green (photo: artist’s website)

Katie Green also earned her BFA with distinction, from the University of Calgary and has exhibited her work at Calgary galleries like Contemporary Calgary and The Nickle and can also be found internationally in Nepal, India, Florida and Sri Lanka.  No stranger to creative collaboration, Katie has often worked in collaboration with a number of collectives, non-profit organizations and communities in addition to her independent works. Her practice addresses nature as a crossroad for developing concepts of growth, death, adaptation, cooperation, and perhaps most importantly, our emotional and physical selves (credit, artists’ website).

We caught up with the creative team for a Q&A about their work, their vision and the best advice they ever got.

 

Q: What mediums do you work with? How would you describe your subject matter? What themes seem to occur/reoccur in your work?

Katie: My work mainly focuses on painting. I use mediums such as water colour, acrylic, and gauche on surfaces including canvas, paper, and walls. My work explores my relationship to the natural world.

Daniel: I work with paint, wood, relationships and installation. The subject matter of my work is dependent upon the context I am working in. Predominantly I am interested in value, symbols and social constructs. These themes tend to generate figurative work, portraits, etc.

… 

Q: What are you currently reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?

Katie: Right now I am reading a book called “The Five Elements” by Dondi Dahlin. I am listening to the album “Yes Lawd” by NxWorries on repeat. A book I reference often is “War on Art” by Steven Pressfield. It’s extremely powerful. 

Daniel: Reading: Yuval Noah Harari’s book Sapiens, Thoreau’s book Walden. Listening: Brian Eno, Godspeed you Black Emperor, Dizzy Gillespy.

 … 

Q: What are your biggest challenges to creating art and how do you deal with them? How do you navigate the art world?

Daniel: Being vulnerable and authentic. Learning to trust my own voice. I navigate the “art world” with a compass made out of a milk carton and a map drawn on the back of my hand.

Katie: I think Daniel answered this perfectly. Trusting my own voice. Remembering to be playful when creating. To not take my work to seriously. To be okay with ‘failing’ and with this, hopefully work towards redefining what failure means to me. I try to constantly push myself into uncomfortable places where I can explore different aspects of myself and how I approach my creative practice.

 

Q: Pretend you’re pitching your cSPACE King Edward public art proposal in an ‘elevator pitch’: How would you describe the concept in just a few sentences?

Daniel: The project is called the Imaginariurm. It is an undefined journey. An exploration of the creative self.

Q: What inspired you to submit a proposal? Where did you draw your conceptual inspiration from?

Daniel: I am very interested in cSPACE as an idea and I have a connection to the development of that idea. I want to contribute to it. The inspiration came from Katie and I having a conversation about how we could best contribute to the idea of cSPACE.

 …

Q: What would you say was biggest achievement or milestone to date? 

Katie: Switching from Kinesiology to the Arts. Essentially trusting my choice to walk this path.

Q: What does having a physical space to make art in mean for your process, and how do you make your space work for you?

Katie: The space has to feel safe for me. I am not really sure how to explain this, but I need to have a feeling of support. This can be from other people around me, by what I put in the space, or simply by the feeling of the space. Does it feel good to create in? Does the energy of the space feel energizing or stale? I suppose if a space feels safe I feel more comfortable entering a vulnerable place, which is often how I feel when I am creating.

Daniel: The space to make anything is vital to the creative process. The psychological space and the physical space. We have proposed a project such that we will make our work in cSPACE for cSPACE. I feel this is the best way to ensure the work is as honest to the site as possible. You do what you can. Small space = small work. Big space = Big work.

Q: What advice has influenced you?

Katie:  Show up for yourself everyday.

Daniel: Remember to breathe.

Q: Do you have Instagram? If so, what’s your handle?

Katie: @katiegreenart

Daniel: @danieljkirk

 

Here’s to the Past, Present and Future: Sealing the cSPACE King Edward Time Capsule

This past summer we set to work gathering memories, mementos, letters and art for inclusion in a time capsule to commemorate King Edward storied 90 years of service as a school and mark the building’s rebirth as cSPACE King Edward – a hub for creativity, arts and innovation.

PAST

We asked the community and school alumni to share their memories to help us capture the spirit of King Edward School. We heard from former students, teachers, and staff; receiving stories, memories, yearbook pages and photos from King Edward’s heyday as one of Calgary’s original sandstone schools.

Hans Klassen, a student at King Edward from grades 1 to 9 (1957-66) shared with us a picture of his Grade 3 class, taken in 1958, and celebrated the achievements of the many talented and accomplished students wandered the halls, including Brian Carlin (NHL hockey player), Brian Olson (Executive VP of NOVA Corp), Vic Rempel (teacher and co-founder of Sun Ice Clothing), Jeff McCaig (Chairman of Trimac Industries), and many, many more great artists, academics, athletes, musicians, actors and individuals.

King Edward Grade 3 Class (1958)

King Edward Grade 3 Class (1958) Photo shared by Hans Klassen (Pictured: First row, second last on the right)

We also heard from Margie Schroeder Haase, a grade one/two teacher at King Edward school (1974-81) shared her memory of the bats that flew around the top floor of the building, sometimes making their way into classrooms to the delight of students and dismay of teachers.

PRESENT

In addition to an array of mementos from the past, we also received a number of contributions from tenants and people involved with the development of cSPACE King Edward. From blueprints to sealed handwritten letters, to a poem from Poet Laureate, Kris Demeanor, and a painting from artist, Cecile Albi, the time capsule is brimming with the hopes, dreams, and mementos of the next generation of King Edward’s alum.

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The King Edward Time Capsule all packed up. ‘Here’s to the future’

FUTURE

For now, the time capsule has been sealed beneath the school’s historic boiler doors, which are inset into the original terrazzo flooring and displayed under glass on the first level of the building. This is where the time capsule will remain until it’s uncovered in 2062 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the building.

Here’s to the next generation of learning, creativity, collaboration, innovation, friendships, achievements and memories!

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Sealing the King Edward Time Capsule on Tuesday, January 10, 2017. See you in 2062!

Meet the Tenants: Cecile Albi

 

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Cecile Albi, Artist

Inspiration. Time to think. Freedom. Love.

For Cecile Albi, these are the fundamentals that make an artist, tick.

Cecile Albi’s passion for the creative process began when she was a young girl growing up in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

“I enjoyed expressing my love of colour and form on paper and canvas. As a natural consequence of my devotion to art, I completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of Manitoba in 1987. I also received a diploma in Advertising Art from the Red River Community College in 1991. Thereafter, I moved to Calgary and embarked on a career in graphic design,” Cecile explains.

While her professional pursuits have flourished, Cecile’s affinity for fine art has never waned. She describes painting is a sentient experience: “When I immerse myself in a canvas I allow all my senses to express themselves. As such, my paintings have a certain whimsical style that seek to captivate the senses of the viewer.”

Cecile’s paintings are acrylic and employ a variety of mediums in order to create a complete visual, emotional, and tactile experience for the viewer.

“Whether I’m exploring impressionism or abstract, large canvases or small, my foremost consideration is the colourful expression of the beauty I perceive in my subjects,” she says.

We tracked Cecile down for a get-to-know Q&A to learn a little bit about the why and how of what she does.

Q: Why do you do what you do?

A: For me, creating art is my voice. It enables me to tell so much more than I am capable of saying in words.

Growing up as the second youngest in a family of five children, I seldom felt like I was heard. It didn’t take me long to discover that my drawings and paintings attracted an audience. One that was willing to stop and spend a few moments to observe what I was portraying. Today, this is my driving force as an artist; to communicate thought through the aesthetic emotion of my art. I hope to display an impactful feeling in each of my paintings through their unique rendering.

Q: What role does the artist have in society?


A:  An artist’s role in society is to inspire thought and provoke emotion.

Q: What role does the creative sector play in Calgary – how does the creative sector nurture the city and play a part in its evolution?

A: The role that the creative sector plays in Calgary is to encourage thought and inspire intuitive thinking. Calgary’s creatives nurture the city by aiding growth through creative ideas.

Q: What will you bring to cSPACE and why do you feel it’s the right t for you?

A: My devotion to art as a piece of the whole creative community. My paintings will hopefully ignite and inspire creative thought and processes for other artists around me. My desire to continually learn, change, share thoughts and promote ideas will aid in this. I hope to bring my friendship and camaraderie to support fellow colleagues. I believe cSPACE King Edward is the right fit for me as it is an artist-hub where groups of artists come together to learn, produce, exhibit and teach. I foresee there being a sense of community amongst the tenants and an ability to inspire the city communities around. The opportunity to be with other like-minded people who are open to learn and share with each other is critical in my development as an artist. My private studio space enables me to have the solitude to think and the time to create.

Meet the Artists: DDM Connective

AbridgedDDM Connective is a
 new collaboration between three talented, experienced Calgary-based artists: Melissa McKinnon, Dave MacLeod and Dawn VandeSchoot. This union of accomplished artists brings together skills in fine arts, social practice, design, community engagement, and public art project management.
DDM Connective seeks to create contemporary, site-specific public art experiences that utilize collaborative and socially engaged experiences between artists and communities as inspiration and integration into the design of the final artwork. DDM creates work that explores a community’s connection to a site through experimental material representations of imagery into public art experiences,both permanent and temporary in nature, that create a lasting sense of place and connection to the artwork.

DDM Connective’s proposal for the Art Park public art installation is called Abridged and is a large-scale permanent artwork that represents the history of the site and the building through a tree form with etchings upon its rings. The rings are conceptually inverted, coming together into a Poplar tree shape that provides a memory of the past while proudly marking the site for its future. Made from marine grade plywood and stainless steel, this is a durable exterior artwork that will add dimension and interest to the gathering space created throughout the west side of the site.

We caught up with DDM Connective with a few questions to help us get to know the trio a bit better.

Q: Besides your art practice, are you involved in any other kind of work?

A: All three DDM artists have independent art careers.  Melissa is busy with commissions from all over the world, Dave works independently through Red Chair Creative and has installations ongoing, and Dawn is an arts consultant, performer and writer.

Q:What mediums do you work with? How would you describe your subject matter? What themes seem to occur/reoccur in your work?

A: We are very versatile in the materials we can work with, but the thing that grounds our practice is the community interaction that affects the work.  In a Community-based practice, we begin by assessing what we want to say, and then look at the best medium for how we want to say it.  Together we are interested in work that addresses need and affects lasting social change, no mater which medium we work within.

Q: What are you currently reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?

A: Well, Melissa just got back from a residency in Italy, so mostly we’re all just reading her Facebook posts!  Because we all come from such varied and disparate practices, each time we meet and share our own findings and thoughts, we tend to inspire each other!

Q: What are your biggest challenges to creating art and how do you deal with them? How do you navigate the art world?

A: Our biggest challenge right now is that we are new.  Despite our backgrounds as individuals, bidding for large public art contract with no body of work as a collective makes it hard to get started.  We are beginning at the beginning, making work on the cheap so we can start to build a portfolio and grow from there!

Q: What would you say was biggest achievement or milestone to date?

A: Getting short listed for the cSpace project!  It’s been a great learning experience and motivator on this new path together.

Q: Pretend you’re pitching your cSPACE King Edward public art proposal in an ‘elevator pitch’: How would you describe the concept in just a few sentences?

A: We were inspired by all of the stories that have come forward from the community members who have been a part of the journey of the King Edward school.  Thinking of the field of poplar trees that was removed at the site in order to build, we wanted to reflect those stories on the rings of the tree that have witnessed its history.  So, we inverted a tree so that the rings become it’s structure and, through community engaged workshops, would write a new story from the abridged stories of the past 105 years of the building’s existence and etch it on the tree rings.  Hence the title, “Abridged.”

Q: What inspired you to submit a proposal? Where did you draw your conceptual inspiration from?  

A: The cSpace initiative is so important to the arts community in Calgary, and it’s such a community imbedded space.  We were excited at the possibility of being a part of it in some way.  Our concept was created to be reflective of that community while providing a large-scale artwork to mark the site for the future.

Q: What does having a physical space to make art in mean for your process, and how do you make your space work for you?

A: Public art is site specific.  An artwork that is well designed can only exist in that one place and time or it loses its meaning.  Each space is unique and its what creates the inspiration for each project.  Space is everything to what we do.

Q: What advice has influenced you?

A: “You don’t know if you don’t ask.”  We never would have gotten together as a collective if we hadn’t said to each other, “Hey, do you want to do this with me?”

Q: What do you think cSPACE King Edward will mean for the Calgary community?

A: The arts community is so often divided, it is so exciting to see so many of our prolific arts agencies coming together in one place where they will share knowledge, space and community.   We think it will create a bond and new an inspired projects will result.  Besides that, it’s an amazing and inspired space with a great history, what a great coup for Calgary!

 

 

Meet the Tenants: Metrographics


Metrographics
is a small but mighty design and advertising studio, where graphic design and fine art each hold an integral role and “have something to say”. Founded in 1981 by Doug Driediger and John Twaddle, Metrographics is a vibrant combo of artistic vision and communications savvy.

doug-driediger

Doug Driediger

We checked in with Doug as they prepare to move the Metrographics operation to cSPACE in early 2017!

Q:What is your and your businesses partner’s background in a nut shell?

A: Mine is some schooling at ACAD, with additional juried memberships into the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, and the Graphic Designer of Canada. John’s background is business from the University of Calgary, Communications from Mount Royal University, and further training in marketing and social media.

John Twaddle

John Twaddle

Q: Why do you do what you do?

A: Metro is known for fine-art problem solving. Our clients range from Parks Canada to Alberta Health Services to not-for-profits and a local distillery. They all appreciate our thoughtful, experienced, highly engaged approach. This means client-specific, refined solutions that often involve custom illustration and/or structural elements. Additionally, I maintain a personal art practice that often informs our commercial work – paintings are usually acrylics, and lately I have explored an interest in birds, specifically magpies, and often incorporate gold leaf.

Q: What’s integral to the work of an artist?

A: I’d say a belief in the value of the process. Not every day can be the ‘best’, but the commitment to keep thinking and working — respecting the process — is integral to a successful body of work. Steady production, and the value of reflection over a period of time, has refined my body of work into something I’m proud of.

Q: How does Calgary nature and support your work? And at the same time, are there obstacles to overcome working in Calgary, what are they?

A: I think Calgary’s entrepreneurial climate has always fostered a dynamic culture of ‘can-do-ness’ and candour: engaging with the business and the arts communities through honest, passionate dialogue has been supported and rewarded.

Q: What role does the artist have in society?

A: The artist has a hugely important role in society, even if society doesn’t always understand or recognize it. My firm has had many opportunities to contribute to local culture through public art making — when successful, this is community-building at its best — people engaging aesthetic statements that support, or challenge, or expand, their world view, promoting dialogue. Dialogue connects us, and makes society stronger.

Q: What role does the creative sector play in Calgary – how does the creative sector nurture the city and play a part in its evolution?

A: Metro has a distinctive reputation for excellence in Calgary, completing literally thousands of projects for hundreds of clients. My extensive career in public art has similarly had a wide-reaching and transformative impact, delivering art to new audiences and turning cities into galleries.  In both these paralleling careers I am committed to fostering vibrant, creative and connected communities.

Q: What will you bring to cSPACE and why do you feel it’s the right fit for you?

A: Metrographics represents the successful cross-fertilization of the traditional painter in studio with the ‘outside’ world of visual communications. Straddling both the commercial art and fine art camps, Metro provides answers to questions of sustainability of profession, as well as solutions for how to move artistic ideas forward into the public realm. This kind of expertise is shareable, and enlarged through the sharing. As the founder and Creative Director of Metro I look forward to the creative platform that cSPACE offers, that is providing an artistic hub where I can grow both my personal and professional careers while engaging with a high-impact community of like-minded creatives.

 

Meet the Artist: Brenda Malkinson

Photo courtesy of Alberta Craft Council

Brenda Malkinson (Photo courtesy of Alberta Craft Council)

Brenda Malkinson is an Edmonton-based contemporary glass and wood block print artist and educator. She graduated from the Alberta College of Art + Design with distinction and has exhibited her work in Canada, the U.S., South Korea, Japan, and France. Malkinson’s work is in various public and private collections including: The Massey Foundation, The Alberta Foundation for the Arts, The University of Alberta; Mazankowski Heart Institute, The Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation and the Cross Cancer Institute.

Brenda describes her proposal for the Contemporary Main Entrance as an installation that will flood the entrance and stairwell with colour, encompassing three major glass spheres comprised of numerous interlocking and converging circles. She titled the work Convergence, with the intent to bring energy and presence to the entry space and signify the connections and diversity of all the people who share common interests and engage in a collective center.

We caught up with Brenda to learn what inspires her, what themes and subject matters reoccur in her work and why she feels connected to cSPACE King Edward.

Q: Besides your art practice, are you involved in any other kind of work?

A: I volunteer with youth in the community through artist in the classroom opportunities and youth groups and I am a mentor for emerging artists. I am enthusiastic about creating community events and arts education opportunities for all ages that relate to art and creativity.

I’m also on the board of directors of The Society of Northern Alberta Print Artists and The Alberta Craft Council.

Q: What mediums do you work with? How would you describe your subject matter? What themes seem to occur/reoccur in your work?

A: I primarily work with glass and I am a woodblock print artist. I have a daily drawing practice where I work out ideas and document the world around me.

I would describe my subject matter as a celebration of colour and light; the effect it has on a space and our interaction with it.

The themes that occupy my work are inspired and derived from nature.  My process involves drawing collected objects from nature and refining those objects into beautiful shapes, textures and colour.

“Brenda Malkinson’s colour woodblock prints and drawings are concerned with the incarnation of fragmentation. A text or object upon which time and fate has changed reveals itself in the form of a fragment. Bits and pieces resembling remnants of aged cloth, manuscripts, weathered leaves and petals, insect trails, colour and shadows. Brenda is curious about her impulse to gather such relics; but there is a deeper inclination, a mystifying urge to explore how fragments can manifest into other matter, evidence, beliefs and circumstances.” -Artists Statement (Woodblock Prints)

Q: What are you currently reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?

A: Colour is the main stimulus that fuels my work.  I have made it my life’s work to study and research the origins, history, culture and elements of colour.   The books Colour, Travels Through the Paint Box, by Victoria Finlay and Bright Earth, Art and the Invention of Colour by Phillip Ball are constant companions in my studio and have inspired me to travel in search of colour and the artists who make it and use it. I have recently returned from a trip where I studied Indigo dye with a master craftsman whose family has been growing and making indigo for over a thousand years.

Q: What inspired you to submit a proposal? Where did you draw your conceptual inspiration from? 

A: I was inspired to submit a proposal for a number of reasons. I was born and educated in Calgary and graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design.  And King Edward School was my parents Alma Mater. They met there and married soon after my Dad returned from World War II.

Also, I reflected on the multiple and diverse groups of creatives that will cohabit and collaborate within and around cSPACE. The significance of connection reverberated in my mind, connections that link the city, the visionaries, the funders, the builders, the designers, the artists and the community that has joined forces to build the vision of a 21st Century Arts Hub and Incubator.

My inspiration came from the concept of connection by embracing the idea of a vibrant group of people working together to celebrate the arts.  A definition from the Merriam-Webster dictionary states that connection is “the act of connecting two of more things that have the same cause, origin and/or goal.”

This led to the idea of using the universal, friendly and familiar form of the circle to symbolize interlocking disciplines, groups and ideas.  The Oxford dictionary definition includes that the circle is “a group of people with shared professions, interests, or acquaintances.”

The circle is the most common and universal sign, found in all cultures. It encompasses an aesthetic sensibility for all.  It is a beautiful shape that evokes delight, play, movement and the celebration of culture, spirit and place.

Q: What do you think cSPACE King Edward will mean for the Calgary community?

A: I believe that cSPACE King Edward will enrich the Calgary community by bringing together diverse range of individuals and groups that will contribute in a multitude of ways especially by creating communities within communities that work together with one another in creative and dynamic ways.   These kinds of interactions will result in a collective voice and represent the vibrant arts community to the city for the benefit of all.

cSPACE King Edward will become a destination of choice for the residents of Calgary and visitors to the city.  It is a model for future initiatives of this kind in other cites.

Follow Brenda (Malkinson_Art) on Instagram

Meet the Tenants: Anneke Forbes, Fashion Designer

Anneke Forbes is a Calgary based designer who creates made to measure and ready to wear outwear staples for women.  The use of classic, thoughtful design, bespoke tailoring techniques, and luxurious natural fabrics translates to jackets that last a lifetime. Forbes personally designs, cuts and sews all of her designs at her Calgary studio which will soon be relocated to cSPACE King Edward. A talented designer deeply committed to minimal consumption, responsible production and quality over quality, Anneke’s classic, thoughtful design, bespoke tailoring techniques, and luxurious natural fabrics translate to the creation of jackets that last a lifetime.

“By creating beautiful outerwear in this way I hope to connect style with consciousness and contribute to a shift away from current industry standards.”

– Anneke Forbes

We caught up with Anneke for a Q&A to get to know her, what people can expect from her studio at cSPACE and the values and inspirations that drive her creative enterprise.

Q: Why do you do what you do? 

A: I aim to create jackets and coats that allow women to turn against conspicuous expenditure because the garments they do own allow them to dress with ease and look their best.

Q: How does Calgary nurture and support your work? And at the same time, are there obstacles to overcome working in Calgary, what are they? 

A: I find the smaller size of Calgary’s fashion community to be of benefit to me and my business. It is more difficult to source fabrics, and the talent pool for hiring is smaller, but in terms of support and publicity Calgary is amazing! Organizations such as PARK have made it their mission to offer a platform for new designers to gain exposure, and local magazines such as Avenue are quick to stand behind this city’s designers. I can travel or order materials over the phone, but support like what I receive here is unparalleled and hard to replicate from afar.

Q: What will you bring to cSPACE and why do you feel it’s the right fit for you? 

A: cSPACE King Edward’s ability to marry historic beauty with an environmentally sensitive mandate immediately inspired me. The organization understands what a creative community needs to flourish. My open-door studio will offer the public an intriguing and rare opportunity to witness the craft of quality garment manufacturing and understand exactly who made their clothes.

Q: How do you combine your business/entrepreneurial savvy with that of your artistic and creative approach?

A: The business and creative aspects of my work are inextricable. The concepts generally come from an understanding of popular shapes and themes, which inherently lend themselves to salability. My design aesthetic is classic and feminine, two themes that are commercially viable.

Fortunately, I don’t often feel I have to rein my ideas in to appeal to my target audience, as some more avant-garde designer may.

Q: Why is fashion important to culture, community, and the human experience?

A: Fashion allows people to express themselves and what they stand for. Like-minded individuals can easily identify each other based on how they present themselves through fashion, beauty, and style. As a result, a community is created. A great example of this is the British Punk scene of the 1960s; a movement visually defined by designer Vivienne Westwood.

Industry Leading Arts Incubators Around the World

The concept for cSPACE King Edward — a community arts hub focused on the integration of entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity — may seem novel, or uncharted. And, in some ways, here in Calgary it is. In the past Calgary has been a challenging place for for emerging artists and early-stage entrepreneurs and innovators seeking affordable, high-quality space and community. When cSPACE King Edward opens in 2017, not only will the walls, halls and spaces  become canvases for artists and tenants to inhabit and shape visually, but the historic school will also become home to theatre troops and productions, school programs, and entrepreneurs of all kinds, working together to bridge the gap between arts, creative industry, technology, and business innovation. It will also serve to connect creators and community members, welcoming Calgarians and visitors to the city to drop in and experience the city’s arts incubator.

With tenants and artists beginning to move in in January 2017, we’re looking forward to seeing how the cSPACE King Edward creative community will build and shape the culture of the project and it’s presence in the Calgary community in the years to come.

As we get ready to open the doors to this bold new social enterprise in 2017, we look to similar creativity and innovation hubs around the globe and celebrate them for their unique traits and mission to support and encourage vibrant community building and place-making in their own cities.

Here are a few of our favourites from across the planet!

Artscape Youngplace (Toronto)

Much like King Edward, Youngplace is a converted vintage school which opened in 2013. Located in the West Queen West neighbourhood, Artscape Youngplace nurtures creation, learning and collaboration through innovative programs, experiences and events.

Artscape Wychwood Barns (Toronto) 

A precursor to Youngplace, Wychwood Barns is also operated by Artscape, having opened in 2008. Housed in renovated streetcar repair barns, this creative space has room for 26 artists to live and work, and various not-for-profit organizations to operate, as well as a 7,680 square-foot event venue.

AS220 (Rhode Island)

Built on a commitment to providing an uncensored forum for the arts, this artist-run organization is untamed and true. According to AS220’s website, their vision for a local “unjuried” forum for the arts was “launched in a one-room rental above the Providence Performing Arts Center in 1985 with a budget of just $800. Today, the non-profit owns – and enlivens – three mixed-use buildings, totalling over 100,000 square feet, in the heart of Providence’s downtown and represents a $25 million investment in downtown Providence.”Facilities include everything from rotating galleries to black-box theatres, print shops, media arts labs, youth programming (for youth under state care and in the juvenile detention system) live and work spaces for artists as well as a bar and restaurant. The space is open to any artist who needs exhibit and performance space.

the steel yard

The Steel Yard (Rhode Island)

This award-winning industrial arts centre is a manufacturer of custom and functional public art, a craft school and shared studio. Programming includes everything from arts education programming to workforce training programs to serve the under-employed. Artist residencies and events are also part of the social enterprise.

custard factory

The Custard Factory (Birmingham)

It’s one of, if not ‘the’, first art and innovation community hubs. The Custard Factory launched in 1993, it’s built on 15 acres of renovated riverside in the Bird’s Custard building in the heart of Birmingham. The Custard Factory boasts a collection of over 500 businesses, including digital and independent retailers. With its sister project, Fazeley Studios, they form Birmingham’s creative and digital district.

The Cable Factory (Helsinki)

The Cable Factory encompasses five hectares of culture! Covering a total area of 56,000 square metres, the Cable Factory is the biggest and most diverse cultural centre in Finland. The Cable It used to produce industrial cable, now Finland’s largest cultural centre is responsible for providing cultural ties. The Cable Factory is home to 3 museums, 12 galleries, dance theatres, art schools and a host of artists, bands and companies active in the creative industries, six different event spaces and 3 meeting rooms for rent on a short-term basis. The space is used for fairs, festivals, concerts and exhibitions all year round.

Abbotsford Convent (Australia)

This beautiful grouping of 11 historic buildings and gardens is in Australian’s former Convent of the Good Shepherd, an ex-monastic site that is now the Abbotsford Convent. The Convent houses more than 100 studios, several galleries, cafes, a radio station and even a school! Arts projects, rehearsals, workshops, exhibitions, markets and festivals are always on the go.

Meet the Tenants: The Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society

The Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society (AWCS) was incorporated in 1981 as a non-profit organization and registered charity, and has been offering creative writing programs for all writers in the Calgary area with a mission is to enhance the creative writing experience through learning, community and support. The organization has many award-winning and published Canadian authors and continues to have new and emerging writers of all genres join their membership of over 350.

Together with AWCS’s creative writing classes and workshops, programs and events are designed to enhance the core offerings and bring writers and the community together. Programs include Student readings, monthly Open Mics, an annual Writer in Residence program, and community events that bring prominent Canadian writers for special speaking presentations and workshops.

We spoke with AWCS Program Director, Robin van Eck:

Q: What makes AWCS different from other writingbased organizations in Calgary? What are your influences and inspirations, local or afar?

A: Like other local writing organizations in the area, we foster a community of writers who can come together and share and learn, get feedback and support on their work. Where we differ is in our focus on ALL writers. We offer courses and workshops and other programs for the brand new writer who may have had an inkling of an idea to write at one point in their life but never did anything with it and now wants to give it a try and we offer programs for those who may be a little more seasoned and want to improve on their craft to create the best possible version of a story or poem or creative nonfiction piece. While many of the other writing organizations out there might be focused on one genre or style of writing, we are multi-genre focused. We offer courses and programs on poetry, creative nonfiction: articles, personal essay, travel writing, nature writing, memoir, fiction: contemporary, science fiction, romance, mystery, urban fantasy, noir etc.

We are also focused on writing as an art form, as a means for catharsis, to inspire and foster creativity in an individual. Courses such as journaling, working through Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, women’s issues, truth and reconciliation, engaging with our senses and the landscape around us, all help to nurture the artist inside and connect with our world in a new way.

And of course we can’t forget out about our youth program. Reality is Optional Creative Kids Program is more than just writing. It’s a great group of kids who are writers and artists. We have a cartooning club and poetry slams. Lots of great fun for everyone.

Q: Who are some of the writers that have been nurtured by AWCS, and where might our readers be able to read and find their work?

  • Betty Jane Hegerat has published numerous books, her most recent young adult book, Odd One Out, can be purchased at Owl’s Nest Books and other independent book sellers.
  • Sarah L. Johnson recently published a collection of short stories called Suicide Stitch. It can be purchased from Owl’s Nest Books and online at Amazon. Her first speculative fiction novel, Infractus, will also be coming out later this year.
  • Rea Tarvydas’ first short story collection, How to Pick Up a Maid in Statue Square will be coming out this fall.
  • Karen Lee wrote a memoir, The Full Catastrophe, also available at Owl’s Nest Books.
  • Inge Trueman’s novel, A Rootbeer Season, is available at Owl’s Nest Books.

Besides book deals, many of our members have had short stories and poems and essays published in literary magazines across North America and have been finalists for contests and awards across the country.

Q: Why is theFree Fall method of writing AWCS method of choice, and how can this help writers?

A: The free fall method of writing was first designed by WO Mitchell. Our founder, Michael Fay, had the opportunity to work with Mitchell back in the late 1970’s and adopted and adapted his method and made it the basis for all writing for the AWCS. Because of that, it’s always been a part of us, but also something we firmly believe in.

The hardest part for a writer is shutting off that inner critic and just allowing words to flow onto the page in whatever way they want to. We’re so worried about it sounding bad or that our ideas are going to be judged that for many it can stall the writing process. Free Fall writing allows the writer to just let the ideas flow. It’s a great way to get around writer’s block, it’s a great way to discover new ideas, it’s a great way to get over a hurdle when you’re in the midst of story and don’t know where to go. It’s freeing, it’s liberating, it’s creative.

Q: What are your plans for cSPACE King Edward (future programming, how you plan to interact with other tenants etc.)?  How do you imagine that being in this space will affect your membership, organizational sustainability and future.

A: We have been in discussions with Calgary Association of Lifelong Learners and Alliance Francais (fellow cSpace King Edward tenants) to see how we can work together. Writing and other forms of art go together very well, and it’s our hope that we can collaborate with various groups and create some dynamic collaborative art.

We believe this new space will be a place that our writers will want to come to, whether it’s to take part in a course or workshop or drop in program or just hang out with friends and talk about writing and share ideas. I think we will fill more classes and be able to continually develop the programming that our writers want.

Q: For those who have never had the pleasure of attending a workshop at AWCS, could you please describe to aspiring writers what they might expect?

Our classes are small. No more than 10-12 participants. This allows a better way of learning and sharing and connecting. Our instructors are supportive and encouraging and no one will ever be judged for what they write. The classes are typically a lot of writing exercises to energize and motivate, as well as group discussion and some lecture. It’s a very interactive experience and can be very rewarding.

Writers are very solitary people by nature, but what we have learned over the last 35 years and what we try to share with people is that it can’t be done alone. There comes a point where you can no longer see the story for what it is because you’re so close to it. That support you get from other writers is invaluable and necessary to continue to develop your craft.

Writers also struggle with a lot of self-doubt. When you get together with other writers you realize you’re not alone and there are people who can help you because they are going through the same thing.

Q: Do you have any advice to aspiring writers in town?

A: All I can say is come check us out. There’s something for everyone!

Our fall courses are online now.

Want to try free fall writing? Drop in to our current location, every Friday from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. It’s lots of fun and a great group of people.

 

 

Meet the Artist: Alexandra Haeseker

shaesekeryearbook

Here she is pictured in the 1959-1960 King Edward School Yearbook

Alexandra (“Sandy”) Haeseker is an internationally exhibited visual contemporary artist with deep ties to the King Edward School, having been a student there after moving to Canada from the Netherlands with her family in 1955.

By the time Haeseker became a Canadian citizen in 1979, she had already established herself as a successful artist and joined the Permanent Faculty of Alberta College of Art and Design where she taught Post-Secondary Art for 30 years. Calgarian’s may recognize Haeseker’s brightly colored West Ride Story mural at the Calgary International Airport, which she counts as one her most meaningful artistic milestones.

 

alexandrahaesekerWorking largely in print media with traditional methods and advanced imaging technologies, Haeseker’s subject matter reflects her interests in “aspects of science” and “the collective & swarm theory” exploring how creatures from nature like swarms of bees, insects, schools of fish, crowds and line-ups of people operate under systems that are instinctual. Her subject matter also includes “autobiographical histories & story-telling” such as her 2005 political and autobiographical works called Breda I and Breda II, which incorporated personal history items and artifacts from the Second World War.

Haeseker’s proposal for the Grand Historic Entranceway is called HIVE and if chosen as one of the 3 public art pieces at cSPACE King Edward would see the historical foyer transformed by a combination of chalk-on-blackboard notes, giant sketches, and equations, meet bright, vibrant, and colourful “diagram studies of bee anatomy, lessons in flight, the bounty of flowers and a cacophony of motion with the activity of bees to animate and excite the space into an experience transition of scale that one moves through.” (Source: Artists proposal) 

We caught up with Haeseker to see what’s on her reading list, how she navigates the challenges of the art world and what she thinks cSPACE King Edward will mean for the Calgary community.

Q: Pretend you’re pitching your cSPACE King Edward public art proposal in an ‘elevator pitch’: How would you describe the concept in just a few sentences?

A: Memory Wonder Listening Looking Joy Thought Finding Seeking Child Adult (repeat)

Q: What do you think cSPACE King Edward will mean for the Calgary community?

A: It will bring the past to the present with an eye on what the future can bring.

Q: What advice has influenced you?

A: Keep thinking Out Loud

 …

Q: What are you currently reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?

A: I am reading Connie Barlow’s “From Gaia to Selfish Genes: Selected Writings in Life Sciences” / and: “When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals” by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson / Susan McCarthy.  These hold insights into the other species that we share environments with and allow me to be highly informed on my subject matter.

Q: What are your biggest challenges to creating art and how do you deal with them? How do you navigate the art world?

A: Balancing time is my biggest challenge, with museum projects coming next in Poland, Scotland, Greece, Serbia… but this is the infrastructure I operate in, and it feeds me.  I navigate the art world geographically.

 

 

 

 

Meet the Artist: Derek Besant

Derek Michael Besant

Derek Michael Besant

Derek Besant is an award winning Calgary-based and internationally shown Canadian artist. He has a rich local history and deep ties to the Calgary community, earning his BFA Honours from the University of Calgary, working as an Exhibitions Designer at The Glenbow Museum and has been teaching in the Drawing / Fine Arts Department at Alberta College of Art and Design for the past thirty years.

His public art can be seen all over Canada but Calgarians will best recognize his extensive public works including HOMAGE at Mount Royal University (iconic six-metre tall balancing-chairs), and the temporary installation of I AM THE RIVER depicting 50 Calgarians submerged into the waters of the Bow.

We shared a few details of Derek’s ‘Looking + Seeing’ proposal for the Contemporary Main Entrance over on the blog last week but we wanted to pick his brain so we asked him a few questions to get to know him better:

Q: What mediums do you work with? How would you describe your subject matter? What themes seem to occur/reoccur in your work?

A: I work with ink, charcoal, photography, metals, glass.

Themes follow Sleep / Migration / Drowning / Touch / Facial Expression / Hidden Narratives / Motion & Stillness…

Working in Advanced Technologies I often incorporate sound into my exhibitions or art installations.  Text fragments.  Collaborations.

My work sometimes feels like Alchemy.  I go where the work takes me…

Q: What are you currently reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?

A:  “Falling Awake” by Alice Oswald / “Aftermath” by Jörn Vanhöfen / “Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer” by Arthur Lubow

The bridge between poetry, architecture, documentary inform my approaches to all of my work.

Q: What are your biggest challenges to creating art and how do you deal with them? How do you navigate the art world?

A: Be Careful What You Wish For. I set out to develop a network between international curators, writers, composers, fimmakers, other artists, museums, architects, city planners, muses, collectors… and that matrix now keeps me very busy professionally. It is difficult not to get excited working with these people.

Q: What would you say was biggest achievement or milestone to date?

A: Major exhibitions in London UK 1987 / Toronto 2000 / Vienna 2010 / Paris 2012 all have their moments, but doing the video on Christo & Jeanne-Claude’s Surrounded Islands Project for Miami in 1983 and having it featured at the 1985 Tokyo Video Festival, well… that’s hard to beat!

Q: What inspired you to submit a proposal? Where did you draw your conceptual inspiration from? 

A: I was attracted by the site, and picked the more difficult areas to transform into an “experience for viewers” My subject is the people who live and work in the demographic area. So I reflect them back to themselves in a way that they might never have seen themselves before.

Meet the Artists: Caitlind R.C. Brown, Wayne Garrett, and Lane Shordee

Caitlind R.C. Brown, Wayne Garrett and Lane Shordee are the talented trio behind, not one, but two of the finalist proposals for the public art sites at cSPACE King Edward: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow for the Grand Historic Entranceway and After Image for the Art Park.

Caitlind R.C. Brown and Wayne Garrett (Source: Artists' website)

Caitlind R.C. Brown and Wayne Garrett (Source: Artists’ website)

Individually, Caitlind R.C. Brown & Wayne Garrett are talented and renowned Calgary-based artists. Together they’re a dynamic art duo working with diverse mediums and materials, ranging from artificial light to re-appropriated architectural debris (credit, artists website). Caitlind and Wayne’s previous works have appeared internationally at festivals, galleries, and museums but locally they’re probably best known for their temporary Calgary works including SOLAR FLARE (2013, Calgary Downtown Association), and CLOUD (Nuit Blanche 2012) which was shortlisted for an Innovation by Design Award in 2013 by Fast Company (NYC). When working independently, Wayne is a machinist, musician, and composer; Caitlind is a co-founder and co-curator of WRECK CITY curatorial collective.

 

lane

Lane Shordee (Credit: Artist’s website)

Lane Shordee is a scavenger artist based in Calgary, Alberta. Drawing from construction waste and items found by happenstance, he builds elegant sculptures and installations that both challenge and indulge our relationships with the things we throw away.  Lane mines the immediate surplus of materials available, and, informed by his environment, reframes it into cohesive structures, allowing its presumed worth to be re-evaluated (credit, artists website). Some of Lane’s most notable works include THE GREENHOUSE (Kensington, Calgary – Wreck City: An Epilogue for 809) and WATERWAYS (Wreck City: Phantom Wing).

We wanted to get to know the talented trio a little better so we caught up with them for a Q&A about their work, their inspirations and what they think cSPACE King Edward will mean for the Calgary community. Read on.

 

Q: When people ask you what you “do”, how do you answer?

CAITLIND: I’m an artist, but that means that what I’m “doing” is constantly changing. Sometimes I’m a sculptor. Sometimes I’m a curator, or a photographer, or a designer, or an idealist, or a writer, or a volunteer, or a publicist, or just very, very tired. But being an artist is the simplest description for a much more complicated career path, cobbled together from a variety of “doings” that evolve in relation to the context that’s unfolding.

Q: Besides your art practice, are you involved in any other kind of work?

WAYNE: Beyond my art practice I am also an active musician in the Calgary music scene. I feel like musical improvisation really helps with the creative thought process. The act of constantly looking for different ways of navigating a series of chord changes, or expressing a musical emotion, is a catalyst for creative thought outside of music, encouraging alternative directions and possibilities.

Q: What mediums do you work with? How would you describe your subject matter? What themes seem to occur/reoccur in your work?

LANE: Since the context of my work is always shifting, the materials must shift with it. In that case, I would not say that I do not have any specific material that I would gravitate to. However, I would say that found and reclaimed byproducts of urban culture are attractive because they are not so reliant on economic position. That means that my artistic practice is not reliant on my income. This leads me to the next question, about the subject matter of my work. I would say that although I am continually working with shape and form, the subject matter often leans toward ideas of sustainability and what that means as a culture, but also what it means to be a sustainable artist.

Q: What are you currently reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?

CAITLIND: Podcasts were invented for people like us, who spend lots of time at home thinking, making, and editing. Right now, I’ve been listening to all the post-election coverage on This American Life, Radiolab, The Moth, and Freakonomics. I’m slowly reading through To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, and an equally poetic novel called Acquainted with the Night by Christopher Dewdney. I’m very much looking forward to watching as many documentaries as possible at this weekend’s CUFF.Docs – always a fiery festival, always evocative and motivating.

Q: What are your biggest challenges to creating art and how do you deal with them? How do you navigate the art world?

WAYNE: Perhaps because I tend to focus more on the pragmatic and mechanical challenges, I would say the hardest challenge is landing on a solid concept for a given space. It’s such an important step because it really is the essence of the project. Once the concept is set, the other problems are more straight ahead, and there are typically answers out there for them. This is especially true in situations where there is little to no context or criteria for a given opportunity. ‘Make anything’ can be the most crippling challenge for the mind. There’s this unspoken self-imposed pressure that without criteria or limitations the work has the infinite potential. That is terrifying at times. On the other hand, when given a more strict set of guidelines or criteria, there is so much more to respond to and push against, something you can cleverly work around.

Q: What would you say was biggest achievement or milestone to date?

LANE: As for milestones, I feel like each project I do is a milestone from the next, so with that logic my most recent project would be my biggest achievement. This is not the case since each project has its own particular achievement. I would say that getting to work as a full-time artist for the last 5 years and getting to collaborate with so many amazing artists over the years would be my greatest achievement to date.

Q: Pretend you’re pitching your cSPACE King Edward public art proposal in an ‘elevator pitch’: How would you describe the concept in just a few sentences?

CAITLIND: We, over-optimistically perhaps, applied to two separate sites for cSPACE King Edward’s Public Art Call, both on the historic side of the building. Our first proposal is for a piece called Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, designed for the Historic Grand Entrance of the school. Taking the form of 105 suspended hourglasses, the piece is a delicate, kinetic installation illustrating the movement of time – both literally, and relationally. The sand inside the hourglasses will be ground from discarded sandstone, harvested from the building itself.

Our second proposal is called After Image and is intended for Site 3 (outside the historic front entrance). The sculpture draws from wireframes, blueprints, and ideas of “ghost architecture” to create a simplified replication of the King Edward School’s grand entrance archway, further down the lawn. We think of it as a moment, frozen in time – built to linger in perpetuity as the building itself grows and changes. It itself will change too – over the years, vines and creepers will grow up the sculpture, slowly sheathing it.

Q: What inspired you to submit a proposal? Where did you draw your conceptual inspiration from?

WAYNE: We were drawn to this opportunity for a number of reasons. cSPACE has been an exciting project to follow and as artists in Calgary, it’s a relevant step for the city. All of us participated in Phantom Wing in varying capacities, so the familiarity with the building as well as the approach towards the arts community was enticing. Our proposal draws from the relationship between the beautiful historical sandstone building and its new direction and modern glass addition. The passage of time, as well as the transformation of materials, is evident in this space. The sandstone itself can be broken down into the sand, and even melted into glass.

Q: What does having a physical space to make art in mean for your process, and how do you make your space work for you?

LANE: Physical spaces, whether they are blank and neutral like a gallery or oozing historical significance like the King Edward school, provide a tangible starting point to work from. The physical starting point becomes a conversation between how I might interpret the space, and what exists in front of me that I can’t escape and therefore must contend with. This requires a certain amount of work that might come in the form of research but can often come from spending time in the space, getting to know it on a personal level. Rather than have a place to show my thoughts, I prefer to work with how my thoughts might respond to an already rich complex environment.

Q: What advice has influenced you?

CAITLIND: “Always carry a camera and a sketchbook.” – Dave Casey, 1st Year Sculpture Instructor, ACAD

“Don’t overwork it. Know when you’re done.” – Grama

“Sometimes you have to sneak the meaning in through the back door.” – Eric Moschopedis, Artist

“Public art must be strong enough to speak for itself because you’re seldom there to speak for it.” – Heather Morison, Artist

Q: What do you think cSPACE King Edward will mean for the Calgary community?

WAYNE: I think it will be a great incubator space for arts and culture in Calgary. The design of the spaces and facilities is very considered and will provide a great opportunity for connections between a diverse group of communities. Having arts organizations in the same space as artist studios and performance groups is a really exciting situation. The variety of tenants combined with the common spaces, exhibition spaces, and performance venues makes this a unique and progressive step for Calgary. Hopefully, it can inspire more cross-pollination between communities and even serve as a model for future projects.

Q: Do you have Instagram? If so, what’s your handle?

LANE: I will preface this answer by saying that I do not work on the internet. I did, however, grow up during the computer age and saw it grow from a novel invention into a virtual reality used to express and create. But while the people around me immersed themselves into that world, I wanted to know what my physical self could achieve and fail at. My artistic practice, at this moment, relies much on the physical world, with all its foibles and struggles. To finally answer your question, I do have an Instagram account that I set up a couple months ago so that I could start building an alphabet from A to Z, and when finished I will have my own font that I can use. It was a way of transforming a social device into an artwork that grows. Follow Lane on Instagram at @laneshordee.

You can also learn more about Lane and his work on his website and keep up with Caitlind R.C. Brown and Wayne Garrett on their website.

Meet the Artists: Joe Kelly and Jeff de Boer

 

joekelly

Joe Kelly (Source, Artists’d LinkedIn)

Joe Kelly is a Newfoundland-born and Calgary-based  filmmaker and media artist with a large body of media art, encompassing film, video, installation and performance. He’s exhibited installations and films in galleries and at festivals all over the world and guest lecturing at post secondary schools across North America. Studying film and video at the Quickdraw Animation Society and the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers. Joe works primarily with film and video, and has completed and screened many films on super 8, 16 and 35mm formats.

Highly active in the Calgary media arts community, Joe has participated in mentorship projects with EMMEDIA Production Society and making documentaries and educational videos for non-profit organizations like Vecova, and the Calgary Drop In Centre.

 

 

Jeff de Boer with 'Nature's Playground' at the Calgary Airport (Source: Facebook)

Jeff de Boer with ‘Nature’s Playground’ at the Calgary Airport (Source: Facebook)

Jeff de Boer is a Calgary-based multi-media artist with an international reputation for producing highly original and well-crafted works of art. With an emphasis on metal, he is known for such bodies of work as suits of armour for cats and mice, armour ties and sword-handled briefcases, rocket lamps and pop culture ray guns, and exquisite abstract works called exoforms. Calgarians may best recognize Jeff’s many, large-scale public art sculptures like When Aviation Was Young (Calgary Airport), Rainbow (Stampede Park) and The Cowboys (CrossIron Mills).

The son of a tinsmith, Jeff was introduced to metal work from an early age. In the years following high school he studied his craft both independently and alongside a blacksmith before enrolling in the jewelry design program at the Alberta College of Art and Design. By 1986, Jeff created the world’s first and only suit of armour for a mouse, combining his new jewelry construction skills with his knowledge of armour-making. After graduating from ACAD in 1988 de Boer began establishing himself as a professional artist and by the fall of 1994, Jeff opened “Articulation”, a solo exhibition of some 140 works created over 8 years.

 

 

Working together, Jeff and Joe have submitted a kinetic sculpture proposal to create an acrobatic praxinoscope for the Historic Grand Entranceway cSPACE King Edward. When asked to summarize the proposed public art project Joe describes it as “a sculptural piece of pre-cinema media art that spans the history of the building and thematically embodies play, vitality, education and art.”

We caught up with Joe and Jeff  to dig a little deeper into what inspires them and keeps him busy. Here’s what we learned:

Q: Besides your art practice, are you involved in any other kind of work?

Joe: I often make documentaries and educational videos for non profits.

Jeff: I teach, mentor and work on many projects such as wearable technology.  And often lecture on professionalism in the arts.

Q: What mediums do you work with? How would you describe your subject matter? What themes seem to occur/reoccur in your work?

Joe: My medium is media art and the subject matter is the history of media and technology, the trailing and the leading edge of technology. How technology has affected our sense of memory and time is a theme that seems to reoccur.

Jeff: Though my main medium is metal, I would call myself a multi-media artist.  My subject matter is random depending on the context of a project.  My major theme throughout my work is the quest to arrive at a balance between something that is beautiful, that is well made and meaningful, something that connects people of all ages and artistic background.

Q: Pretend you’re pitching your cSPACE King Edward public art proposal in an ‘elevator pitch’: How would you describe the concept in just a few sentences?

Joe: A sculptural piece of pre-cinema media art that spans the history of the building, thematically it embodies play, vitality, education and art.

Jeff: The sculpture that Joe and I designed for cSPACE is intended to be a magical device to inspire the viewer to want to become creative.  It is also intended to be an architectural feature that not only complements the building but looks like a combination of sculpture and light fixture.

Q: What are you currently reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?

Joe: Rebecca Solnit, River of Shadows

Jeff: I am always reading eastern philosophy books and watching science and history documentaries.

Q: What are your biggest challenges to creating art and how do you deal with them? How do you navigate the art world?

Joe: Finding time, I have a 4 year old and a small business, keeps me very busy.

Jeff: My biggest challenge is always defending the cost and value of my work.  I deal with it by taking the time to explain the value of what I do.  I navigate the art world by presenting myself as a professional of value equal to any other professional, such as architects and engineers.

Q: What advice has influenced you?

Joe: To be a thoughtful artist. Think about your work and think about the viewer looking at it.

Jeff: The words of my mentor, Art Froese, on the subject of project management, “Your word is your bond, never assume anything, make sure you are not solving the wrong problem, you can’t afford to do things cheaply.”

Q: What do you think cSPACE King Edward will mean for the Calgary community?

Joe: It should have a very positive impact: culture, creation, vitality and community in one convenient location.

Jeff: Whenever you have a sustainable place for creative people to gather and share ideas there is an opportunity to not just make great art, but also to bring meaning and purpose to the greater community.  Places like cSPACE can change lives and culture.

 

Public Art Proposals: An Acrobatic Praxinoscope (Kelly and de Boer) and Imaginarium (kirk and Green)

Over the past few weeks we’ve been sharing the proposals we received from talented Alberta artists for 3 public art sites cSPACE King Edward: the Grand Historic Entranceway (site 1), the Contemporary Main Entrance (site 2) and the Art Park (site 3).

This week we’ll be sharing proposals from Calgary artists Jeff de Boer and Joe Kelly, as well as Katie Green and daniel j kirk, working under the banner of Blank Page Studio.

Don’t forget to stay tuned to the blog in the coming weeks for sneak peeks at each of the 10 finalist proposals as well some fun Q&As to help you get to know the creative geniuses behind the concepts!  We’ll be announcing the winner proposals in the coming weeks so make sure you follow cSPACE King Edward on Facebook so you don’t miss a thing.

Meet Jeff de Boer and Joe Kelly

You may know Jeff de Boer best for his mighty cats and mice – the Calgary-based artist has become an international hit for his beautiful metal work, which includes making intricate armour for none-other-than, cats and mice! Most recently, de Boer made headlines for his contribution — a metal sculpture entitled Nature’s Playground — to Calgary International Airport’s new international terminal.

Joe Kelly is the man behind the camera. This Newfoundland born media artist lives and works in #YYC. He has made a number of award winning films that have been screened internationally, while also creating film and video-based installations that have been shown in galleries across the nation. Kelly has collaborated with a number of  respected groups in the art community, including One Yellow Rabbit, EMMEDIA Production Society and the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers.

Historic Grand Entranceway: An Acrobatic Praxinoscope

Praxiniscope

A child does an acrobatic tumble through the air, landing gracefully and playfully in the main entrance of cSPACE. Calgary-based artists Jeff de Boer and Joe Kelly have been experimenting with kinetic qualities of work, play, creativity and vitality through the eye of a praxinoscope (an animated sculpture, created to use light and a motorized gear system to display looping animation of a child doing a gymnastic tumble).

The child’s play symbolizes work, education, creativity and vitality — all of the elements that play into the King Edward School building’s important history and future as a cSPACE arts hub and incubator!

The chandelier style structure would create a sense of awe and wonder (not to mention interactivity) in the main entrance of the building. Kelly and de Boer’s proposal would be locally designed and developed. Eventually, cSPACE King Edward could opt to adapt the sculpture to play other animations, by other local artists.

 

Meet Blank Page Studio  

daniel j. kirk and Katie Green are two visual artists who work under the banner of Blank Page Studio. The team has numerous public artworks displayed around Calgary, including THE FIELD MANUAL (collaborative mural and installation part of the Riverwalk Public Art Program), the Bowness Public Library mural, and kirk’s most recent mural on 9th avenue in Inglewood.

daniel j kirk and Katie Green

Contemporary Main Entrance: Imaginarium

Where does creativity stem from and how does imagination flow? When Katie Green and daniel j kirk, (Blank Page Studio) were conceptualizing their proposal for cSPACE King Edward’s Contemporary Main Entrance public art site, they based it on community innovation and input.

Imaginarium would transform the main entrance of the arts incubator into a mural like no other. Beginning as an investigation into how the surrounding community of Marda Loop as well as the tenants of cSPACE King Edward relate to creativity, and ending as a full-scale, mixed-material installation.

By collaborating with the community in the creative vision of the Imaginarium, kirk and Green aim to discover how those who enjoy cSPACE on a daily basis use their own vivid imaginations in their daily lives. During a three-month journey to fruition, kirk and Green would place a resident artist at the King Edward to facilitate a number of different drawing sessions, consultations and other creative sessions with neighbours. Together, the groups would explore concepts around how imagination is conjured, and what inhibits creativity and innovation. Green and kirk would distil the info gathered into what would eventually become an art installation, literally, influenced by the entire community.

Imaginarium - Proposal by daniel j kirk and Katie Green

Imaginarium – Proposal by daniel j kirk and Katie Green

Public Art Proposals: Abridged (DDM Connective) and HIVE (Alexandra Haeseker)

In the spring of this year, we asked Alberta artists to submit their most thoughtful and creative proposals for 3 public art sites cSPACE King Edward: the Grand Historic Entranceway (site 1), the Contemporary Main Entrance (site 2) and the Art Park (site 3).

This week we’ll be sharing DDM Connective’s proposal for the Art Park site and Alexandra Haeseker’s proposal for the Grand Historic Entranceway.

Don’t forget to stay tuned to the blog in the coming weeks for sneak peeks at each of the 10 finalist proposals as well some fun Q&As to help you get to know the creative geniuses behind the concepts!  We’ll be announcing the winner proposals  in the coming weeks so make sure you follow cSPACE King Edward on Facebook so you don’t miss a thing.

Meet DDM Connective

DDM Connective is a new collaboration between artists Melissa McKinnon (contemporary Canadian Landscape painter), Dave MacLeod (designer and fabricator) and Dawn VandeSchoot (performing artist and project manager). This team’s unique multidisciplinary perspective, encompassing design and fabrication through to performance and community engagement, was what caught the jury’s attention during the short-listing process.

Art Park: Abridged

Words matter, our history matters — DDM Connective want to illustrate this through an installation at the Art Park which would nourish both. Melissa McKinnon, Dave MacLeod and Dawn VandeSchoot (DDM Connective) are shortlisted for their fauna-inspired exhibit, “Abridged”, a large-scale conceptual tree, representing the history of the school, as well as the significant cultural impact the King Edward sandstone structure has had on #YYC.

“Abridged” is inspired by the Poplar tree — indigenous to the King Edward School site’s area. Made from marine-grade plywood and stainless steel, this durable exterior artwork would add dimension and interest to the outside gathering space at the west side of the site.

Stories collected from the history of building over the past century would be etched into the tree’s exposed “rings”. Did you know that the rings of a tree trunk tell its age? To pay homage to the King Edward’s 105-year legacy, Abridged would include 100-some layers of rings and leaves, representing the beautiful sandstone school’s century of life.

Abridged - Proposal by DDM Connective

Abridged – Proposal by DDM Connective

While DDM Connective’s ‘Abridged’ aims to connect cSPACE King Edward to historical flora, ‘HIVE’ proposed by Alexandra Haeseker, would connect the arts hub to fauna.

Meet Alexandra Haeseker  

Calgary-based artist Alexandra ‘Sandy’ Haeseker knows the halls of King Edward intimately, she was a student at the school and can draw on past childhood memory to find inspiration.

The internationally-shown Canadian artist works largely in print media. You may have seen Haeseker’s West Ride Story at the Calgary International Airport. The past decade of her studio exploration has been dedicated to exploring swarm theory, collective consciousness and morphic-field-theory. The jury noted Haeseker’s bright, vibrant, and colourful work and use of LED lenticular technology.

Grand Historic Entranceway: HIVE

If chosen as one of three public art pieces for the King Edward site, HIVE would grace the Grand Historic Entranceway. Haeseker explains that transforming the main foyer of the school into a buzzing art exhibit would require: a combination of “Giant sketches, erasure, furtive attempts, diagram studies of bee anatomy, lessons in flight, the bounty of flowers (referencing the garden landscape directly out the door), and a cacophony of motion with the activity of bees to animate and excite the space into an experience transition of scale that one moves through.”

The vestibule would represent a blackboard (a learning ground) where notes, scribbles and all sorts of equations, problems and mysteries of the world and childhood could be explored. This historic chalk-on-blackboard imagery paralleled with Haeseker’s high-tech production imaging, techniques and artist materials would merge history, present and future. She plans to engage school children of various ages to draw their version of a bee for inclusion in the piece as well.

Haeseker’s proposal is an exciting mix of mediums that would unite the King Edward’s past contributions to Calgary with visions of what the new cSPACE arts hub will bring to #YYCarts future.

HIVE - Proposal by Alexandra Haeseker

HIVE – Proposal by Alexandra Haeseker

Public Art Proposals: Convergence (Malkinson) and Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (Brown, Garrett and Shordee)

In the spring of this year, we asked Alberta artists to submit their most thoughtful and creative proposals for 3 public art sites cSPACE King Edward: the Grand Historic Entranceway (site 1), the Contemporary Main Entrance (site 2) and the Art Park (site 3). After 3 separate juries poured carefully over the 28 proposals received, the submissions were narrowed down to 10 finalist proposals from 8 artists and teams working across a wide range of disciplines.

This week we’ll be sharing proposals from Edmonton-based print and glass artist Brenda Malkinson for the Contemporary Main Entrance, as well as a proposal for the Grand Historical Entrance from a team of Calgary artists: Caitlind r.c. Brown, Lane Shordee and Wayne Garrett. Don’t forget to stay tuned to the blog in the coming weeks for sneak peeks at each of the 10 finalist proposals as well some fun Q&As to help you get to know the creative geniuses behind the concepts! Stayed tuned to the cSPACE King Edward Facebook page so you don’t miss a thing and are first in the know when we announce the winning proposals!

Meet Brenda Malkinson

Brenda Malkinson is an Edmonton-based contemporary glass and wood block print artist and educator. She graduated from the Alberta College of Art + Design with distinction and has exhibited her work in Canada, the U.S., South Korea, Japan, and France. Malkinson’s work is in various public and private collections including: The Massey Foundation, The Alberta Foundation for the Arts, The University of Alberta; Mazankowski Heart Institute, The Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation and the Cross Cancer Institute.

Main Contemporary Entrance: Convergence

When Malkinson first toured the cSPACE King Edward site, pre-construction, she began to imagine what it would be like for YYC’s creatives to cohabit and collaborate in the historic space. “The significance of connection reverberated in my mind. Links that connect the city, the visionaries, the funders, the builders, the designers, the artists and the community that has joined forces to build the vision of a 21st Century Arts Hub and Incubator,” she wrote in her proposal to help create one of eight public art installations at the venue. Malkinson’s “Convergence” installation will be the first experience visitors and resident tenants happen upon when they walk into cSPACE King Edward. Housed in the main entrance of the building, Convergence will be made up of stained-glass spheres, interlocking and converging circles of colourful light that bring energy and presence to the entry space. “(The work) will signify the connections and diversity of all the people who share common interests and engage in a collective centre,” Malkinson explains. Convergence will a collaboration between Malkinson and the glass-making community of Calgary and the Alberta College of Art and Design – where artists will be invited to create circular, two-dimensional spheres of coloured glass to be incorporated into the concept.

Convergence - Proposed by Brenda Malkinson

Convergence – Proposed by Brenda Malkinson

Meet the team behind: Yesterday, Today Tomorrow

Caitlind R.C. Brown & Wayne Garrett work with diverse mediums and materials, ranging from artificial light to re-appropriated architectural debris (credit, artists website). They’re previous works have appeared internationally at festivals, galleries, and museums but locally they’re probably best known for their temporary Calgary works including SOLAR FLARE (2013, Calgary Downtown Association), and CLOUD (Nuit Blanche 2012) which was shortlisted for an Innovation by Design Award in 2013 by Fast Company (NYC). When working independently, Wayne is a machinist, musician, and composer; Caitlind is a co-founder and co-curator with WRECK CITY curatorial collective.

Brown and Garrett have teamed up with Calgary-based scavenger artist Lane Shordee to submit a public art proposal for the Grand Historic Entranceway at cSPACE King Edward. Drawing from construction waste and items found by happenstance, Shordee builds sculptures and installations that both challenge and indulge our relationships with the things we throw away. (credit, artists website). Shordee’s notable works include THE GREENHOUSE (Kensington, Calgary – Wreck City: An Epilogue for 809) and WATERWAYS (Wreck City: Phantom Wing). 

Grand Historic Entranceway: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, is the name of the proposal put forth by Shordee, Brown and Garrett for the Grand Historic Entranceway. They’ve proposed an intricate clock system of 105 suspended hourglasses — each filled with sand crushed from the sandstone bricks collected on site during the renovations of the King Edward School — used to map out universal time in relation to abstract, personal measurements of time. This complex mix of suspended glass and stone draws on a direct relationship between the sandstone school’s past and the future that cSPACE King Edward envisions for Calgary’s innovative creators. The hourglasses, controlled by computer-activated motors will measure both universal time (60, 30, 15, and 5 minute intervals) and personal time. Before the advent of accurate timekeeping devices, people measured time based on the sun in combination with personal activities. Especially for artists, who often work outside the regimented confines of a traditional schedule, time is measured in alternative intervals: the amount of time it takes to paint a base coat, drink a cup of coffee, visit a studio mate, rehearse a particular scene, frame a photograph in the viewfinder, write a paragraph of text, procrastinate beginning a grant… etc. These are insignificant periods of time when it comes to universal time, but significant to the artistic process.

Shordee, Brown and Garrett describe through their artist proposal: In 2017, King Edward School will be 105 years old. Tenants will begin to move into the building, altering its rooms and establishing ownership over internal space. Relationships will develop between artists, organizations, neighbours, audiences and the surrounding community; re-establishing a rich network centered around the school. In essence, King Edward School will be resurrected from a state of latency, its clock, currently frozen will begin to tick again!

yesterdaytodaytomorrow

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow – Proposed by Lane Shordee, Wayne Garrett and Caitlind r.c. Brown

Public Art Proposals: The Crest and the Crown (LID), Columnulus (LID) and Looking + Seeing (Besant)

Earlier this year we asked Alberta artists to submit their most innovative proposals for 3 public art sites cSPACE King Edward: the Grand Historic Entranceway (site 1), the Contemporary Main Entrance (site 2) and the Art Park (site 3). The public art call drew in submissions from a wide breadth of Alberta artists, from young and funky to internationally renowned. In July the proposals were narrowed down to a shortlist of 10 finalists and the only one thing the finalists’ concepts share is that each approached the historic space and our aspirations as an arts hub in thought-provoking and unexpected ways.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be profiling the artists and teams and their proposals on our blog and in social. And we’re counting down the days until when we will be announcing the winning proposals for the 3 art sites. So stayed tuned to our blog and Facebook page for that exciting news!

Meet The Laboratory for Integrative Design (LID)

The Laboratory for Integrative Design (LID) is an experimental, integrative art group where artists, designers and architects collaborate to design and produce community engaged projects.

Jason S. Johnson, Matthew Parker & Guy Garner, three members of LID, have teamed up to propose two unique concepts for the public art sites at cSPACE King Edward. Shortlisted for their innovative design and collaborative approach in their proposals for the Grand Historic Entranceway and the exterior Art Park, their concepts are inspiring representations of the work that LID explores.

Grand Historical Entrance: The Crest and The Crown

LID’s proposal for the Grand Historical Entrance considers both materials and icons from the historical King Edwards school. Dubbed The Crest and The Crown, the concept explores the use of the wood and brass found throughout the school’s original design, to reference the school crest and the royal associations with the school.

The Crest: The design for the the crest would be created through a process of geometric repetition of the original crests and crowns found in the collection of yearbooks then carved from wood, accented with brass and floated above the entry way stairs in an engraved translucent ceiling.

The Crown: Glowing and suspended in the smaller vestibule of the entry way, the crown piece is visible from the street and interior.

And together, the crest and the crown link the historical icons of the King Edward School and the newly created icons of the newly formed arts hub.

The Crest and the Crown - Proposed Jason S. Johnson, Matthew Parker & Guy Garner of The Laboratory for Integrative Design

The Crest and the Crown – Proposed Jason S. Johnson, Matthew Parker & Guy Garner of The Laboratory for Integrative Design

Art Park Exterior: Columnulus

Columnulus, LID’s proposal for the art park exterior site, is comprised of four large pedestals that are used as a viewpoints of the architectural features of the building’s south facade. These architectural characteristics from the building’s past are mapped onto 12’ – 15’ columns and given a new reading or meaning by the process of inflating or clouding the forms.

Columnulus is in a constant state of flux, weathering through time and taking on varied characteristics through the seasons; Thickened by snow in winter, and absorbing and releasing heat in the summer. Like clouds they can be read in an ever shifting way based on the experiences and perceptions of the viewer and not the actual characteristics of the figures, Columnulus can be viewed differently based on lighting, shadows, time of day and people’s own perceptions.

Columnulus - Proposed by Jason S. Johnson, Matthew Parker & Guy Garner of The Laboratory for Integrative Design

Columnulus – Proposed by Jason S. Johnson, Matthew Parker & Guy Garner of The Laboratory for Integrative Design

Meet Derek Michael Besant

Derek Besant is an award winning Calgary-based and internationally shown Canadian artist. He has a rich local history and deep ties to the Calgary community, earning his BFA Honours from the University of Calgary, working as an Exhibitions Designer at The Glenbow Museum and has been teaching in the Drawing / Fine Arts Department at Alberta College of Art and Design for the past thirty years.

His public art can be seen all over Canada but Calgarians will best recognize his extensive public works including HOMAGE at Mount Royal University (iconic six-metre tall balancing-chairs ), and the temporary installation of I AM THE RIVER depicting 50 Calgarians submerged into the waters of the Bow. Besant’s artworks often deal with “themes of memory, language and the body as a metaphor” (credit, artist’s website).

Contemporary Main Entrance: Looking + Seeing

Besant’s visually engaging and provocative proposal titled LOOKING + SEEING for the Contemporary Main Entrance is recognized for its understanding of the architectural dynamics of the site and its conceptual grounds for the community’s engagement and creating an experience for viewers.

Inspired in part by the Roman god Janus who guards the threshold or doorway and is personified as a figure with two faces, to look both inward and outward, Besant would utilize advanced lenticular printing technology (where magnifying lenses are used to print images with an illusion of depth and the ability to change or move as the image is viewed from different angles) to photograph 22 head & shoulder shots of members of the community, reconstructing their faces so they appear to “shift” their gazes, up, down or sideways as dictated by the ascension and decisions of the stairway. Essentially, these faces will accompany viewers as they move up and down the stairwell, creating a visual participatory engagement aligned to the viewer’s own rate, pace and direction of movement. In breath-taking scale, with qualities of both real and abstract, and with deceptive simplicity, the work both reveals and conceals. When a head is looking straight directly perpendicular to the viewer, a single word will be imposed to optically “float” in front of the face. Each word would be a simple triggering device of the human psyche, tapping into people’s subconscious depending on their internalized thoughts.

Looking + Seeing - Proposed by Derek Michael Besant

Looking + Seeing – Proposed by Derek Michael Besant

Back to School – King Edward Time Capsule

We are looking for you to share your memories that define the spirit of King Edward School with us!  We need your help to build a time capsule commemorating King Edward’s storied 90 years of service as a school as well as to mark the building’s new life as cSPACE King Edward, a hub for creativity in 2017!

Former students, teachers and staff are encouraged to share favourite memories of King Edward.  From ghosts, to favourite teachers, sneaking into the attic, first love, and planting hollyhocks – think “Back to School”.  Selected stories and photos will be enclosed underneath the school’s historic boiler doors, displayed under glass and inset into the original terrazzo flooring on the first level of the building for the next hundred years!

Stories and photos may be shared with our audience through newsletters, social media, and a digital history project that may be installed permanently in the building.  Alumni are encouraged to reconnect and spread the word to those they went to school with for this commemorative project. The time capsule will be uncovered in 2062 – commemorating the the 150th anniversary of the building.

How to submit your memories:

  • Alumni may submit their memories to karilynn.thompson@cspaceprojects.com.  Digital stories and pictures may be submitted (we will print these on archival paper for inclusion).
  • Please indicate if we are able to share your story in our newsletter/social media.
  • Due to limited space, at this time we are not accepting artifacts for the capsule but please contact us if you would like to donate an artifact from the school.
  • Deadline: November 15, 2016

Tenant Profile: Calgary Association of Lifelong Learners

With a recent rising interest in intergenerational living spaces, communities around the world are realizing that life and learning does not stop as you age.  In fact, the golden years can be a great time for creativity, according to the National Endowment for the Arts article How the Arts Can Help Us Live Longer, Healthier Lives.  Seniors artists colonies (like the Burbank Senior Artists Colony by the NPO EngAge, featured in the video below). the are popping up, and even Section 23, cSPACE King Edward’s neighboring development is creating active living seniors housing, with interaction with the arts in mind.

Fitting in perfectly with this growing trend, the Calgary Association of Lifelong Learners (CALL) will facilitate affordable, innovative and flexible learning opportunities for adults (45+) at the King Edward.  At the heart of CALL’s philosophy is a collaborative peer learning system, built on a belief in the value of sharing freely with others.  The organization’s over 500 members are often respected leaders in their fields and from academic backgrounds, keen to offer mentorship and contribute to a multi-generational and diverse community at King Edward.

Please tell our readers a little bit about the creation and history of CALL – are there comparable groups in other cities, or example models that you followed in creating the organization?

CALL began in the FALL of 2010 when a small group of people got together to talk about an idea.  They wanted to establish a member-led organization of older adults with a passion for learning and for sharing their experiences and skills with others.  Some in that initial group were aware of lifelong learning organizations in other places – California, Quebec and Ontario, as well as the international organization, The University of the Third Age, and they knew that there was a niche for that type of group in Calgary.  By February 2011, CALL was registered as a non-profit organization, with full to overflowing learning groups and lecture series by the time of the first AGM in November 2011.

CALL_Everest

Treks and Travels, featuring a member led presentation about a trek to Everest Base Camp

For our readers who have never had the pleasure of attending a CALL event, could you please describe to me what an attendee could expect and what types of programming you offer? What accounts for your fast success as a group (gaining over 500 members in just 5 years)?

Currently, there are about 500 members who participate in a constantly increasing and changing number of Interest Groups. CALL’s success and growth speaks to the sense of community that is fostered among members and the wealth of experience and knowledge that members bring to the Interest Groups as facilitators and participants. The choices offered are as wide as the interests of the members dictate: group discussions focussed on current affairs, Canadian authors, or the Walrus Magazine; discussions of current films, film genres and great directors; attendance at theatres, philharmonic performances or tours of art galleries; exploration of Calgary neighbourhoods and natural areas; Bridge, Scrabble, needlecraft, artists, ukulele and digital photography groups; meditation; research and study of topics like Canada and World War I, Judaism, Hinduism, Canada’s North, alternative housing for Seniors, Aboriginal issues or Women in the History of Philosophy.  There are also social events – from wine tasting to cooking, and fund raising events, such as a recent dinner with guest Stephen Hair discussing his long time career as an actor in Calgary.

Interest groups currently meet in a network of venues – community centres, libraries, churches, or members’ homes.  cSPACE will give us a home base which will enable us to have more flexibility for programming as well as to create connections with the creative energy of other tenants.

CALL_Urbanwalk

An Urban Walking group uses the source book Calgary’s Best Hikes and Walks, by Lori Beattie, to plan their in-town adventures.

While CALL primarily holds events for active learners over the age of 45, do you have any all-ages events where everyone can interact & experience your diverse offerings?   

One opportunity open to both members and others from the community is the monthly CALL Café, which is an opportunity to socialize, hear about what is happening in CALL and listen to and interact with a speaker and/or performer.  Speakers have included representatives from organizations such as the Calgary Horticultural Society, Calgary Parks Department, the YWCA, the Calgary Homeless Foundation, the Canadian Health Association, the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society and the Calgary Public Library.  We have also heard from academics discussing such topics as the history of women in the prairie west, the history of music in Calgary, Canadian filmmakers, Métis history and culture, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Several musicians, including jazz pianist and composer Bob Erlendson and CPO flutists Sarah Hahn and Sara Gieck have performed for us; local artists such as Barbara Amos have discussed their work, as have a number of local writers, including Sharon Butala, Kris Demeanor, Glenn Dixon, Clem Martini, Harry Sanders, Tyler Trafford, Aritha van Herk and the well-known Canadian author, MG Vassanji. Our Café has also featured a Joyce Doolittle and Philip McCoy performance of a reading, “Act Your Age”, Shakespeare presented by Shakespeare in the Park, a demonstration of Tai Chi, as well as presentations by some of our own groups, such as a CALL Readers’ Theatre group, an art show featuring members’ work and readings by members of one of our writers’ groups.

Other monthly events, open to all, are Treks and Travels, presentations from all parts of the world visited by CALL members and their friends; Science and the Environment where scientists and environmentalists stimulate and inspire with provocative accounts of research pertinent in today’s world; and Health and Wellness which presents speakers from various fields related to physical, mental and emotional health and well-being.

Our first public speakers series, The World in Flux, held at Central Memorial Library, was partnership with the Calgary Public Library. Oilsands 101, for which we partnered with the Petroleum History Society, was a series of noon talks at the Glenbow Museum which was open to all; a Celebration of Calgary Authors was a partnership with Calgary Public Library held during the celebration of Calgary 2012; and the Somar Speakers Series is a partnership with Mount Royal University.  

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Peer Group learning discussion on “Are We Losing Our Democracy?”

Do you have any upcoming events that our followers can attend to get a taste of CALL?

Each year in September, the CALL program year is launched with a Gala CALL Café to which everyone in the community is invited to learn what CALL has to offer, and to hear a speaker.  Past speakers have included naturalist Kevin van Tighem, historian Harry Sanders, Mayor Nenshi, Calgary’s first poet-laureate, Kris Demeanor and author and professor, Aritha van Herk.

This year’s gala on September 14 features the City of Calgary’s provocative General Manager for Urban Strategy, Rollin Stanley, who will talk about “Calgary in the 21st Century: The Impact of Digital Technology.”  This event will be held at the Thorncliffe Community Hall from 7:00 – 9:00 pm.  Everyone is welcome to join us at this event to see what CALL is all about.  For details, see the website http://calgarylifelonglearners.ca/

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Gala CALL CAFE – Sept 14, 2016, features the City of Calgary’s provocative General Manager for Urban Strategy, Rollin Stanley, presenting on “Calgary in the 21st Century: The Impact of Digital Technology.”

Tenant Profile: Alliance Française Calgary

As any artist who has ever dreamed of moving to Montreal can attest, Canada’s second language, French, is alive and well.  According to a 2014 article from Forbes which dubs French the “language of the future”, French could even overtake English for world speakers by 2050. Now just might be the time to learn and future cSPACE King Edward tenant Alliance Française Calgary has you covered!

AFC will activate French language and culture at the King Edward through a media library, host over 1,000 language students a year in their dedicated classroom space, and utilize the event spaces to showcase French culture through art, film screenings, theatre and music performances, literary readings, presentations on gastronomy, contemporary affairs, and more. AFC was chosen in part as a fit for cSPACE King Edward for their community and artist minded partnerships, actively organizing and partnering with over 50 cultural and arts events a year.

We spoke with Executive Director Jean-Baptiste Roux to learn more about what Alliance Française has to offer the King Edward community.

What makes AFC different from other language centers in Calgary?  What is your approach to teaching language?

The AFC is a non-profit association that provides a complete Francophone experience–from teaching French to exposing students and the public to the richness and diversity of different Francophone cultures. As a member of the international network of the Alliance Francaise, the AFC is the only French language training school in the city to benefit from worldwide recognition and official accreditation by the government of France. Home to the largest all-French media library in Alberta and host of more than 70 cultural events per year, the AFC is truly the best place in Calgary to experience a French connection.

For all ages and levels, there is a great variety of courses including standard, grammar, conversation, and literary study. You can take it slowly or study intensively. Our teaching philosophy is in line with the CEFRL (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages,), a modern method of learning, teaching and assessing with an action-oriented approach. Our 16 teachers are all driven by the passion of the French language and are all experienced and certified French as a Second Language teachers.  The intertwining of language study and cultural exposure enhances the learning experience.

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Café-croissant goers enjoy the ultimate French pastry and get to know the AFC.

AFC was selected as a cSPACE King Edward tenant in part for how actively the organization supports the arts in Calgary- tell us a little more about the past french language activities you have supported.

The AFC values being an active member of the local cultural community and we partner with and support on many different levels both francophone and broader community events and organizations.  Some of these include: La Cité des Rocheuses, the ACFA (Francophone Association), Franco Fest, Dîner en blanc, Wordfest, Calgary International Film Festival, Calgary European Film Festival, Theatre Junction, and Global Fest.

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Party goers sample the fine wine offerings at Soirée Bretagne

You hold many varied events where people can conversationally speak French outside of a classroom session.  Tell us about some of your popular events and favourite past experiences…and please provide a suggestion to entice first time attendees!

Pub nights are a very popular and relaxing opportunity to come out but our French movie evenings and theme evenings when we explore different regions of France such as Provence or Brittany, or French holidays are also very well-attended.  It is hard to choose a favourite event since we really enjoy them all.  Hiking, concerts, readings, wine and cheese, book clubs – there really is something for all interests.

For first-timers, no matter if you are a complete newcomer to French language and culture or an experienced speaker or traveler, come by the centre for a look around the media library and enjoy a coffee.  Or jump in a little deeper and come to a Saturday Cafe Croissant or one of our theme evenings–you’ll see how wonderful and warm the atmosphere is.

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AFC members practice their conversational French on a Hike in French event.

With over 1,000 students a year, French language is alive and well in Calgary – who are your members and why are people interested in increasing their French language capabilities?

We have a very diverse membership from children to retirees, arm-chair travellers to jet-setters, students to government employees, culture-lovers to grammar fiends.  But despite their diverse backgrounds and reasons for coming to the AFC – be those work needs, study opportunities, a new challenge – or refreshment of a rusty skill, our students all share an interest for learning something new and a curiosity for other cultures.

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Wine and cheese spread for party goers at Soirée Bretagne

We are excited about the prospect of being part of the cSPACE community and believe the King Edward space will help us attract new members and provide us with an engaging long-term home. We will, of course, continue to offer many options to study French and we plan to expand our cultural programming.

Learn more about AFC at www.afcalgary.ca, and visit them at cSPACE King Edward in 2017!

June/July Construction -Blog

June and July have been exciting months at cSPACE King Edward as we have made huge progress on our exterior work! With skylights now installed and new shingles added, the roof-scape of the project is being transformed. On the interior, our partners at RGO Flooring have ramped up the installation of finished floors while our painters continue to brighten our former historic classrooms!

View to downtown from new skylight frame

View to downtown from new skylight frame

The transformation of our attic studios into light filled character spaces was a significant moment in June – new skylights began to be installed in the 4th Floor attic space (formerly the school’s ‘museum’). After many months of imagining how these spaces could inspire artistic practice, the evidence is here!

Exposed brick and skylight in attic studio

Exposed brick and skylight in attic studio

With drywall in place and a fresh coat of paint, exposed brick and sandstone features now richly come to life under natural light and the possibility of fresh air.

Roof awaits reshingling

Roof awaits reshingling

In June, work commenced on the historic pitched roof of King Edward to finally improve the deteriorating condition with new shingles.

Supplies boomed to the roof of King Edward

Supplies boomed to the roof of King Edward

With skylights in place, the next step of the process involved elevating all the roofing equipment and supplies by lift to an accessible place above the eaves. The view of a roofer guiding these boomed materials from the close proximity of the roof’s edge was quite the sight.

Roofers at work on steep sloped roof

Roofers at work on steep sloped roof

While we didn’t recreate the original slate tiles from 1912, we sourced some beautiful shingles that work well with the historic architecture.

Historic cupola and standing seam roof repair

Historic cupola and standing seam roof repair

The cupola and standing seam metal roofing had to be extensively repaired as well.

Pressed-metal bracket detail along roofline

Pressed-metal bracket detail along roofline

Details like pressed-metal cornice brackets will also get rehabilitated and it has been great to get a close-up view of the progress!

View from northeast with chimney stones awaiting reconstruction

View from northeast with chimney stones awaiting reconstruction

Around the perimeter of the school, site concrete has been initiated in several locations. With a very wet July now nearing its end, we look forward to seeing sidewalk curbs come together and some of the site paving to commence.

View of service formwork from inside school

View of service formwork from inside school

On the north side of the site along 29th avenue, formwork was constructed for our service enclosure – housing everything from our cooling plant, recycling, bike storage, and power.

Rendering from O2 Planning + Design showing north side of King Edward site

Rendering from O2 Planning + Design showing north side of King Edward site

Once this enclosure with its consolidated services is fully installed, the finished facade of steel and exposed concrete will be surrounded with a sheltering bosque of pines to brace north winter winds and add to the streetscape.

View from northwest with west addition and aspen grove

View from northwest with west addition and aspen grove

Another grove of trembling aspens will eventually filter light to the west wing addition – for now, seeing a rendering and the tops of new concrete piles in place will have to do!

Concrete pour along east side of King Edward School

Concrete pour along east side of King Edward School

Along the east side of the school, the foundations are now ready for our east pavilion that will accommodate a children’s play area during the day and a gathering space for the community on evenings and weekends.

New windows look out onto east armature playspace

New windows look out onto east playspace

Upper Montessori space with new storm windows in place

Upper Montessori space with new storm windows in place

For Maria Montessori Education Centre, this outdoor space will be utilized throughout the school year, directly viewable from their new classroom windows.

Lower Montessori space windows opened after 50 years of being enclosed

Lower Montessori space windows opened after 50 years of being enclosed

In their lower floor space, a corner expanse of windows now allows natural light back in after being covered up for 50 years.

Historic archway infilled with cement block to meet current building code

Historic archway infilled with cement block to meet current building code

Unique details also grace the space that include a former arched entry (revised to meet current building code) that will be left as a niche to showcase the historic fabric of King Edward.

Exposed brick with new entryways into tenant spaces

Exposed brick with new entryways into tenant spaces

The new entryways that have been adapted from the historic configuration will see original brick left exposed to add an interesting character element throughout the building.

Demising wall under construction with windows reinstated beyond

Demising wall under construction with windows reinstated beyond

On the south lower level of the school, openings cut into the 1950s concrete wall now see reinstated windows in place and partitioning being installed for two future studios.

Historic windows are masked prior to painting and reinstallation

Historic windows are masked prior to painting and reinstallation

Elsewhere throughout the facility, new storm windows and nearly all of the operable transom windows are on schedule for installation.

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Historic windows await reinstallation

Craftsman Eugene and Scott bring historic window frames and sashes back into operating condition

Craftsman bring historic window frames and sashes back into operating condition

Next up will be the reinstallation of restored historic windows to the inside – where divided light windows of a 100-year-vintage will be enjoyed by tenants for years to come.

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Historic trimwork and chalkboards masked prior to painting

Historic trimwork and chalkboards masked prior to painting

For the meantime, our mockup room has been completed and other spaces on the 4th floor are receiving new paint to walls and the exposed mechanical and electrical systems.

Shine of wet paint in space on 4th floor

Shine of wet paint in space on 4th floor

Forte Musical Theatre's space complete with painting and flooring mocked up

Forte Musical Theatre’s space complete with painting and flooring mocked up

Together with restored historic trim work and new flooring, these changes are all beginning to signal great spaces for our creative community.

Alexandra Writers Society space before...

Alexandra Writers Society space before…

... and after a fresh coat of paint

… and after a fresh coat of paint

Seeing the transformation of this luminous space for Alexandra Writers Society will undoubtedly become an inspiring place for their members when compared with their current basement location.

Elevator door installed and awaiting commissioning

Elevator door installed and awaiting commissioning

Getting up to this 4th floor location will soon be made easier with the new elevator coming along – yes, it’s deep enough to fit a grand piano!

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Down on the lower level, mechanical work continues unabated to complete the installation of all the mechanical systems. The heat recovery ventilation unit is now disguised amidst a complex network of piping and ductwork.

New boilers encased in their new shroud awaiting years of service to come

New boilers encased in protective housings

At the end of July, hydrostatic testing of all the mechanical lines was initiated. With the system lines first pressurized with air, and then with 100 plus pounds of water pressure, cleaning and flushing of mechanical system was commenced. This important step ensures that the sediment and slag from welders was removed prior to interjecting additives for corrosive protection throughout the system.

Architect Kevin Nyhoff reviews material selection

Architect Kevin Nyhoff reviews material selection

As we proceed into August, progress on our community’s spaces and commissioning of mechanical systems will continue in preparation for occupancy later this year! With the new west wing now also underway, we look forward to finalizing material selections with our architect for the full scope of the project and keeping you informed along the way!

cSPACE King Edward – Public Art Project – Artist Announcement

We are excited to announce the shortlisted artists for three public art sites at cSPACE King Edward!

cSPACE King Edward’s public art call drew in submissions from a wide breadth of Alberta artists, from young and funky to internationally renowned.  Unlike traditional public art calls, we opened it to all artistic levels from emerging to established and provided opportunities across multiple sites. From sublime to intriguing, the selected proposals approached the historic space and our aspirations as an arts hub in thought-provoking and unexpected ways.

Eight artist/collectives (from a total of 28 submissions received) have been selected to move forward on one or more sites to the conceptual design phase.  This second stage of the process will see artists present their ideas, images and models for each of the three public art sites to be released to the public in the fall of 2016.  For now, you’ll have to enjoy glimpses of their past work as a taste of what is to come!

Site 1 – Grand Historic Entranceway

The Grand Historic Entranceway is the first taste of the building, a single finely curated introduction intended to spark the expectation for great things beyond. The sentiment of the space was that it be innovative, exploratory, but not overwhelming, and a place where the history of the building and contemporary purpose merge to welcome visitors to cSPACE.   The artists and teams selected for this site are:

Jeff De Boer & Joe Kelly
Jeff de Boer is a Calgary-based multi-media artist. With an emphasis on metal, he is best known for artwork that includes armour for cats and mice, armour ties and sword-handled briefcases, rocket lamps and pop culture ray guns, to high art and abstract works called exoforms. (credit http://jeffdeboer.com/).  He is known for numerous Calgary Public works, including his newest work RAINBOW TROUT (Stampede Enmax Park).

Joe Kelly is a Newfoundland born media artist living and working in Calgary. Joe has made a number of films that have been screened and awarded internationally and has also created film and video-based installations that have been shown in art galleries around Canada. (credit, EMMMEDIA)

The jury have shortlisted the newly formed de Boer/Kelly collaboration as an artistic response for the Grand Historic Entrance that lies at the intersection of kinetic sculpture and multimedia history.

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Right – Panorama, 2001 (Joe Kelly) Left – Light, the Universe, and Everything, 2009, 1st St and 13th Ave SW Calgary (Jeff de Boer)


Caitlind r.c. Brown, Wayne Garrett, Lane Shordee
Caitlind r.c. Brown & Wayne Garrett are Calgary-based artists that work with diverse mediums and materials, ranging from artificial light to re-appropriated architectural debris. (credit, artists website).  Brown & Garrett are best known for temporary Calgary works including SOLAR FLARE (2013, Calgary Downtown Association), CLOUD (Nuit Blanche 2012), and Brown is one of the founding curators of WRECK CITY.

Lane Shordee is a scavenger artist based in Calgary, Alberta. Drawing from construction waste and items found by happenstance, he builds sculptures and installations that both challenge and indulge our relationships with the things we throw away. (credit, artists website).  Shordee’s notable works include THE GREENHOUSE (Kensington, Calgary – Wreck City: An Epilogue for 809) and WATERWAYS (Wreck City: Phantom Wing).

Caitlind R.C. Brown, Wayne Garrett and Lane Shordee are Calgary artists whose art has had a local presence and growing international impact. The culmination of their past history at King Edward School with the temporary art project Phantom Wing, together with their proposed reuse of historic materials and repertoire of past artworks that engage the public in innovative ways, led to their shortlist selection on two sites by our two independent juries.

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Left – In the Belly of a Bear, 2016, Toronto ON (Lane Shordee, Caitlind r.c. Brown & Wayne Garrett) Right – CLOUD, 2012, Nuit Blanche Calgary (Caitlind r.c. Brown & Wayne Garrett)


Alexandra Haeseker
Alexandra Haeseker is a Calgary-based, internationally shown Canadian artist. Working largely in print media, Haeseker’s work is representational and ranges from stylized illustration to accurate and accomplished photorealism (credit, ArtSask) in addition to local public art projects such as WEST RIDE STORY at the Calgary International Airport. The past decade of her studio exploration has been dedicated to exploring swarm theory, collective consciousness and morphic-field-theory. The jury noted Haeseker’s bright, vibrant, and colourful work and use of LED lenticular technology, together with her connection as alumni of King Edward School, as an interesting artistic response to the Grand Historic Entranceway.

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Left – Survivors, 2013, Contemporary Museum Debrecen Hungary Right – Red Tide, 2014, Contemporary International Biennial, Douro Portugal


The Laboratory for Integrative Design
Collaborators Jason S. Johnson, Matthew Parker & Guy Gardener are the team behind The Laboratory for Integrative Design (LID) where artists, designers and architects collaborate in the design and production of community engaged projects. In 2013, LID was awarded the Mayor’s Urban Design Award for their community engaged, sculptural seating in Victoria Park. As a collaboration between architectural designers and visual artists creating across a variety of scales, the two juries shortlisted LID for its innovative design and collaborative approach for proposals on both the Grand Historic Entranceway and exterior Art Park sites.

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Left – Sputnik, 2015, Beakerhead (Jason Johnson, Matthew Parker, Simon Kim, Mariana Ibanez) Right – Suspended Animation: Phantom Wing; A Pre-Demolition Art Exhibition, 2013 (Guy Gardner and Sian Ramsden)


Site 2 -Contemporary Main Entrance

Located in a four storey entrance and staircase volume of contemporary glass and steel, the former ‘Girls’ entrance will be transformed into a daily entrance for the tenant community and studio theatre patrons. This contemporary glass-bound jewel box is highly visible from the north exterior of the building, signaling creativity out to the surrounding community.  The artists and teams selected for this site are:

Derek Besant
Derek Besant is a Calgary-based, internationally shown Canadian artist.  Calgarians will recognize his extensive public works including HOMAGE at Mount Royal University (iconic six-metre tall balancing-chairs ), and the temporary installation of I AM THE RIVER depicting 50 Calgarians submerged into the waters of the Bow. Besant’s artworks often deal with “themes of memory, language and the body as a metaphor” (credit, artist’s website).  Besant’s proposal for the Contemporary Main Entrance was recognized for its understanding of the architectural dynamics of the site and conceptual grounds for the community’s engagement with art from both distant and immediate perspectives.

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“I am the River”, 2011, Bow River Corridor, Calgary AB


daniel j kirk / Katie Green (Blank Page Studio)
daniel j. kirk and Katie Green of Blank Page Studio are Calgary-based visual artists. The team has numerous public artworks displayed around Calgary, including THE FIELD MANUAL (collaborative mural and installation part of the Riverwalk Public Art Program), the Bowness Public Library mural, and kirk’s most recent mural on 9th avenue in Inglewood.  Shortlisted for the Contemporary Main Entrance, these collaborative artists were recognized by the jury for a demonstrated history of community engagement in their public art creation process, and for their embodiment of the creative aspirations of cSPACE King Edward with their whimsical and vibrant works connected to placemaking.

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Left – The Field Manual: A Compendium of Local Influence, 2013, The Calgary Riverwalk, East Village (Light & Soul – Daniel Kirk, Katie Green, Ivan Ostapenko, Kai C-B) Right – Bowness Library, 2015 (Katie Green in collaboration with daniel j kirk)

 

Brenda Malkinson
Brenda Malkinson is an Edmonton-based artist who makes prints and contemporary glassworks that have been exhibited worldwide.  She has created over thirty public artworks in glass, many for the Edmonton region and throughout Alberta.  Malkinson’s richly coloured stained glass artwork was recognized by the jury for its dynamic interplay with light, vibrant use of colour, and through a crafted approach, for its potential to transform the Contemporary Main Entrance.

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Stained glass, St. Kateri Chapel, St. Joseph’s College, University of Alberta, 2015


 

Site 3 – Art Park

Located on the south edge of the new civic park, this outdoor public art site opportunity creates an entryway and sense of arrival to the public grounds of this prominent historical landmark.  The artists and teams selected for this site are:

DDM Connective
DDM Connective is a new collaboration between artists Melissa McKinnon (contemporary Canadian Landscape painter), Dave MacLeod (designer and fabricator) and Dawn VandeSchoot (performing artist and project manager). The jury recognized this team’s unique multidisciplinary perspective, encompassing design and fabrication through to performance and community engagement, as a unique creative endeavour to approach the Art Park site.

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Left – This is My City, program engaging the homeless community through art (Dawn VandeSchoot) Right – Beneath the Surface, 2015 (Melissa McKinnon)

Caitlind r.c. Brown, Wayne Garrett, Lane Shordee
*See above description

The Laboratory for Integrative Design
*See above description

Artist concepts will be released to the public for viewing in the fall of 2016, and the final artist selection will be released in late 2016. This project is supported by The Alberta Foundation for the Arts and The City of Calgary’s Public Art Policy that recognizes public art as a vital ingredient in Calgary’s on-going development as a great, creative city.

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May/June Construction Blog

The last two months have seen dramatic transformations at the King Edward site. With new pile foundations for the west wing and squeaky clean, new storm windows affording fantastic views, the future certainly looks bright!

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New windows installed in Level 3 studio

 

Scaffold for restoration in NE Entry

Scaffold for restoration in NE Entry

 

Our northeast entryway has received some much needed love this past month. With a four-storey volume awaiting a future staircase, this location is currently being patched, repaired and stabilized where required.

Excavated site alongside King Edward with pile drilling in progress

Excavated site alongside King Edward with pile drilling in progress

On the western portion of the school site, the installation of new pile foundations was a significant milestone following last month’s excavation of the historic foundations. With a diameter of 1.2 meters and drilled over ten meters into the ground, eight new piles now form the foundation for the new west wing.

Pile drilling in progress

Pile drilling in progress

Once the holes were excavated by the hydraulic piling machine, rebar cages were installed with two cement mixer loads of concrete required to hold everything in place – imagine that a four-storey addition has the structural support of near equal its height underground!

Fabriacation plaque appreciated by Louise from architecture team

Fabrication plaque appreciated by Louise from architecture team

Inside, the air handler installation continues including the beginning of ductwork that will circulate conditioned air throughout the facility.

Boilers receive insulation and exterior housing

Boilers receive insulation and exterior housing

Work also continues in fitting up the boilers that are now being insulated and receiving their new exterior housings.

Creative masking tape art by Clark Builders

Creative masking tape art by Clark Builders

Every visit we’re amazed by the natural daylight beginning to stream the new windows! Locally sourced to minimize environmental travel impacts for LEED certification, new wooden storms windows are almost completely installed.

New tempered glass storm windows arrive on site

New tempered glass storm windows arrive on site

120 new storms windows with an additional 60 transoms are required to fill-in-the-blanks of windows that no longer exist. The Calgary Board of Education removed two of every set of windows during the 1970s to reduce operating costs. Complete with tempered glass panes for durability, these new windows will be installed throughout the heritage portions of the school – reinstating the historic window configuration from over a century ago.

Adjusting new storm windows to fit with 1970s infilled windows in background

This change will see restored 100-year-old windows with mullions and nine panes each, restored on the inside. While historic windows will be touchable from the interior of tenant spaces, new exterior storm windows will ensure occupant comfort and protection of heritage fabric for years to come.

View of downtown from inside classroom

View of downtown from inside classroom

A notable feature is also the operable transom windows that will allow tenants to moderate their spaces with natural ventilation while also supporting cSPACE’s sustainability objectives.

Brick exposed with enlarged corridor opening from historic auditorium

Brick exposed with enlarged corridor opening from historic auditorium

One last internal demolition piece this month included adding a lintel to enlarge the opening between the corridor and Alberta Craft Council’s new Calgary space.  Together with other locations in the school, this exposed brick will add a unique character element together with a gracious threshold for the public to pass.

Installation of new elevator hoistway

Installation of new elevator hoistway

Progress is also being made on the installation of the elevator. During the past month, the hoistway construction has been underway with car rails and sliding guides being installed within the cinderblock shaft.

Space being demised for two tenants

Space being demised for two tenants

Inside tenant spaces are also in various states of completion with demising walls receiving drywall and backing boards ready to accommodate new sink fixtures to support artistic practice.

Partitioned tenant space for Forte Musical Theatre is drywalled and awaits new transom window

Partitioned tenant space for Forte Musical Theatre is drywalled and awaits new transom window

With only new windows and unfinished drywall in place, we can begin to see the beginnings of great studio spaces and the character of a unique historic place – all coming together!

Close inspection of sandstone repair

Close inspection of sandstone repair

Efforts are now being directed to the sandstone facade of King Edward. Rebuilding the sandstone chimney will be one exercise to come, but for the meantime a detailed analysis and survey are being conducted. The ghost of the roofing tar line from the 1950s gymnasium addition has carefully been removed – not a fun job!

Weathered sandstone at historic main entrance

Weathered sandstone at historic main entrance

The historic carved sandstone façade and character details have all in some part been damaged by wind, rain and snow and require repair or replacement. Demands placed on the original building by additions in 1956 and 1967 have also stressed mortar joints between courses of stone.

Assessing small shifts in foundation and sandstone over 100-year life of building

Assessing small shifts in foundation and sandstone over 100-year life of building

Questions have been raised about how we incorporate salvaged sandstone from the site, or acquire material sourced from abroad. Our masonry contractor suggests that the refashioning of sandstone windowsills from oversized sandstone “field potatoes” in their yard may be one such suitable recourse. There seems to be an interesting story that is emerging to keep a part of Calgary sandstone heritage alive and well!

Tenant Profile: Alberta Magazine Publishers Association

Future cSPACE Tenant The Alberta Magazine Publishers Association (AMPA) is a provincial service organization that supports communities of independent magazines and freelance communities of writers, editors, illustrators, photographers and designers. AMPA’s membership includes magazines, organizations and post-secondary institutes in addition to individual members. Their 70+ magazine members include Where Magazine, Avenue, Swerve, UPPERCASE, and Alberta Views.

We spoke with Executive Director Suzanne Trudel about AMPA’s plans for cSPACE King Edward:

Tell our audience about AMPA, and your work as a Provincial Service Organization.

AMPA is a cultural service support association that sustains a healthy magazine publishing industry by serving the people who publish, create, print and distribute a uniquely Albertan view of the world. We’re a classroom, a forum, an advocate and a united voice for magazine publishers in the province. AMPA supports magazines through promotion, advancement, and practical programs that foster skills training and industry growth.

What are your plans for cSPACE King Edward – tell me more about your vision for the space.  Why did you choose to locate your organization at cSPACE King Edward and what excites you about the community that is forming?

Alberta magazines play a significant role in developing and sustaining a creative community in the province. AMPA is thrilled with the opportunity to build new relationships and be part of a larger community that understands the value of a vital arts and cultural sector. We look forward to being part of an inspired creative space that allows for the development of creative thinkers, fosters innovation and confidence in new ideas, and builds current and future audiences.

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AMPA hosts a Get Literary event in Calgary and Edmonton, where we promote our literary magazine members by distributing free samples and hosting live readings

What events, seminars, library spaces, classes etc. can visitors to cSPACE King Edward expect to encounter from AMPA?  

The skills training AMPA provides for professional creators spans many disciplines. We target seminars, webinars and full-day intensives for writers, editors, art directors, designers, illustrators, photographers, circulators, web designers, app developers, marketers and sales teams. Our programming ranges from how to tell better stories through words, images or social media, grow audiences and readers, to the nuts and bolts of how to develop a business plan, write a grant proposal or manage volunteers and interns.

AMPA also supports professional consultations with subject matter experts from both inside and outside the sector, offers mentoring to new publishers, supports the Alberta Magazine Awards and a paid internship program.

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Michael Wilson, creative director of Popular Mechanics, gives the keynote address at the 2016 Alberta Magazines Conference – AMPA’s largest annual event. Wilson discussed recent redesign of the historic publication.

Tell us a little about your membership. Are you seeing growth of the magazine industry in Alberta, or are there any interesting players coming onto the scene?

AMPA’s magazine membership is made of more than 65 new and established consumer, trade and member-driven publications as well as individuals from the freelance community and more than 20 industry partners that include printers, shippers, distributors, retailers and event companies, web and app developers and ad agencies.

There’s an Alberta magazine for almost every interest – from community, city and regional publications, to politics and business, sports and leisure, university life to innovative small-press arts and literary publications.

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The New Trail team accepted the Alberta Magazine of the Year award at the 2016 awards ceremony. New Trail is a University of Alberta Alumni publication.

What is the future of publishing, and how is AMPA helping its magazine members adapt?

Alberta magazines connect to the neighborhoods, cities and landscapes in which readers live and are an important part of creating vibrant and growing communities. Alberta publishers deliver 18 million copies of Alberta magazines to readers each year. The conversations we create are as vital to the fabric of the province as they’ve ever been.

As the realignment of the media industry continues, so too do the pressures on publishers to extend their brands. The many ways in which consumers access content has disrupted traditional revenue sources for publishers, who now must solve the challenge of how to leverage a brand outside the confines of a print magazine in order to survive.

Nimble and innovative publishers are creating new products and ways to reach untapped audiences. These non-traditional ventures have become as important as the ad sales and subscription revenues upon which they once, almost exclusively, relied.

High engagement between magazine brands and their readers is imperative ans successful publishers commit to reviewing and challenging practices and approaches to extend brands, content and their audiences.

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Mayor Nenshi addresses a crowd of more than 200 magazine professionals at the annual Alberta Magazines Awards Gala. Nenshi emphasized the importance of magazines in telling a city’s story.

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AMPA joins a number of literary and language-based non-profits that will call cSPACE King Edward home, including Alexandria Writers Centre Society, Alliance Francaise, and a number of individual makers in mediums including illustration, photography, and design. Watch for the announcement of our exciting slate of new tenants in the next newsletter!

FAQ’s -cSPACE King Edward Public Art Call

All questions addressed from interested applications will be posted in this forum as they are answered.

General – FAQ’s
Q: Can artists make proposals that extend beyond the boundaries of each noted site?
A: Artwork submissions that extend beyond the boundaries of each noted site will be considered.

SITE 1 – FAQ’s
Q: What is the materiality of the Historic Grand Entrance?
A: The materiality of the main entrance includes a combination of smooth ashlar sandstone and plastered lathe walls, together with historic slate steps and hexagonal porcelane tile flooring. The exterior entrance stairs are of new concrete construction with paneled sandstone newel posts and closed balustrade.

Q: What is the architectural philosophy towards heritage conservation for Historic Grand Entrance Site?
A: King Edward School is designated as a Municipal Historic Resource and is regulated by the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada.

Due to the variable condition of the extant heritage building fabric and considering some original elements are missing, a hybrid approach to conservation will include a mix of restoration and preservation interventions.

This approach to heritage aims to “Conserve the heritage value of a historic place. Do not remove, replace or substantially alter its intact or repairable character-defining elements. Do not move a part of a historic place if its current location is a character-defining element.” as per the Standards and Guidelines.

Q: How does a philosophy of “reversible intervention” inform installation of artwork for the Historic Grand Entrance Site?
A: Reversible interventions are those that can be removed at a later date without damaging the character-defining elements of the historic place. For example, adding a bolt into a plaster surface, as long as the fixture can be removed, and the heritage fabric can be restored is acceptable. Reversible interventions are not destructive. Artwork submissions will be reviewed in accordance with the Standards and Guidelines as noted above.

SITE 2 – FAQ’s
No additional material available at this time.

SITE 3 – FAQ’s

Q: Does Site 3 have power and/or lighting?
A: Site 3 is between the City Municipal Reserve property and 30th Avenue and is without power or lighting. Artists may choose to integrate renewable power generation into their artwork. cSPACE may foster partnerships with the renewable energy sector for technical expertise to support artwork of this kind.

Q: What are the plinth sites, mounting, and how many plinths are available for use at this site?
A: There are two concrete plinths located on either side of a central walkway that creates access to cSPACE King Edward through the Municipal Reserve park space. Located within a charcoal band of sandblasted concrete, the plinths are also surrounded by native grasses together with Creeping Juniper, Bearberry, Wolf Willow and Shrubby Cinquefoil in the adjacent landscape.  See images below for further clarity and PDF for scale reference.

Site 3 - Plinth Locations_web

Site 3 – Plinth locations

Site 3 - Plinth Dimensions_web

Site 3 – Plinth Dimensions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March April Construction Blog

Over the past two months our focus at cSPACE has been occupied with respondents to our most recent tenant call – yet onsite at King Edward construction has progressed unabated, both on the grounds and within sandstone walls.

While we are still a few weeks from announcing our incoming roster of tenants, we hope that this construction update continues to fuel your excitement with everything from foundation demolition and heritage reconstruction, to a little sum of everything in-between.

Dismantling historic chimney atop King Edward

Dismantling historic chimney atop King Edward

Starting up on the lofty heights of King Edward’s roof, our bricklayers have been working to press rewind on the historic chimney. After a hundred-plus-years of service, the chimney is being reinstated to the opposite corner of the school.

Documented sandstone chimney blocks

Documented sandstone chimney blocks

This slight of hand requires that each brick be documented, identified and debonded from its current location. Each piece of stone is then moved four stories to the ground and carefully stored while awaiting reconstruction.

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A new internal chimney shaft is to be constructed to support the restoration of the historic blocks above. Adjusting the length of historic chalkboards and creating new fire rated enclosure are all required to exhaust our new boilers.

New mechanical room with high efficiency boilers

New mechanical room with high efficiency boilers

Down in the new mechanical room, our newly installed and highly efficient, German fabricated hot water condensing boilers are well underway towards being in service.

Welder pipefitting boiler connections

Welder pipefitting boiler connections

In the artist studios across the hall, a temporary welding shop is compiling multiple pipe connections to link up a complex system required for this LEED Gold heating and cooling plant.

Pipe fittings await compilation into mechanical system

Pipe fittings await compilation into mechanical system

Much like the project itself with the ambition for multiple dividends for the community at large, we are certain that the culmination of everyone’s efforts will tally up to more than the sum of their parts.

Enclosures for historic boiler doors cast into terrazzo floor

Enclosures for historic boiler doors cast into terrazzo floor

As a tribute to our historic boilers, concrete pits have now been built into the terrazzo floor to house these cast iron artifacts. With LED lighting and glass above, we look forward to how these framed heritage boilers will be featured and inspirational in the school’s new life as a creative hub.

New HRV under wrap in historic boiler room

New HRV under wrap in historic boiler room

Down in the old historic boiler room, the new heat recovery ventilator is also being connected up. After its epic installation and being under wraps for the past few months, the wrapping has been removed for connections to be made and to allow for the provision of fresh air ventilation to come.

Signatures grace plaque mounted to HRV unit

Signatures grace plaque mounted to HRV unit

One discovery revealed with unwrapping, is the plaque from Scott Springfield Manufacturing that has been installed with the signatures that mark the multiple hands, much like this school itself, that have been involved to build this unit – with pride.

Studio demising walls under construction

Studio demising walls under construction

Up in the attic with framed in walls, roof insulation and skylight frames in place – we can see the vision for the attic studio spaces get closer to their full realization.

Plywood understructure for drywall in artist studio

Plywood understructure for drywall in artist studio

Plywood backing for drywall is now in place to support artistic practice with a robust hanging surface.

Drywalled frame up to skylight view of cupola

Drywalled frame up to skylight view of cupola

The captivating cupola view has also been drywalled and awaits heritage renovation above and a skylight to complete the picture.

Stairwell vestibule and door framing

Stairwell vestibule and door framing

Construction of interior walls throughout the facility is now also underway. Alongside washroom enclosures, exit doors into the stairways have been introduced.

Framing in place to divide historic classroom

Framing in place to divide historic classroom

Change of former classrooms into tenant spaces is now also taking form. Given the demand by smaller organizations for intimate office spaces, several classrooms have been divided into 400 square foot tenant suites.

Chalkboards dissolves into partition wall

Chalkboard dissolves into partition wall

Careful detailing around historic chalkboards along with new windows slated for installation will certainly add up to well appointed space to support our community’s creative missions.

Excavation of historic west wing foundations

Excavation of historic west wing foundations

Along the west side of King Edward, the unearthing of the former 1912 foundations has been initiated to make way for redevelopment and our new theatre space.

Historic foundations exposed to the air

Historic foundations exposed to the air

As mentioned in a previous blog, a structural failure necessitated the demolition of this former west wing, but the historic foundations still remain just under the surface.

6'-2" Reid Henry scaled against massive foundations

6′-2″ Reid Henry scaled against massive foundations

Over five feet wide along the footing, this massive volume of concrete needs to be removed to make way for our new west wing pile foundations.

Cutting lines marked for separation

Cutting lines marked for separation

To accomplish this task, the first order of business was to separate the portion of the foundation that is now obsolete.

Aligning cutting line and tension adjustment

Aligning cutting line and tension adjustment

Finessing where and how to cut has involved setting up a looped cutting line running at hundreds of metres per second and guided by careful tensile adjustments.

Line used for concrete cutting

Line used for concrete cutting

Concrete dust flying as foundations are cut

Concrete dust flying as foundations are cut

Seeing the concrete dust fly and a simple line and pulley guide spinning at mock speed, was quite the sight, especially against the massiveness of walls themselves.

Pulley wheel mounted for concrete cutting

Pulley wheel mounted for concrete cutting

Excavators remove concrete foundation debris

Excavators remove concrete foundation debris

With incisions complete, excavators were reemployed to remove the foundation debris from what remained of the lost wing – while removing any physical impediment for our new west wing’s construction to begin.

Cores being cut into 1950s concrete wall

Cores being cut into 1950s concrete wall

Along the southeast corner of the building a concrete momento from the 1950s gymnasium was also demoed – to some extent. After considered deliberation of how to address an unfortunate concrete wall bonded to sandstone, we decided to leave most in place to avert any structural risks.

Windows get opened up with removal of concrete slabs

Windows get opened up with removal of concrete slabs

Precise cuts and selective demolition was employed however to remove large 15” thick slabs of concrete to reveal historic window openings that have been covered for over 60 years.

Excavator set to carefully remove several thousand pounds of concrete wall section

Excavator set to carefully remove several thousand pounds of concrete wall section

The eventual finish for this portion of the building will be of a contemporary expression in the architectural language employed for other portions of new construction, or where historic fabric has been lost.

Three of four heritage windows revealed with removal of concrete

Three of four heritage windows revealed with removal of concrete

Temporary welding shop and newly opened windows

Temporary welding shop and newly opened windows

With openings and cores cut for access, chain and help from an excavator’s bucket was used to wiggle free these massive concrete slabs. After all this heavy lifting we are pleased that once again the light and natural ventilation can come through into the studio space within.

Line painted for waterproof membrane installation

Line painted for waterproof membrane installation

Additional excavation was also required around the remaining historic foundation, not for demolition but to improve the building envelope’s future prospects.

Membrane adhered to concrete foundation

Membrane adhered to concrete foundation

With new waterproof membrane and weeping tile installed, we now anticipate that the foundation of this old school will be protected for many more years to come.

Newly installed weatherproofing along east facade

Newly installed weatherproofing along east facade

In the background, of this last shot, we were also graced with the delivery of our new hydraulic elevator. Arriving in pieces on a flatbed truck, installation will be initiated shortly to provide the facility with accessibility to all and valuable loading features for our tenants.

Flatbed delivers elevator as a kit of parts for installation

Flatbed delivers elevator as a kit of parts for installation

 

Requiring substantial attention due to alteration in the 1960s, the northeast stair will become eventually become a new contemporary entrance to the facility.

Scaffold for repair to northeast entry

Scaffold for repair to northeast entry

While some historic fabric will need masonry and plaster repair, we also are excited how the arts community will respond to this location as one of our three public art sites.

Pattern of historic sandstone block both rough and smooth along with cinder block repair

Pattern of historic sandstone block both rough and smooth along with cinder block repair

In wrapping up this blog, we are excited that our plasterers are closing up incisions into shaft walls and for electricians who are pulling wire through newly installed conduit.  We hope you stay tuned in the coming weeks for exciting announcements related to our Public Art Call and to continued construction developments as we get all the closer to reopening King Edward’s doors!

Artist Mark Vazquez-MacKay's painting of Chris Demeanour's poetic verse hidden beneath new plaster repairs

Artist Mark Vazquez-MacKay’s painting of Chris Demeanour’s poetic verse hidden beneath new plaster repairs

 

 

 

New wiring and upgraded ships ladder to attic

New wiring and upgraded ships ladder to attic

Call to Artists – cSPACE King Edward Public Art Project

cSPACE invites artists who are resident to Alberta to submit qualifications to create semi-integrated public artwork(s) that contribute to the transformation of historic King Edward School into a 21st century Arts Hub and Incubator.

Date of Issue: April 15, 2016
Value of Contract: $170,000 CAD
Location: 1720 – 30th Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Download the full Call to Artists (PDF)
Addendum A: 
Full site drawings and plans (PDF)
Addendum B: cSPACE Background (PDF)
Updated information will be posted in the project FAQ’s

As a facility designed to support diverse communities of creatives, this is a unique opportunity for artist(s) from emerging through established career levels to be involved in an impactful, multi-site public art project.cSPACE connects community and placemaking in new ways and we are seeking partnerships with artists who have the creativity and capacity to design and execute bold public artwork(s).

This call to artists includes a two-stage selection process.  Up to three artists will be shortlisted for each location to submit conceptual designs from which the chosen artist(s) will be selected by the cSPACE public art jury.  Shortlisted artists will participate in site visits and further research prior to preparing full proposals.

There are a total of three (3) opportunities listed in this call.

Total budget for three (3) opportunities: $ 170,000 CAD
Deadline for submissions: May 27, 2016 at 4:00pm MST
Selection and notification of shortlisted artists: July 2016
Shortlisted proposals and conceptual designs due: September 2016
Artists Awarded Contracts: December 15, 2016
Art Installations: Spring 2017- January 2018

This call is produced with the support of The Alberta Foundation for the Arts Public Art Commission Program. Final works of art will become a part of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts permanent collection.

AFA_LOGO-clrCMYK

Call for Public Art Jury – Artistic Peer and Community Members

cSPACE seeks Artistic Peer and Community Jury members to select public artwork(s) for cSPACE King Edward arts hub and arts incubator.
DOWNLOAD the PDF HERE.

ABOUT cSPACE KING EDWARD 

cSPACE King Edward is located at 1720 – 30th Avenue SW in the vibrant, arts-friendly, inner-city neighborhood of Marda Loop in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  The LEED Gold redevelopment of a 1912 historic school will provide approximately 47,000 square feet of highly adaptable artist studios, together with production, exhibition, rehearsal and office spaces for artists, nonprofits and cultural entrepreneurs. This new multi-tenant arts facility and municipally designated heritage building will open in November 2016.

cSPACE intends to integrate artworks into high-profile public locations throughout the interior and surrounding grounds of the facility. Artworks commissioned will showcase both emerging and established artists, working across artistic mediums. cSPACE is seeking public artwork that is contemporary, multidisciplinary, thought provoking, and responsive to the heritage of a century-old school as a historic place of learning and prominent sandstone landmark within the community.

A call for public art proposals was released in April 2016.

DESCRIPTION OF JUROR’S ROLE

Jury members will select public artwork(s) from varied forms of artistic media and career levels. Artwork(s) will be selected by a two-stage jury process. Following a Request for Qualifications from prospective artists, the jury(s) will meet first to shortlist artists to create conceptual designs (up to 3 proposals per site). The jury(s) will then meet again to determine final artwork selection from the developed design concepts.

If multiple artwork sites are confirmed for cSPACE King Edward, Artists may propose artwork(s) for prospective sites and apply to also be artist peer jurors for the sites they are not proposing artwork for provided that there is no perceived conflict.

QUALIFICATIONS AND REQUIRED SKILLS

Artistic peer jurors will posses a background in the arts (ideally but not limited to public art, large-scale artworks, sculpture & installation, and or visual/media arts). Artists peers will demonstrate a commitment to an artistic discipline and/or reflect a high level of artistic and aesthetic experience and accomplishment in their own artistic career.

Community member jurors are Calgarians who possess an appreciation and understanding of the arts, andare sensitive to the impact and value of public artwork within a local community. Community members jurors should possess skills that are transferable within the context of this public art call and will recognize the value of historic places, have knowledge and insight into the social and cultural climate of Calgary, and have local awareness of the community of Marda Loop.

In addition to these skills cSPACE is looking for Jury members who will bring an open mind, exceptional listening skills, a willingness to embrace change and thrive in a committee structure. Artists and Community members who possess relevant skills, expertise and knowledge that will accommodate the varied range of artist(s) and artworks(s) to be juried are encouraged to apply.

TIMELINES (All dates subject to change)

April 2016 – Public Art Request for Expressions of Interest released
May 2016 – Jury selection and notification. All jury members are to attend a one (1) hour training session and cSPACE King Edward site tour prior to reviewing jury materials.
June 2016 – Jury(s) receives materials for review. The jury(s) commitment will be scheduled for two (2) eight (8) hour day deliberations.
July 2016 – Shortlisted artists announced for conceptual design proposals.
September –October 2016 – The jury(s) will have access to final artist concepts (to a maximum of 3 per project location). Scheduling of second jury deliberation will include artist interviews and review of conceptual design proposals for (two (2) eight (8) hour day deliberations)
November 2016 – Final artwork(s) selection announced

COMPENSATION

cSPACE recognizes that jury volunteers dedicate their time and expertise to the investment process. For meetings refreshments will be provided, and parking/transit costs are covered provided that jurors submit their receipts. cSPACE will provide an honorarium to Artist peer jury members as per CARFAC guidelines.

Deadline for Application: April 29, 2016

Please provide (in PDF format, via email):

  • A maximum one page letter stating your interest and supporting expertise for jury participation
  • A supporting C.V. or resume (2 page maximum)

Send your application to:

Karilynn Thompson, karilynn.thompson@cspaceprojects.com

Yearbooks wanted – King Edward School, pre-1950 and 1968-88

Did you (or someone you know) attend the King Edward school before 1950 or from 1968 -1988?

We are currently digitizing yearbooks and images from the school’s almost 90 years of service, but we are missing a large section of yearbooks!  We are looking to borrow your yearbook to create a digitally scanned copy, and your assistance will support an upcoming online storytelling project.

Unwanted yearbooks from these years may also be donated to cSPACE, to be archived with the Calgary Board of Education.

To loan or donate your King Edward yearbook or provide historic images of the school, please email Karilynn.thompson@cspaceprojects.com.

Tenant Profile: Alberta Craft Council

Calgarians love craft, with a burgeoning contemporary craft community that includes a new MFA program in Craft Media at the Alberta College of Art and Design, and popular exhibition and sale venues including the New Craft Coalition, and Calgary staple, Market Collective (8 years and running).  Market venues for craft have played a large part in launching the careers of now permanent retailers like the Livery Shop and Plant (both located in Inglewood) which had their start at Market Collective. The Craft Council at cSPACE King Edward marks a decade-long pursuit to establish a facility in Calgary to support this dynamic and growing community.

We spoke with Executive Director Tom McFall on the exciting plans for Craft Council at cSPACE King Edward:

c: ACC has long been established as a successful gallery in Edmonton: Why the expansion to Calgary and what makes this the city that you want to work in?

Alberta Craft Council is a Provincial Arts Service Organization and works with a province-wide membership. About 1/3 of these members are Calgary based. While located permanently in Edmonton, ACC has planned, for a long time, a second centre of exhibition, retail and service activity, in Calgary. After a dozen proposals, over as many years, the King Edward Arts Hub has finally provided the right place, space and atmosphere for the new Alberta Craft Gallery – Calgary.

ACC_edmonton_location

Alberta Craft Council Gallery & Shop, Downtown Edmonton

c: What are your plans for cSPACE King Edward – tell me more about your vision for the gallery and retail space?

The Alberta Craft Gallery – Calgary will occupy the former auditorium of King Edward School. The high ceilings, and original plasterwork will be restored and various contemporary gallery elements will be inserted. The space will be quite flexible, and will be allocated approximately half and half to exhibitions and retail activity. Openings, artist talks, tours, professional development events, and special projects will be hosted within the gallery space or in other areas of King Edward…this will all be a significant expansion of the ACC’s other province-wide and Edmonton-based activity. The gallery is also expected to become a prominent public destination attracting gallery goers, craft aficionados, collectors and shoppers, cultural tourists, as well as students and members.

ACC_Rendering

Concept drawing for the ACC’s exhibition and retail galleries in cSPACE King Edward Arts Hub

c: Tell us about your programming methodologies, and what visitors to cSPACE King Edward can look forward to seeing in the new gallery space:

Alberta Craft Council is the second largest gallery in downtown Edmonton, attracting 30,000 visitors annually to exhibitions, events and great shopping. The Discovery and Feature Galleries present about 20 exhibitions each year, which occasionally tour … as far as the US and South Korea. The Gallery Shop offers work for sale by about 150 emerging and professional members. ACC also coordinates a quarterly magazine, advocacy projects, awards, special projects, and a range of valuable career development services. The Craft Council has members province-wide and a significant concentration of members in Calgary who are often associated with ACAD.

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ACC Feature Gallery exhibition “Masterworks” (Oct – Dec 2015)

 

c: Where are the areas of craft that you are seeing the greatest growth in Alberta?

Alberta has a sophisticated contemporary craft arts scene. Important craft-supportive institutions include Alberta College of Art and Design, Series Summer School (Red Deer College), and Medalta. Calgary has an especially high concentration of craft artists with national and international reputations. For example, four of the 16 recipients of Governor General’s Awards for craft have been Calgarians. Southern Alberta has fostered a lively studio ceramics scene since the 1920s and Calgary is one of Canada’s three or four hot-spots for hot glass artists.

ACC works with emerging and established professional craft artists – those who are on a career path. Many other organizations provide learning opportunities for the hobby or serious amateur interests. And there has been a recent large increase in the DIY, Etsy and other entrepreneurial makers overlap with fine craft.

ACC_workshop

Paper workshop with visiting Korean artists in Calgary artist Dirk Van Wyk’s studio

c: What are some of your favorite past ACC shows and what made them stand out?

ACC has produced more than 250 exhibitions under my direction. Every one of these exhibitions, and related publications, openings, tours etc, has expressed the really remarkable individual creativity, innovative thinking, skill, accomplishment, and dedication of member craft art artists. My favorite exhibitions include:

  • “Alberta Made Home” featured 200 pieces of fine craft home furnishings at the ACC Gallery in Edmonton and Triangle Gallery
  • “Alberta Scene”, fibre art landscapes and urbanscapes, toured Canada for 4 years
  • “All About Alberta” went to the Alberta Centennial in Ottawa, to Alberta at the Smithsonian, to Cheongju International Craft Biennale in South Korea, and toured 8 Canadian and US cities
  • “Clay 2010” featured work by 45 Alberta ceramic artists whose work was all acquired by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts
  • “Prairie Excellence”, a joint project with Saskatchewan and Manitoba Craft Councils toured 9 prairie public galleries
  • “Pulp, Paper, Pages” was presented at ACC in Edmonton, Leighton Art Centre and Wonju South Korea
ACC_hildebrand_discovery

ACC Discovery Gallery exhibition “A Place for Everything” by ceramic artist Terry Hildebrand

c: What is the procedure to get involved with ACC for interested local craftspeople looking to exhibit or sell in the gallery?

ACC has an open general membership for anyone interested in supporting craft arts in Alberta. There is also a professional membership, with a submission process and advisory committee, which provides access to a wide range of services such as retail gallery, various marketing ventures, on-going career development assistance, national and international projects, etc. For more about ACC’s exhibitions and services, please visit www.albertacraft.ab.ca

 

We are excited for the inclusion of ACC – bringing a strong craft presence to the main public floor of cSPACE King Edward. In the spring we will be announcing our exciting slate of new tenants – including individual makers offering everything from workshops to product sale, in mediums ranging from fine art through photography, jewelry and more!

The Alberta Craft Council (ACC, est. 1980) a Provincial Arts Service Organization supporting contemporary and heritage craft art forms in Alberta.  ACC runs Edmonton’s second largest public gallery, and is the most active craft council west of Quebec, serving over 400 members.

February Construction Blog

With spring in the air and less than a year before we reopen the doors to King Edward, there is an increased pace on site and time appears to be just flying along! This February’s update on construction includes completion of the elevator shaft, pile foundations for our onsite armatures, and further detailing of attic studios just ahead of our tenant proposal submission deadline.

View towards attic studios  from 4th floor corridor

View towards attic studios from 4th floor corridor

Since our last update the attic studios have progressed in fine fashion. With framed in walls, roof insulation and skylight frames in place – one can see the vision for these spaces really begin to take shape.

Intricate angles of studio ceiling receiving tape and mud

Intricate angles of studio ceiling receiving tape and mud

Drywall and plastering has also been initiated, bringing a sense of fresh whiteness to the ceiling, while accentuating the contrast between rough sandstone and exposed brick walls. This new dramatic ceiling-scape against historic building suggest a unique spatial condition like that of a contemporary installation within a historic space.

Funky corner studio with framed skylight opening

Funky corner studio with framed skylight opening

Recently completed in time for this entry is also a small pièce de ré·sis·tance for these forth floor studios – the cupola skylight framing. After much deliberation, we are pleased that a solution to address the weather-tightness of the roof while also revealing a view up to the historic cupola has been resolved.

View up through skylight frame to historic cupola above

View up through skylight frame to historic cupola above

 

With space for gallery exhibitions, informal seating, and a great cupola view above, we recognize that this will certainly become a unique gathering place for our artist community in the years to come.

Future studio walls marked on concrete

Future studio walls marked on concrete

Reaching new heights has also been achieved for the elevator shaft this month. After initiating the shaft foundations in December, masons have now completed the final 4th floor of concrete block wall earlier this month.

Top interior of elevator shaft with steel carrier beam

Top interior of elevator shaft with steel carrier beam

Completing the structure for the elevator now includes a steel hanging beam and concrete pad that encloses the top of the shaft up in the attic. After filming some of the elevator shaft construction, a calm has once again returned to the attic with that portion of the construction complete.

Cumulation of elevator shaft in the attic

Cumulation of elevator shaft in the attic

Down in the lower mechanical room where our video captures the new heat recovery unit being installed, we are pleased to have the temporary wall opening now enclosed.

New concrete foundation wall shoring up lower mechanical room

New concrete foundation wall shoring up lower mechanical room

With new concrete foundation wall and support columns, we can now rest easier knowing that the engineered temporary shoring (that for several months held up three stories of stone school above) has been replaced successfully with permanent structure now in place.

New steel columns in mechanical room

New steel columns in mechanical room

With plaster repair and paint scheduled for the mechanical spaces, we are still waiting to unwrap our mechanical air handling “present” from a few months back.

Architect Kevin Nyhoff inspects ceiling for repair

Architect Kevin Nyhoff inspects ceiling for repair

As the new heat recovery unit along with boilers are now in their installed location awaiting connection to the rest of the building, the new electrical main panels are in place also getting ready for action. In the coming weeks we anticipate our new electrical to be energized and our use of temporary generator power to come to an end.

Electrical panels await full energization

Electrical panels await full energization

On the exterior of the building while window installation and stone repair eagerly awaits spring weather, there has been other recent change underway. For one, rebar cages for the new piles are now on site awaiting installation to support the new west wing theatre foundations.

Rebar cages arrive for west wing foundation piles

Rebar cages arrive for west wing foundation piles

Along the exterior of the south facade, scaffold stairs provide a temporary fire escape and recall the historic stairs once providing emergency egress.

Temporary exit stairs on south facade

Temporary exit stairs on south facade

 

 

These historic stairs on the north side of the school were removed in the 70s but added an interesting character element to the historic school back in their day.

Northside King Edward School with historic fire escape, 1960s

Northside King Edward School with historic fire escape, 1960s

To the north, we now have concrete piles in place for our service enclosure that will house site irrigation equipment to power supply, bike lockup and recycling collection. To the east of the school, piles are now also in place for our east armature that will provide an adaptable structure for arts programming and play enclosure for our Montessori tots.

Concrete boom near future north service enclosure

Concrete boom near future north service enclosure

 

 

Early in the month a new concrete pad was also installed where our new north entrance will soon begin to take shape.

New concrete floor in NE entry levelled with power trowel

New concrete floor in NE entry levelled with power trowel

With a calendar shift to Spring in the coming weeks, we are certainly looking forward to more greenery on the horizon and to work on the exterior grounds and building to resume once again. Stay tuned for the construction action in the month ahead.

Tenant Profile: Maria Montessori Education Centre

King Edward served as a school for 90 years, educating generations of Calgary’s youth (including a notable artists and future oil barons!). Built at a time when Calgary was booming, the construction of King Edward launched a new ambition for supporting learning and exploration. Fast forward a century and that legacy continues with the Maria Montessorri Education Centre (MMEC) at cSPACE.

Historic_students_731x308

Historic photo of students at King Edward. Courtesy of the Glenbow Archives, NA-1855-2

Beyond the nod to the heritage of the 1912 school, MMEC (a non-profit and registered charity) will provide the community with a unique child development environment and bring a wonderful energy to the building. Montessori methodology aligns strongly with the arts by “encouraging children to become creative thinkers and engineers of their own learning.”

Precedent for this type of inclusive community can be found in Toronto’s 401 Richmond complex and their childcare centre Studio 123: Early Learning Centre.  The centre has run for 15 years out of the arts-focused building and is self described as “a special place where very young children can explore and discover in the midst of a dynamic, creative community”.

While the creatives at cSPACE will be influential for these young developing minds, integration of the centre triggered a novel solution to outdoor playspace. Many spaces at King Edward are designed to function multiple ways, generating opportunities for Calgarians to engage in the arts. cSPACE looked for inspiration to New York’s Lentspace, which features a “a moveable sculptural fence… that can enclose or open the site to different degrees, creating an array of social spaces.” Facing the future active living seniors’ residence, we have designed an outdoor courtyard for children’s play with the ability to morph into a seating, performance space, or an outdoor art show location when not in use.

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Lentspace in New York features “a moveable sculptural fence”

We spoke further with Servejit Massey of MMEC to learn more about what the Montessori centre will look like at cSPACE King Edward:

c: Tell us more about the mission and creation of MMEC?

MMEC: The centre was created in 2007 by a group of passionate, ambitious parents and educators. Our collaborative focus was to provide Calgary families with an authentic, low tuition Montessori experience in an environment that nurtured the individual growth and development of each child that came through our doors. Our main campus is located on Calgary’s Currie Barracks.

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MMEC’s current space on the Currie Barracks

c: What is the Montessori philosophy and what are the benefits of this educational system?

MMEC: Montessori is a system of education based on the understanding that every child has an innate motivation to learn. We provide a thoughtfully prepared environment, designed to promote physical, academic, and psychological development. In our mixed-age classrooms, children are free to work at their own pace, collaborating in small groups lead by their guides. We know that children learn best by using all their senses, not just by listening, so the carefully-designed Montessori materials support children’s need to feel, smell, manipulate, and hear. Traditional education divides up learning into arbitrary categories, but the Montessori curriculum is a deeply interconnected one, with children focusing on integrated patterns of knowledge.

The Montessori method is a very creative and holistic way of learning. A sense of community is an integral part of our students’ experiences.

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Montessori materials support children’s need to feel, smell, manipulate, and hear

c: Tell us about your plans for your tenant spaces on the main and lower levels of cSPACE King Edward

MMEC will occupy 2 classrooms – one Casa classroom (children ages 3-6 years of age) and a Toddler community (children 19-36 months).  The Casa program is home to about 24-28 children, and the Toddler community has a capacity of 12 children. Both classes are led by a Montessori Guide and offer half day (8:30-11:30am) and full day options (8:30am-5:00pm).

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A child plays at MMEC’s Currie Barracks location

MMEC at cSPACE is a crucial part of a community that is inclusive of those in the arts who have children (for an interesting supporting read challenging the notion of artists as parents, check out Canadian Art’s recent article 6 Questions About Art & Parenthood). cSPACE King Edward will open in November 2016 as an intergenerational community space facilitating connections to art lovers of all ages. Our breadth of tenants include everything from MMEC to the Calgary Association of Lifelong Learners (serving insatiable learners over 45). We’re excited to see how these generations of learners are both inspired by, and inspiring for, our artistic community!

MMEC is presently accepting applications for their programs beginning at cSPACE King Edward in January 2017.

Applications can be found on their website, where you will also find detailed information about their main campus Currie Barracks Campus, other programs and tuition fees. For parents that are interested in an earlier start date, MMEC is exploring the opportunity of starting the King Edward classes at the main campus (the main campus is located on Calgary’s Currie Barracks and offers programs for children ages 19 month to grade 9.) and then transferring the children in January 2017. Please contact Servejit Massey at servejit@gmail.com to discuss this option.

January Construction Blog

With cSPACE King Edward opening later this year, construction activity in January has kicked 2016 off to a great start! We are excited to share progress on our dedicated artist studios, the ascension of our new elevator shaft, a few moments of demolition, and new walls!

New openings through brick shaft wall created for code compliant entry into tenant spaces

New openings through brick shaft wall created for code compliant entry into tenant spaces

Up in the 4th floor artist studios, progress has extended beyond the new concrete flooring up to the roof assembly. Along with studio partition walls that have now been marked out, frames have been prepared for new operable skylights to be installed in the spring. Special attention was placed on positioning skylights at a height that artists can view the downtown skyline.

Framing for skylights in artist attic studios

Framing for attic skylights in artist studios

With the historic roof rafters doubled up for increased strength, our Irish contingent of carpenters Danny and Eugene have worked to even out discrepancies and bowing that has occurred to the roof over time. With new blocking in place, insulation is also well underway to make this a comfortable space for artists to create.

Eugene adding batons for insulation and drywall

Eugene adding batons for insulation and drywall

Drywall will be used to the finish the ceiling and illuminate the dramatic volume of the space while the patina of brick will add to the unique character of this space. With our recent tenant call still in progress, we look forward to seeing what artists and creative practices will bring this space to life!

Looking down elevator shaft

Looking down elevator shaft

Throughout January the void created through the centre of King Edward for our elevator has begun to transform. From the ground floor up, masons have been laying brick for each entire floor in just a few days.

Elevator shaft opening before bricklayers work

Elevator shaft opening before bricklayers work

Framed door opening to elevator on 2nd floor

Framed door opening to elevator on 2nd floor

A door buck at each level is used to frame each door opening. Once each floor of brick is complete a concrete bond beam is poured to structurally connect the shaft back to each floor slab of the historic school. One wheelbarrow load of concrete at a time, is boomed up from outside through a classroom window ramp and manhandled into location.

Boom to lift concrete into 4th floor classroom

Boom to lift concrete into 4th floor classroom

View from 4th floor classroom out to Cowboy Trail and the Kananaskis beyond

View from 4th floor classroom out to Cowboy Trail and the Kananaskis beyond

At the time of this update, our team of bricklayers is now set to complete the 4th floor sections before capping the elevator shaft in the attic. With a time-lapse camera in place to capture the action, we look forward to sharing the progress of this work in the month ahead.

Sam and Scott pour ring beam before 4th floor bricklaying can resume

Sam and Scott pour ring beam before 4th floor bricklaying can resume

Amidst an increasing amount of new construction material in the way of mechanical ducting along with electrical conduit runs, there are still a few moments of demolition on onsite. Some areas require insertions between brick shaft walls for new air ducts and in other places a new doorway.

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On the ground floor, demolition occurred this week to open up the doorway for our theatre support space. In our endeavour to carve as much functional use out of this historic building as possible, this space below the main entry stairs is slated to become a location for a box office, bar and food sales or a place to store a baby grand piano.

Steel lintel prepped for installation of new doorway

Steel lintel prepped for installation of new doorway

Demolition of masonry wall for future event support space

Demolition of masonry wall for future event support space

Throughout the month we have also seen the pouring of concrete in places where historic concrete needed love and where new construction is to occur.  On the 4th floor a new pad has been poured where the roof will be lifted for a social kitchen space. With exposed historic brick and sandstone together with the new glass architecture of the west wing, this will be a compelling place for informal meet ups, creative brainstorming and coffee.

New floor slab in social kitchen space

New floor slab in social kitchen space

On the ground floor, new concrete flooring is now home to partition walls and the necessary hanging structure for toilets, sinks, and showering facilities. We are pleased with the spatial organization of this space and how it will support patrons, back-of-house event needs and everyday tenants alike.

Former boys washroom transformed with new partitioning and plumbing fixtures

Former boys washroom transformed with new partitioning and plumbing fixtures

View through future shower and changing space to backstage door

View through future shower and changing space to backstage door

We are excited too that new foundations are in place for the new north entranceway. This location following its renovation will be an architectural beacon out to the community – housing a new stairway and large landings with great downtown city views.

Void of former girl's entrance with foundation poured for future stairway and facility entry

Void of former girl’s entrance with foundation poured for future stairway and facility entry

In the months ahead we look forward to seeing this new construction begin and to the creative signal that King Edward will become!

North site design rendering of cSPACE King Edward

North site design rendering of cSPACE King Edward with new entrance at centre

 

December 2nd – December 23rd – Construction Blog with Video of New Mechanical Equipment!

December has been a busy and exciting month with tours from prospective tenants and plenty of construction action along the way. While interior progress within the building has been impressive, the most significant onsite arrival has been our new boilers and air handling equipment just in time for Christmas!

Finished Concrete Floors in Attic Studios

Finished Concrete Floors in Attic Studios

Continuing from our last entry, up in the attic studios we are pleased that the concrete has set and that the floors are now prepped as a robust surface for artists to work. New plywood-backed drywall in these spaces will give them a good surface to create and we now eagerly await the skylights to this space.

Concrete contractor awaits next wheelbarrow to arrive

Concrete contractor awaits next wheelbarrow to arrive

Concrete pouring has also continued with small slabs required in new bathrooms and storage spaces on the 4th floor. With an access hole in the attic still present, concrete has been pumped up from outside and distributed internally by wheelbarrow.

Concrete crack and 1960s structural pinning

Concrete crack and 1960s structural pinning

On the third floor, concrete will also be added to a floor crack that is being stabilized for new washroom toilets. In uncovering this space, we can see the pinning that was added to stabilize the structure in the 1960s.

Demolition of west wing in 1978. Glenbow Archives na-2864

Demolition of west wing in 1978. Glenbow Archives na-2864

Unfortunately the adjoining historic wing to this crack was demolished in the 1978 but our contemporary west wing will rebuild on this former footprint to reinstate the wholeness of the building.

Masons shape up new  elevator shaft on 1st floor

Masons shape up new elevator shaft on 1st floor

Newly installed German made boilers in new mechanical space

Newly installed German made boilers in new mechanical space

On the lower floor the masons are progressing quickly on the elevator shaft on the lower level. In this location they have had a prime view to the new boilers in the room next door and experience of the -15c winds coming in with the arrival of the air handling equipment – much to their chagrin!

New air handling equipment arrives by truck on 29th avenue

New air handling equipment arrives by truck on 29th avenue

 

Crane is set in place for installation

Crane is set in place for installation

On a cold December 22nd, the air handling equipment tallying 18, 251 pounds arrived via truck for its introduction within the historic walls of King Edward and former space of the historic boilers. After several failed attempts at getting the truck onsite, our Christmas mechanical package was craned off the flatbed and delicately slotted into it’s new home with careful precision and a little persuasion.

Truck parked in position to unload equipment

Truck parked in position to unload equipment

Air handler craned off truckbed

Air handler craned off truckbed

Air handler is precisely inserted through opening into historic school

Air handler is precisely inserted through opening into historic school

 

 

Now out from the cold and against the ghost of the former boilers, we look forward to seeing the unwrapped package in the New Year ahead! Check out our VIDEO of the event and best wishes for the holidays and to an exciting 2016 ahead!

18,000 pounds of equipment moved into place

18,000 pounds of equipment moved into place

 

A conversation with Forte Musical Theatre Guild

With our new Call for Tenant proposals at the King Edward launched in October, we connected with Joe Slabe, artistic director and founder of Forte Musical Theatre Guild, to talk about their work and why they chose cSPACE as a future home. Unique to Calgary and Canada, Forte creates exclusively new musical theatre, including their upcoming Christmas production ‘Naughty but Nice’ in December.

cSPACE: Tell us about the beginnings of Forte (est. 2008):

JS: I had some shows I had written that I wanted to see done, and no one in town really had the mandate.  I have good connections with people at ATP and Theatre Calgary, and have worked for these companies as a musical director.  I thought in terms of doing new musicals, especially smaller scale ones that I am more interested in, there just wasn’t the mandate there.  Then I thought: be the change you want to see!  It’s a very unique niche, because the only other company that exclusively does musicals in Canada is a group in Toronto called Theatre 20 – and they do not do all new musicals.  We only do completely new shows, and in that sense I think we are unique in the country.

c: What are some of your influences, and favorite past productions?

JS: I’ve always been interested in smaller shows – off-broadway or fringe theatre musicals that are focused on compelling, relatable human characters – intimate shows that you can do in a small space with minimal resources.  I’m interested in a theatre of musicians where the actors play instruments as a part of the show…(like an influential) revival of Cabaret, where all the chorus members played instruments.  I also have a real soft spot for West Side Story – I can trace my fascination with theatre to that.

Of our shows, I’m really proud of Forte’s Touch Me: Songs for a (dis)Connected Age.  Our audience commented that it was funny, it was sexy, but also touched people – they were not expecting to be so moved by the show.  A production of show that I wrote, Crossing Swords won 5 awards at the New York Music Theatre Festival, and we’re still talking about a potential off-broadway production for it. It’s a show that has a lot of legs and might be the way that Forte makes it’s mark.

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Forte Musical Theatre Guild production of Touch Me: Songs for a (dis)Connected Age (2014)

 

c: So, how do you go about writing a musical?

JS: To develop a musical from the first idea to getting it on stage typically takes between 5 -10 years.  You need to workshop it and musicals are one of the hardest things to write. Most people work with partners – I’ve written with a couple other people, but I was largely self-taught until I went away to London and got a degree in it there.  Out of necessity I’ve worked on my own a lot or  I work with writing teams where one person does the lyrics and the other does the music. It’s a small community of people writing musicals – there just aren’t that many people in Calgary, so we have to cast our net further (Toronto, New York, London and beyond).

c: If our readers have never had the pleasure of attending a Forte production, can you describe what they could expect?

JS: Forte shows are generally smart, funny, a little cheeky, and they always have surprising heart. People are usually surprised that they are moved by our shows, and we’re known for pushing the envelope in terms of content.  It’s more adult than PG 13!

c: What is coming up next for Forte?

JS:  We’re expanding our programming, and rebooting (our Christmas musical) Naughty but Nice with new material.  We’ve partnered with Lunchbox Theatre for the first time, and last year’s production was met with great reviews. The audience response was fantastic and it was nominated for outstanding production of a musical at both the Critics awards and Betty Mitchell Awards. We’re also bringing in a show written by Joel Crichton – ‘Death Live’, presenting a limited one week run in the Lunch Box space and partnering with Storybook Theatre in March 2016 for a production of the Paper Bag Princess.

c: You went to school in London, why did you come back to Calgary?

JS: I loved going to school in London, and I’ve done a couple of shows in New York. The fact of the matter is that we can workshop things here, in some ways, more effectively than we ever could in New York.  There’s enough going on here that I can make my living – I’m not sure that I could do that in other places.  There are opportunities in Calgary – it’s a good sized city with a great theatre community. I have employed many people from out of town and a lot of them agreed to work here because they love Calgary and our theatre scene.

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Forte Musical Theatre Guild production of Crossing Swords (2013)

c: What are your thoughts and plans for your tenancy at cSPACE King Edward?

cSPACE will be our first home – the office right now is in my basement, the props and sets are in the garage – we are going to have a real home!

Compared to most other spaces that we would be looking at this is quite reasonable. It’s a beautiful old building and the location is great. Once we hit the half-classroom size (about 450 s.f) it became economically viable.  I’ve redone a couple houses – I think I’m pretty good at spotting potential and I think it’s going to be gorgeous!

We’re very interested in the theatre space – it’s a great size and being in the community could be really fantastic because there’s your whole audience.  We’re excited about having a space where we can have room for writers, and we could rehearse and workshop things.  We can have board meetings in the board room, rather than at my dining room table, and the view will be fantastic.

c: Any advice for young, up-and-comers thinking about starting a theatre company?

JS: It worked for me.  The best advice I ever got in terms of learning how to do shows is to do them.  A writer writes, a producer produces – if that’s what you want to do, find a way to make it happen.  You can’t forget to do it – there’s a temptation to spend so much time thinking about how you are going to do it, or having fundraisers, or becoming so focused on that part of it that you don’t do the art.  There are lots of little companies that exist but don’t do shows. Do it, and find someone to mentor you on the business side.

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Forte Musical Theatre Guild production of Twisted (2011)

Now that you know the backstory, check out Forte’s upcoming presentation of ‘Naughty but Nice’ running at the Lunch Box Theatre, December 8th – 20th, 2015.

We’re excited to see what the future of Forte holds, the collaborations that spin out of their space and the theatre at cSPACE King Edward.  To connect with Forte, or check out past and current projects find them at www.fortemusical.ca

 

November 9th – November 27th Construction Blog

With a fresh blanket of snow this last week we are reminded of winter returning yet again and the implications of colder days. For King Edward, exterior site work has slowed down but inside there continues to be a flurry of activity!

Pigeons looking for some winter relief

Pigeons looking for some winter relief

Undoubtedly still capturing our awe is the new elevator opening cut through four storeys of the school. Not only does this provide an inspiring vertical view through the full height of the structure, but we also get detailed glimpses into the construction method from 100 years ago.

Floor cut through reveals early formwork system for pouring concrete floor with integrated beams

Floor cut through reveals early Kahn formwork system for pouring concrete floors with integrated beams

With this significant intervention now behind us, there are still a few doorways openings and mechanical cores required through historic brick walls. Yet throughout the school with red dust covering the floors and walls – the memory of cutting still remains.

Construction sketch made in historic brick dust

Construction sketch made in historic brick dust

Within every classroom, narrow incisions through the brick to insert mechanical ducts and conceal them out of sight are nearly complete. On the 3rd floor a memory in chalk from the Market Collective in 2013 reminds us of the creative energy that will return to King Edward in 2016. Let’s not forget to support our local artists again at this years market!

3rd floor classroom with Market Collective chalkboard sketch from 2013

3rd floor classroom with Market Collective chalkboard sketch from 2013

With new in-floor plumbing installed in the lower floors, we are excited to see new concrete floors going in.  In the lower mechanical rooms there are freshly poured floors that now await new boilers and air-handling equipment. While the walls are still not much to look at, a firm foundation is a reassuring improvement.

New boiler room awaits concrete pour

New boiler room awaits concrete pour

 

Water main with freshly poured concrete floor

Water main with freshly poured concrete floor

Our former janitor and boy’s washroom from last week are also now complete with new concrete floors – all the closer to their new function as support spaces for the Studio Theatre. This will also be the location of new showering facilities for performers but also for those cyclists who share our commitment to supporting alternative modes of transportation and the need for a rinse.

New washroom concrete with levelled finish

New washroom concrete with levelled finish

 

Event support space with finished floor

Event support space with finished floor

We are also pleased that foundations are now in place for the elevator shaft to be built in masonry block all the way up into the attic. We hope to capture this process in more detail in the weeks to come.

Focused work light on elevator foundation formwork

Focused work light on elevator foundation formwork

Elevator pad is troweled smooth

Elevator pad is troweled smooth

Up in the our 4th floor attic artist studios, work is also underway to level the floors. With rigid insulation laid to make up discrepancies in levelness, a new self-levelling concrete topper will provide a conducive flooring underfoot for artists to get their work done.

Danny and Scott from Clark Builders give our Quebecois friend Francois, time to wax poetic on the place-value of King Edward

Danny and Scott from Clark Builders give our Quebecois friend Francois, time to wax poetic on the place-value of King Edward

As a late addition to this blog, we are excited to say that concrete is going in today in the studio space. Thanks to Andreas Wissmann for posting this twitter photograph that captures a pour going in through the roof!

Concrete boom pumps concrete into attic studios Credit: Andreas Wissmann

Concrete boom pumps concrete into attic studios
Credit: Andreas Wissmann

Each week amidst the dust and demo, cutting and welding, we are also intrigued by acts of archaeology – the stories captured in forgotten objects. This weeks retrieval from between King Edward’s historic walls include the ephemera of a graduate nurses pamphlet (date unknown), what looks to be a tobacco tin (confirmation pending), and a touching note from a past student, longing for the fondness of others.

Salvaged ephemera from between walls at King Edward

Salvaged ephemera from between walls at King Edward

With little reminders like the note of a sad student, we trust that the reimagined new use for King Edward as an accessible and inclusive place for creativity, will set a new precedent for lasting community change.

Calgary Herald: Grafton continues to build Rockwood’s solid reputation

Great article on our development partners at Rockwood Custom Homes for the ‘Residences of King Edward’.

“Rockwood was selected by cSPACE to execute the residential component of the project after an 18-month, cross-country search for the right partner. Reid Henry, president and CEO of cSPACE says, “My board and I are thrilled to have landed a Calgary-based community builder who is visionary, talented and inspiring.”

The building’s facade will honour the historic old school site — separated from it by a landscaped walking plaza — by using local sandstone along with modern elements to blend seamlessly with the rest of the development.”

Read the full article HERE

October 12th – November 6th Construction Blog 

It appears that time flies when you’re having fun and a transformative month of October has left plenty to be excited about! From epic openings for the new elevator, to new mechanical runs, and new concrete floors it seems that we are getting closer to seeing this old school turn a new page.

Pipefitter connecting new mechanical lines on 3rd floor

Pipefitter connecting new mechanical lines on 3rd floor

With gas lines now connected and temporary heat beginning to crank, our site super Gord is pleased to have the chill taken off within King Edward. Good weather in October has also gotten the building mostly enclosed for the winter ahead! While our ghostly Halloween inspection revealed a few hair-raising accounts, perhaps the few remaining windows yet to be repaired are what account for the occasional drafts down the back of one’s neck?

Historic window in boys staircase in need of repair

Historic window in boys staircase in need of repair

Scaffold above landing of historic boys staircase

Scaffold above landing of historic boys staircase

One dramatic piece of work that reached completion early in the month was the demolition of the 1960s stairway. Now a four storey void, the space will be reinstated as the primary working entrance for the facility. Careful restoration of damaged plaster is now required before any fresh coats of paint or artistic expression can be applied.

Demolition of 60s staircase completed

Demolition of 60s staircase completed

With time it’s amazing to see a space like this evolve. One recalls once how student coat hooks once adorned the corridors; to graffiti and temporary public art murals; to now seeing historic walls and arches again with less obstruction. One can also see the effect of change over time, the damage to historic fabric, and how a building is scarred by our occupation and changing use.

Historic sandstone walls altered and scarred by years of use

Historic sandstone walls altered and scarred by years of use

This influence of change becomes apparent with our own redevelopment work. October certainly continued as a month of dusty conditions for those working to transform the building with new doorways, space for mechanical ducts and new elevator shaft. While the impact of this change is apparent, it’s exciting to now see our new use for spaces emerge with these modifications.

New doorway opening  for washroom alongside old

New doorway opening for washroom alongside old

Parts of our efforts are to create new connections between spaces once isolated from each other. With access between spaces like the new Green Room, one can begin to imagine how a support space for performance or a place for caterers will support events that will bring these halls and our studio theatre to life.

Rebar, piping and drains await their concrete cover

Rebar, piping and drains await their concrete cover

 

 

 

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Former janitor room will become an important event support space

While ceiling are being patched in a discreet way on upper floors, in several places entire new floors are being created to support new functions like that of the transformed boiler room. Now that the historic boilers have been salvaged and demolition is complete, a new floor is being prepared to support new air handling equipment.

Preparing new floor in former boiler room

Preparing new floor in former boiler room

Elsewhere on the ground floor, concrete patches are being placed where historic terrazzo has been cut and removed for adding new services. This approach to patching is our attempt of keeping the spirit of what was, allowing visitors to “read” walls that once were and enjoy 100-year-old terrazzo underfoot, while also creating new layers, a new historical composition of this school-come-arts hub. With demolition complete and concrete now well cured, we are excited to imagine the next steps towards revitalizing spaces like this, steps that will support the risk-taking artistic creations of our tenants.

Concrete flooring cures in the future studio home of Theatre Encounter

Concrete flooring cures in the future studio home of Theatre Encounter

One transformation to the facility that impacts the historic fabric but brings the school up to 21st century standards for a building of this scale will be the elevator. Over the past few weeks, intensive work has been underway to create an opening through four floors to skewer an elevator shaft from ground to attic.

Architect team admires the newly instated elevator shaft opening

Architect team admires the newly instated elevator shaft opening

A fantastic photo opportunity for even our architect team, is captured in the experience of looking into this void, and makes apparent the significant effort to create space for the elevator to travel – allowing the facility to be fully accessible to all.

Excavated pit in lower floor for new elevator foundation

Excavated pit in lower floor for new elevator foundation

 

 

 

Elevator shaft view through several floors of King Edward

Elevator shaft view looking up through several floors of King Edward

Heavy attic timbers above are revealed with view from 4th floor below

Heavy attic timbers revealed with view from 4th floor below

While construction will continue full throttle for the months ahead, a moment of silence is in order too with Remembrance Day this coming week. For King Edward School there is a special connection, for its walls carry the story of tremendous optimism of an era that would come to an end with the outbreak of WWI. Yet so too are we reminded through the human stories, through the school’s use for cadet training during the wars, to also remember this time from a different perspective.

NA-1855-3 Group of cadets at King Edward school, Calgary, Alberta. Glenbow Museum na-1855-3

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Group of cadets at King Edward school, Calgary, Alberta. Glenbow Museum na-1855-3

We can recall the lives of these young people and others like them who would leave to fight on foreign lands. We can also learn how later students and teachers of King Edward would keep the memory of these earlier pupils alive – how in recreating historic moments like this, they would take a moment to remember how brave young men and women would play such a part in our coming of age as a nation.

1960s students recreate Cadet formation on grounds of King Edward School. Long Live the King Yearbook.

1960s students recreate Cadet formation on grounds of King Edward School. Long Live the King Yearbook.

Today with the redevelopment of historic King Edward School, we take comfort in knowing that the brick and mortar together with stories interlaced throughout, will live on. Our efforts of redesign will make changes, but these efforts commit to retaining the value of an important historic place, ensuring that vital stories that define who we are will carry on for generations to come.

 

 

 

Artist studio space in Calgary – a review

Artist studio space in Calgary has long been a challenge, with soaring rents, and many affordable buildings on the brink of gentrification.  

According to the Calgary Foundation’s Vital Signs report, “an annual check-up that measures the vitality of Calgary”, the second highest citizen priority in relation to the arts was to “Increase availability of creative space for the arts community”. For a city with the only accredited art and design college in Alberta and a population of over 1.2 million, we have relatively few studio spaces available to entice graduating and working artists to continue their practice here in Calgary. At cSPACE, we field many questions on studios – while our own spaces will be open at the school in December 2016 (more on this at the end of the article), we wanted to shout out to some of our friends across Calgary who are tackling the artist studio challenge.

Untitled Art Society is potentially the first place emerging artists gravitate to for space. Housed in the Greycon Building on 11th Avenue (which does have additional floors of, albeit, more expensive commercially rented studio space), Untitled’s 16 studios are offered at subsidized rates.  Members have opportunities to network and exhibit work, and the society also runs an off site gallery, the UAS Contemporary Art Main Space.

Burns Visual Arts Society is tucked between the residential and industrial sides of Ramsay.  During their monthly open studio night in July, a lively members’ rockabilly band played to artists and friends outside. The buildings large studios were packed with life and artworks, showing no sign that the longest running studio space in town (est. 1979) has any intention of slowing down.

Calgary is also home to several collectives which offer shared equipment and workspace, to offset the immense costs and space needed for art practices like print media. Alberta Print Makers (est. 1989, and located in the Chinook industrial area), and Burnt Toast Studios (started in 2000 by a group of ACAD graduates), both allow members to access various printmaking equipment including sharing costs of screen printing ink and emulsion supplies.

Relatively new spaces exist outside the inner city where entrepreneurial artists are taking on the large task of providing space.  Art Box on 17e is located in the Greater Forest Lawn area and features not only studios but gallery, black box, and stage space. Lovecraft Gallery similarly offers studio and gallery space, as well as communal kilns and potters wheels, was formerly located in Forest Lawn but is now on the move to a new space.   

While many studio spaces are here to stay for the foreseeable future, endangered spaces are also present in Calgary’s rapidly developing core.   Art Point Studios is a mainstay of the Inglewood/Ramsay area since 2004 (with 23 unique studios, 56 members and two gallery spaces), but its current building is set to be demolished for the new Green c-train line and organizers are searching for space. Of Artpoint, member and administrator Terra McDonald says:

“There are sculpture studios, The Heritage Weavers and Spinners Studio, painting and drawing studios in the building. Visitors to Artpoint often inquire about the availability of studio spaces. Currently all of the studio spaces at Artpoint are filled and there is a waiting list. However, the turnover of studio space is not very quick here so even though the list is short the waiting period for studio space could be months or more.

Inglewood’s Pith Gallery and Studios are also on the lookout for a new home as their current Inglewood building will be demolished to make condos in the trendy neighbourhood.  Several temporary spaces are inventively utilizing buildings provided by developers as the spaces await redevelopment. The relatively new Voltage Creative Garage (housed in a former car repair shop in Marda Loop) and the prolific and entrepreneurial Blank Page Studios are two such spaces, for whom the timeline for the future is unknown.  

“With the current economic recession, we are seeing a greater need for affordable spaces for artists. Renting space is expensive, but we saw an opportunity, a property that would otherwise remain empty and unsightly to good use. Voltage’s aim is to provide support for artists, and give back to the community. There is great deal of space in this city that remains vacant, yet unaffordable. We would like to see more landlords like ours reassess their unoccupied properties and create opportunities that would benefit the community as a whole.” commented Andrea Llewellyn of the community building work done by Voltage Creative Garage.

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Blank Page Studios, common event area

While this is not a comprehensive list, and for the most part excludes studio spaces that are found in homes, garages, or shared warehouses privately rented by collectives, the need for studio space is clear.  Most of the listed organizations rarely post rental availabilities, but calls for space can be found through Calgary Arts Development’s classified listings or the popular Art Spaces networking night, a free event is designed to “connect community groups and other facility operators with artists and arts organizations looking for space”.  We salute those organizations who are supporting artists by providing affordable space, in Calgary’s turbulent market.

The currently in progress studio space. This ground level studio space at the King Edward will have great NE light with windows on 2 sides, and high ceilings.

When the cSPACE King Edward opens in December 2016, it will be the home of several artist studios ranging from 250-850 sq. ft. as well as organizational space.  Five studios clustered on the 4th floor of the building will be available at discounted rates for emerging artists. They feature enhanced ventilation, concrete floors and access to shared utility sinks, all designed with a funky sloped roof, shared exhibition walls and operable skylights with views of the downtown.  Additional studio spaces are planned on Levels 1 and 2 with 12-14 ft ceilings, original wood trim and large windows. Locating at cSPACE gives artists access to a diverse creative community as well as meeting rooms, kitchen and social spaces that will fuel their creativity. 

Currently in construction, King Edward’s soon to be funky fourth floor artist studios. Studios will feature skylights looking onto downtown Calgary, sloped roofs, original exposed brick and a common area.

Our objective is to provide inspiring working spaces for artists that are affordable and stable, in buildings that are well-run, vibrant and healthy. Our studios are priced at the median of studio spaces in Calgary – we’re not the cheapest space, but we hope to provide artists with the best value overall in our city. Applications for shared studio spaces are encouraged to offset rental costs and a call for studio spaces will be released shortly in November 2015.

While the King Edward is the first of many projects we hope to build for the community, plans for more artist studio buildings and live-work housing is in the works. We are excited to do our part in shaping Calgary as a place for creatives to thrive!

A conversation with Theatre Encounter

In the first of our tenant profiles, learn more about the exciting organizations that will be inhabiting and enlivening the cSPACE King Edward in late 2016.

We recently spoke with Michael Fenton and Mike Unrau, co-artistic directors and founders of Theatre Encounter: Calgary’s highly experimental physical theatre company. This unique company creates alternative productions of classic theatre works, often with “a strong emphasis on provocative language and embodying movement”.

The King Edward will be Theatre Encounter’s first true home. Their strong vision for space on the “boiler” (or ground level) floor as a collaborative black box theatre (complete with sprung dance floor, mats, and lighting) made them a clear choice as a tenant.  The rehearsal space will be used for their time-intensive performance experiments, rehearsals, and workshops while giving other tenants and the public the opportunity to observe works in progress. With Calgary’s deficit of serviceable rehearsal spaces, they welcome the opportunity to share this unique studio space with other artistic groups.

In a wide-ranging interview, they told us a little bit more about what Theatre Encounter does and where they are headed:

cSPACE: Tell me a little bit about the creation and history of Theatre Encounter. What makes TE different from other theatre in Calgary?  What are your company influences and inspirations, local or afar?

TE: Theatre Encounter was devised after Mike Unrau and Michael Fenton met as MFA graduate students in theatre at the University of Calgary.  We realized that Calgary was missing a theatre company that did classic dramatic works through modern interpretations.  Of course other companies cover aspects of this, but we wanted a fresh perspective of the topic dedicated to it.  Our emphasis is to render these works through a decidedly contemporary lens via strong stylistic choices to encounter the audience with something unexpected and new.

Our inspirations are Bertolt Brecht, Jerzy Grotowski, Howard Barker and the Wrestling School, Wagnerian drama, Erwin Piscator, Expressionism, Banksy, Surrealism, Dario Fo, Augusto Boal, Melodrama, Yoshi Oida, Art Nouveau, ritual, Peter Brooks, montage, George Gurdjieff, symbolism, and of course, Joni Mitchel and Slayer (at the same time).

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Theatre Encounter production of How To Win Friends and Influence People, 2014

c: What are some of your favorite past productions and what made them stand out?

TE: One of our favourite past productions is Everyman, an anonymous 15th century morality play, due to the production’s extreme experimentation in physical interpretations of text (there were only 8 lines of spoken text in the production, all other text was transformed into emotive physicality from raw internal narratives).  Lighting was reduced to sensor activation by performers, which was at low levels that included both stage and audience equally. We wanted to include the audience so they could experience visually everything the actors encoded.  The nature of the text is on death, and thus, the physical performance inquired into extreme physical experiences.

Also, Samuel Beckett’s 1953 theatre of the absurd play, Waiting for Godot, for the expressionistic experiments in emotive displays of action.  The emblematic ‘tree’ in Godot was transformed into a 25-foot 30-ringed hemp noose, which played the contrast of death to the vibrant desperation against time.

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Theatre Encounter production of Everyman, 2010

c: What are your plans for cSPACE King Edward – tell me more about the vision for the black box theatre, programming, and need for rehearsal space?  

TE: The aim for our cSPACE studio (named “The Abattoir”) is to create a working artistic environment of experimental and cutting edge theatrical theory merged with practice.  It will be a collaboratorium to jam with other disciplines of creative expertise into uncharted new artistic form.  Theatre Encounter’s vision is to create a world-class experimental space and artistic and social research environment by reinventing the traditional into the contemporary, in order to push the cutting edge of artistic and social boundaries.  The studio will be a practical space where artists from different mediums can sweat freely as they repeat again and again their quest for the essence of artistic form.

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c: If our readers have never had the pleasure of attending a TE production, could you describe what they could expect?

TE: At a Theatre Encounter production, an audience member can expect to find three things:  sweat, suffering, and love.  You will probably believe the volume is too loud and yet also too quiet; you’ll find it too bright and then also too dark. We create a mixed space of contradictory structure to explore the range of diverse human experience.  We do not make productions to be liked.  We make productions to challenge the actors and audiences norm, to push people’s preconceived notions to the edge of understanding, and to disarm expectations to allow for a visceral experience beyond intellectualization.  We hold all this to the highest quality of excellence.  As one audience member said:  “A year ago I saw your production of Everyman and had one of the most intense and visceral reactions to an experience in a theatre that I have ever had.  I was angry, excited, I thought I was frustrated at the work… I wrote a long letter to you in the lobby …   I realized the other day that that production was one of the best things I have ever seen.”

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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, 2008

c: What’s next for Theatre Encounter?

TE: We’re working on an upcoming production of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame (expected to be staged in the Spring of 2016).  All productions from 2013 onwards have been different experiments in research objectives towards our 10 year artistic goal:  to mount a multi-varied and perhaps multi-day production of August Strindberg’s A Dream Play through the artistic composition of textual exploration and physical inquiry.

c: You are both well travelled, and have worked around the world.  Why Calgary and what makes this the city that you want to work in?

Calgary, at the heart of the New West and the westernization of our cultural paradigm, is the perfect place for experimentation and reconstruction of the artistic form.  We’ve had audience members say “We expect to see this type of work in New York, but are glad to have it here.” We’re deeply interested in the contrast between world-based research and the local experience. We are happy to be part of this new wave of theatrical innovation, and excited to be a part of the pulse that the King Edward will give to Calgary’s artistic scene.

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*Since our interview, Mike Unrau, Co-Artistic and Founding Director has left Theatre Encounter in pursuit of other opportunities, but the company is pleased to announce and welcome Val Duncan to the Company!

We’re excited to see what the future of Theatre Encounter holds, the collaborations that spin out of their custom space at the King Edward.  To connect with Theatre Encounter, or check out past and current projects find them at www.theatreencounter.com

Don’t be afraid – the friendly ghosts of King Edward

As the developers of a 1912 building, we often get asked about the history of King Edward, which served as a elementary to high school for close to 90 years. The 1912 school is a beautiful, storied, and desirable historic space, and we wouldn’t be at all surprised if there were a few permanent residents!

We’ve heard a few ghost stories in our time, including the most prominent mention in a 2007 article featured in the Calgary Herald For sale: historic school, musical ghost included  which identifies “Ed”, a piano playing ghost.  Additional stories include that of 10 year old boy spirit’s playful tricks, which eerily correlates in age but not gender to a local family’s story of a great aunt who was a blossoming art student at the school and died when 10 years old.  

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To our knowledge, no one has ever met their demise at the school, and we believe that any spirits sticking around would be doing so out of a love for the building. Sudden drops in temperature, self-locking doors, and the feeling of not being fully alone left us curious if the cause was standard old building woes, or if we had a more permanent tenant occupying the space. When Colin Bengert of CAPI (the Calgary Association of Paranormal Investigations) asked if we would like to have our space evaluated, we were very curious what they might find.

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The piano captured in a photo by Heather Simonds from our 2012 Photography Competition.

The morning of the investigation (strategically scheduled in broad daylight) began tellingly with a spooky fog hanging over Calgary. The CAPI team’s goal is to scientifically prove or disprove the potential of ghosts, and they brought a myriad of tools, including full spectrum cameras, infrared video recorders, electromagnetic field meters (EMF’s), temperature gages, and audio recorders intended to prove if creepy feelings of being not-so alone are related to anything other than paranoia.

Walkie talkie, audio recorder, and EMF meter from CAPI’s toolbox.

Paranormal investigators believe ghostly presences can manifest themselves as changes in the electromagnetic field of a room. Throughout the investigation, just-tested full batteries drained almost immediately on multiple devices and two different types of infrared video recorders running in the same room both malfunctioned.  Occurrences like these are often regarded as signs of the ghostly trait of gathering energy, which is also said to result in suddenly cold spaces.

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A laser grid in the spooky 4th floor custodians closet hopes to highlight any unexplained movement as a camera records.

Other tools that ghost hunter’s frequently deploy are Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP), or “sounds found on electronic recordings that are interpreted as spirit voices that have been either unintentionally recorded or intentionally requested and recorded”(wikipedia). During an EVP session, participants ask the spirit questions, and hope that the audio recording will capture a ghostly reply by picking up sounds below the threshold of human hearing.  Spurred by strange sounds of a rock being thrown on the first floor we gathered there to ask the ghost a series of questions including “Make a noise if you are here”, “How old are you?”, “Were you a student, or teacher of the school?” “Do you like to play?” etc. We received no audible answer to these questions, but when a team member knocked on the wall and asked the ghost to knock back to us, we heard a seemingly corresponding knock far off in the building.  At one point, there is a noticeable temperature drop in the room, but it’s hard to say that these aren’t just the tricks of a 100 year old building.

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Investigators gather on the currently very creepy first floor of the building.

The investigation may not have found anything immediately conclusive, but hours of video and audio recordings may prove otherwise. On one of the video recordings there is an audio anomaly that sounds almost like a child’s voice humming. While we can’t rule out external noises like pigeons, we do know that the entire team was on a separate floor of the building at the time of the recording. The below video and audio have not been altered in any way – listen for yourself (*note – there is nothing scary in the video, but at 0:16 seconds and faint audio anomaly occurs that is best heard with headphones on).

There are no final conclusions if this recording really is a ghost, but Colin says of the investigation:

“Most of our members had personal experiences during the investigation. Hearing small rocks being thrown, seeing movement out of the corner of the eye... Combining the personal experiences, the video of what sounds like a child humming and the persistent sounds of pebbles being thrown has lead us to suspect that there is a spirit of a shy child in the building.”

We feel strongly that there are no signs of any malicious or frightening ghosts at the King Edward. If a presence does exist at the school it is a benevolent, playful, and even a fittingly musical one.

Applications for long-term (although much less permanent) tenancy at the school will open next week, and we invite prospective tenants to decide for themselves if the “haunting” at King Edward is real. LEED Gold renovations like high efficiency HVAC and double-glazed windows should eliminate any future cold drafts, and we intend to keep Ed’s beloved pianos for future tenant use. If there really is a spirit tenant, we hope that they will approve of the vibrant energy the arts will bring back into their cherished historic space.

We’d like to thank Colin and his team from CAPI for visiting our space, and providing a thorough, professional, scientific investigation! To contact them to investigate your own haunted space find them here on Facebook, or at CAPI: Calgary Association of Paranormal Investigations.

Section23 Developments selects McKinley Burkart as architect for active living residence at cSPACE

Calgary-based developer Section23 Developments today announced its selection of local firm McKinley Burkart as the architecture and design partner for its forthcoming active living residence at cSPACE. McKinley Burkart was selected from an initial pool of 16 architecture firms.

Section23 Developments is in the planning phase of the 0.9 acre project adjacent to cSPACE at the former King Edward School site in South Calgary. Chris Plosz, Section23 Development’s president, says the residence will offer much-needed housing for a fast-growing segment of Calgary’s population.

“The City of Calgary forecasts that by 2022, 67 percent more seniors will call Calgary home,” he says. “That’s a significant increase, so we’re planning today to help meet the housing needs of tomorrow’s citizens. And we’re doing so in a way that’s very different than what’s been done in the past.”

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Robert Ollerenshaw and Chris Plosz of Section 23 Development Group stand on Rangeview land, an area named for the one-room school house that Ollerenshaw’s father attended. Image courtesy ADRIAN SHELLARD / CALGARY HERALD

In selecting the successful architecture and design partner, Plosz said Section23 Developments’s main criterion was a team who not only had a proven track record of innovative design, but also one who shares their vision for redefining how residential housing is integrated into the community.

McKinley Burkart’s founding partner, Walker McKinley, says his firm’s deep experience in luxury hospitality makes it the perfect partner for this multi-faceted facility. He believes the development will change how specialized housing is planned and designed in the future.

“The project will integrate into both the surrounding residential streets and the very exciting cSPACE project at the King Edward School,” says McKinley. “It will also create a new standard in Calgary for residential housing while serving as a vital addition to the community where mature, discerning buyers can live connected and active lives.”

Plosz says the development’s unique location will complement cSPACE’s mandate of connecting people and their ideas through places that fuel creativity, foster community, ignite collaboration and inspire change.

“Whenever we can bring different segments of the population together, it enriches the entire community,” says Plosz. “We, along with cSPACE, believe there are many unique opportunities to connect people with the arts community, thereby making this a vibrant place for all Calgarians to enjoy. It will be very exciting to see how the residences, and the area as a whole, grow together and evolve.”

According to Plosz, visioning and conceptual designs are underway with detailed designs being completed by the end of 2015. Construction of the development is slated to begin late 2016.

About Section 23 Group

Section23 Developments is a diversified collective serving the architectural design, land development and housing industries. The group has achieved recognition for its unique approach to traditional and contemporary residential projects in western Canada. Land activities include participation in the design and development of the award-winning communities of Copperfield and Mahogany in Calgary, with multiple other development projects currently underway.

To learn more about Section23 Group and their projects visit section23.com

Read more about the project
Calgary Herald (October 9,2015): Section23 builds future on a ranching legacy
Calgary Herald (October 20, 2015): Seniors housing project emphasizes active living

September 28th – October 9th Construction Blog

The highlights for the end of summer and a kickoff to Fall were undoubtedly dust related! From inside our dear school to around the grounds, the impact from cutting through historic brick and stripping the playground sod down to its new-finished grade will leave lasting impressions.

Cutting into century old brick for new mechanical runs

Cutting into century old brick for new mechanical runs

The action inside has continued after our lead paint abatement and boiler removal was completed. This included cutting through century old brick to make new doorways, space for mechanical ducts, and new elevator shafts. Let’s give kudos to the craft and precision that are required for these cuts in each unique and sometimes challenging location.

Scored walls shows brick residue where new openings will occur

Scored walls shows brick residue where new openings will occur

One transformative incision through brick has been into our new artist studios. After adding a steel lintel supports and removing dense stacked bricks, we can now enjoy how this space will become a desirable gathering place – open to the community down the hall, with art gallery walls and a cupola skylight above.

Demolition in action for new artist studios

Demolition in action for new artist studios

 

 

 

Finished opening to new attic studios

Finished opening to new attic studios

Several openings have also been made between classroom spaces to create connected spaces for some of our larger tenants. This opening on the third floor will “future proof” the space for cSPACE and for tenants like Alliance Franciase, will be used to connect between teacher’s lab and Media Library space.

New steel lintel and opening between former 3rd floor classrooms

New steel lintel and opening between former 3rd floor classrooms

Large openings have also been completed on floors three and four for the new elevator. Once the level two wall has been opened up we can look forward to the new elevator shaft openings that will occur at each floor level.

New opening to 4th floor elevator space

New opening to 4th floor elevator space

Outside on the exterior grounds, plenty of dust has been kicked up with stripping the excess earth down to their finished grade heights.

Quiet resolution to a busy day of stripping and grading in front of King Edward School

Quiet resolution to a busy day of stripping and grading in front of King Edward School

Freshly graded site around King Edward School

Freshly graded site around King Edward School

 

From new manhole covers, to the new park and where our “art cubes” and parking area will be situated, one can see that the “canvas” for the vision come to life. But with hard hats, boots and tools laid down for a rest, here’s to a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

A quiet moment in third floor class room

A quiet moment in third floor class room

 

Fall construction update

Since our last newsletter the King Edward School site has come a few big steps closer to its reimagined incarnation as an arts hub! For the most part, the big gesture of site excavations has been completed and those “not in the know” would be hard pressed to comprehend the complicated network of new services now hidden from view. Thankfully, in our past few construction blogs we have managed to record some of these big changes.

In our most recent September 28th – October 9th Construction Blog, you can read about the exciting interior demolition work and how the exterior site has now been leveled to its finished grade. While the grass has not been laid, we can now begin to imagine the grounds coming back to life.

Throughout our September 1st – 25th, 2015 Construction Blog there was plenty of abatement (removal of hazardous materials), demolition and new mechanical service work on the interior of the school including the epic removal of our historic boilers – video included!

Our August 2015 Construction Blog captured in detail the excavation and installation of new rainwater cisterns. Rainwater capture will help to alleviate the impact of substantial rainfall on city systems in addition to storing water for use on the site grounds.

During our July 27th – 31st, 2015 Construction Blog, remarkable moments included the use of a small excavator within the lower level of the school to aid in the demolition work. These are sights not too many of us may have imagined for this historic place!

September 1st – 25th, 2015 Construction Blog

During the last few weeks of summer, work has continued in earnest with many trades continuing to overlap each other at King Edward School. From finding surprising artifacts to lead abatement, to the refurbishment of historic windows and the insertion of new structural steel, to the epic extraction of historic boilers brought out into the light of day – this entry includes it all.

Brick from interior demolition awaiting disposal

Brick from interior demolition awaiting disposal

To start, abatement of lead paint from plastered walls is occurring on many floors before selective demolition for new openings can be cut. Under the cover of secretive orange shelters this work of remediating hazardous paint material has been hidden from view.

Lead abatement enclosures fill the 3rd floor hall

Lead abatement enclosures fill the 3rd floor hall

With the old fan room now a memory, preparations for a new elevator to be skewered through the historic structure is also underway. Once the openings have been cut and elevator installed, this welcome addition will provide accessibility to all and an alternative for those daunted by the workout that comes with scaling lofty flights of stairs.

Former fan room removed to make way for new elevator

Former fan room removed to make way for new elevator

Incisions through the building now also include openings through every floor with an added chimney shaft for the new boiler plant. As part of redeveloping this heritage building a “sleight of hand” is required to notate the existing sandstone chimney block-by-block, and then to dismantle and rebuild it on the opposite north corner of the school. Undoubtedly this will cause some curiosity when examining this discrepancy on historic photographs in the years to come!

New chimney shaft and community event memory still on the chalkboard

New chimney shaft opening and community event memory still alive on the chalkboard

In some areas where new doorways and large openings are anticipated, structural steel headers have been carefully inserted before the brick can be removed below. An eventual opening at this location in the renovated east attic will signal a dramatic new entry for our cupola gallery and artist studios. Home to Teacher Stuart Kennedy’s museum with arts, science and historical memorabilia back in the day, soon this space will be home to a hive of creative expression from Calgary’s artists.

Structural steel header added for new opening into artist studios

Structural steel header added for new opening into artist studios

On the ground floor too, incisions have been made for new mechanical runs to service new energy efficient fan coil heating. In this instance a small excavator is being used to clear a trench below terrazzo in a space that will be transformed for the teachers and tots of our Maria Montessori Education Centre tenant.

Excavator making trench in future Montessori classroom space

Excavator making trench in future Montessori classroom space

The most dramatic image of the past few weeks has once again been related to our historic boilers. As we have mentioned in past blogs, the boilers doors themselves will be retained as character-defining features – embedded in the floor under glass and adjacent to the new theatre space. Beyond these doors however, the large working heat transfer drums need be removed to make way for new HVAC equipment.

Excavator removes brick surrounding boiler drums

Excavator removes brick surrounding boiler drums

With the historic boiler room being repurposed for new ventilation systems, some serious modifications are required to allow this new equipment to be installed. First required is opening the 1912 sandstone exterior wall so that the historic boilers can be pulled out along with the brick used to encase them.

Quantum Murray team removing boiler piece by piece

Quantum Murray team removing boiler piece by piece

With incredible engineering and construction savvy, large I-beams have been used to support the weight of three upper floors of load bearing sandstone above. This task has involved investment in new footings and the intricate placement of temporary steel structure to distribute the weight and allow for the wall opening to be created. A collective sigh of relief was shared when the wall below was opened up and no cracking occurred on the exterior stonewalls and floors above.

Structural steel supporting opening in sandstone wall

Structural steel supporting opening in sandstone wall

With the new opening cleared, the process of extracting the old boilers drums from their 100-year-home came by excavator and chain – carefully dragging each boiler drum out in the fashion of a big catch. Luckily we were able to capture this video sequence of the event for the record books.

Boiler drum moved out onto grounds of school

Boiler drum moved out onto grounds of school

Boiler drum lifted by excavator to its new resting ground

Boiler drum lifted by excavator to its new resting ground

It’s hard to believe after seeing this space with boilers for so long that pictures and memories will now have to suffice.

Boilers during demolition and following removal

Boilers during demolition and following removal from historic school

As our investment in the vision for cSPACE King Edward grows and time also speeds along, so too does our collection of artifacts found in the cracks and between walls continue to multiply. While one surprising artifact recently found was a 1970s men’s magazine, a 1918 civic election card also came as a nice discovery when water-damaged sills were removed to add new window jambs for refurbished windows.

Magazine from the 1970s found between the walls

Magazine from the 1970s found between the walls

Voting Card from December, 1918 found under window jamb at King Edward School

Voting Card from December, 1918 found under window jamb at King Edward School

Thanks to Sam and Scott and our Clark Builders crew for taking care to retrieve artifacts like this. Not only do they remind us of days gone by, but also with an upcoming federal election, some notions like, “For Your City’s Sake Vote” found on this elections card from December, 1918 still rings true. So too do we look forward to learning more from the stories and secrets this old school has yet to tell!

August 2015 Construction Blog

It’s hard to believe that August is now already gone for another year and that children too are already back at school. While at King Edward School classrooms are still a ways off from their next lecture, construction has continued in epic fashion throughout August.

Historic window sill in need of repair

Historic window sill in need of repair

For the most part, the big gesture of site excavations has now been completed and those “not in the know” would be hard pressed to comprehend the complicated network of new services now hidden throughout this old school.

Worker walks alongside school facade and completed deep service excavation

Worker walks alongside school facade and completed deep service excavation

Several meters under the surface, new water and sanitary lines are marked by fire hydrants and manhole covers that are scattered around the school site.

New fire hydrant against a saturated grounds

New fire hydrant against a saturated grounds

Most notable in scale, was a massive excavation in early August for new rainwater cisterns. Spec’d to address storm water capture on site and the storage of water for irrigation needs, the excavation, engineering and construction involvement required for these storage vessels is impressive.

Cistern site excavated along north side of school

Cistern site excavated along north side of school

Excavator covers first course of cisterns with gravel

Excavator covers first course of cisterns with gravel

While now hidden some 5 meters underground on the north side of the school, undoubtedly the details of theses elements will be captured within a sustainability story yet to come.

Second course of cistern forms laid perpendicular

Second course of cistern forms laid perpendicular

Crew  holds membrane with remaining backfill covering cisterns from view

Crew holds membrane with remaining backfill covering cisterns from view

Within the building, new water service and sanitary lines are also being run from the ground floor up while mechanical ducting is being completed from the 4th floor down.

New water main amidst unfinished renovation of new mechanical room

New water main amidst unfinished renovation of new mechanical room

An excavated historic boys washroom on the lower level has now been inlaid with new plumbing runs for washrooms facilities in support of future studio theatre patrons, performers and tenants.

Small excavator fits through doorway of former boys washroom

Small excavator fits through doorway of former boys washroom

 

Former boys washroom being excavated

Former boys washroom being excavated

 

New plumbing runs in place ready for a washroom transformation

New plumbing runs in place ready for a washroom transformation

Along the south facade another intricate demolition scene has included cutting window openings through a 1950’s concrete wall sutchered to historic sandstone. While the concrete cutouts still remain in place, hopefully in the week to come we can reveal historic windows that have been hidden for 60 years.

Large saw on guides allows precision cutting through 15 inches of concrete

Large saw on guides allows precision cutting through 15 inches of concrete

Throughout July and August plentiful rain have slowed progress but the grounds have mostly dried up. Now the effort continues to “button up” the building as suggested by foreman Gord before the snow flies!

Cut opening in terrazzo floor is prepped with rebar for concrete patch

Cut opening in terrazzo floor is prepped with rebar for concrete patch

July 27th – 31st, 2015 Construction Blog

This was another busy week of heavy equipment ripping up the ground and busy hands at work throughout the King Edward site.

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Mortar and muscle meet on lower level of King Edward School

One remarkable moment was the use of a small excavator within the lower level of the school to aid in the demolition work. This was a sight not too many of us may have imagined for this historic place!

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Excavator in former lower level fan room prepping elevator location

While selective demolition is still occurring on the lower floors, new mechanical is well underway already on the upper floors. New ductwork in the halls is taking shape and a mock-up of the mechanical systems within one of the classrooms is being installed. While a few kinks still need to be worked out, one can’t help but get a little excited by the new sheen against old plaster.

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New mechanical ducts along 4th floor corridor

With heritage windows repair still taking place on the exterior of the school by boom, deep service work was completed along 29th and 30th Avenues with the streets closed up and newly paved this week.

Danny restored heritage window jams from boom on north facade of King Edward

Danny restored heritage window jams from boom on north facade of King Edward

Water service has now also been installed and new storm water collection has been connected between 29th and 30th Avenues. In the months to come this will be hidden under our future “woonerf” as we say in dutch, or “shared street” aimed at creating a pedestrian friendly streetscape for the community.  We will share more about this design feature in the coming months, but in the meantime with our large rainwater cistern yet to be installed, there is more excavation to come!

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Deep service trench on west side of school

It’s hard to believe that with this blog entry July is now coming to an end. While with construction there is never a dull moment, a brief pause for the long weekend will undoubtedly give a well-deserved break to the substantial efforts of construction. Happy August long weekend everyone!

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Lower level bathroom under renovation

Late June Construction Blog

When working with historic buildings there often seems that there may be a little surprise around the next corner. For King Edward with some hundred-plus-years of service and counting, this has certainly been the case.

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View to excavator through historic window

With selective demolition inside the school, one discovery was a historic brick chimney in the east attic that had been hiding quietly behind the walls. With mechanical exhaust fans and ducting now removed, an interesting view up to the underside of a historical cupola that adorns the east roof was also revealed sparking our interest as to how to retain these unique features within view.

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East attic with brick chimney under renovation

We recall too that this attic space was also for many years home to the museum started by Stuart Kennedy, a long-time teacher of King Edward between the 1950s and 1970s. With tables and shelves set up to display memorabilia and historical artifacts this was certainly a compelling use of residual space within the building. So too it the story that distracted youth were redirected with time spent maintaining the space for other students to enjoy, illuminating their imaginations along the way.

King Edward Museum image from "Long Live The King" 1967

King Edward Museum image from “Long Live The King” 1967

The attic is now slated for studio space and one can imagine artists collecting materials for their own creations – paying homage to the place of inquiry realized by Stuart Kennedy. This new use will require some spatial reconfiguration that includes dismantling of the chimney and adding additional structural support where it was a little lacking in 1912. Adding skylights throughout the space and where the historic chimney once stood will brighten the vaulting ceilings and re-exposed brick. With another skylight planned to frame the view of the historic cupola, a connection between the past and present will make for a dramatic attic transformation.

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View up to cupola in east attic

With the demolition of the 1960s addition underway, vermiculite insulation in the concrete block has been another surprise. While pure vermiculite is non-toxic, some 20th century products contain asbestos and as such abatement is required. With each affected area of the cinder block wall isolated, each brick is vacuumed clean before demolition can resume. Likewise in areas with lead paint, containment is required to prevent contamination and to be remediated before any destructive work can continue.

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Historic main attic ladder revealed after opening brick wall for upgraded stair

With the redevelopment of King Edward, many surprises are yet to be discovered but hopefully a few others are put to rest. One can breath easier knowing that the asbestos is gone and with the unexpected surprise of an inspiring cupola view, we can imagine that character moments like these will contribute immensely to this creative place.

Mid June Construction Blog

Into June selective demolition at King Edward School continued, pulling away layers of old mechanical, electrical, structural and architectural elements that are slated for renewal. From opening up walls and removing debris, time was also spent collecting an inventory of heritage fabric for later reuse and restoration.

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Classroom with itemized heritage fabric stored for reuse

Interior demolition included a start to dismantling of brick surrounding the historic boiler heat returns and huge fan unit. These areas will be repurposed for new ventilation systems and elevator that will make this facility comfortable and accessibility to all.

Brick removed to reveal historic boiler heat return drums

Brick removed to reveal historic boiler heat return drums

For the first time, good views into places obscured from view was enabled as walls came down and brick was piled high. Seeing banks of old radiators in the fan room sparked our interest into how these elements could be reused. Like the boilers that will rest in peace in a new location, these radiators may provide a design opportunity as an exterior feature on the site.

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Cast iron back of radiators in the fan room considered for reuse

New openings between rooms were also marked out and enlarged cavities for upgraded attic stairs provided interesting images that captured the quality of a definite work-in-progress.

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Historic attic ladder revealed with brick wall removed to allow for upgraded access

Power and water have now been disconnected and one of the last external remnants of the 1960s school building began its removal. Housing a 1960s boiler and mechanical space with an infirmary, the addition was removed first by hand, brick by brick, close to the sandstone facade prior to demolition by excavator with the 1912 coal room to follow.

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Excavator begins to dismantle top on 1960s addition

With projects of this vintage one plans for the future and is motivated by a vision to bring life back. Yet inevitably one cannot escape encountering the past. From remnants of newspapers and notes inscribed into walls, we are also left with mementos like asbestos and lead paint that recall past practices and how in coming to innovation, we may start with learning from our mistakes.

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Layers of historic lathe, plaster and paint from years gone by

July 20th – 24th, 2015 Construction Blog

This past week around King Edward there has been an amazing flurry of activity within the school, on the grounds, and on the surrounding street! The most dramatic activity has been the ensemble of excavators, front-end loaders, dump trucks and other heavy equipment required to upgrade water, sanitary and storm service connections to city infrastructure.digger2_731x308

Along 29th and 30th Avenues, street access has been disrupted as crews opened up the street to lay new service piping runs – eventually repaving and returning the street back to the domain of vehicles. With the recent deluge of summer rain, this work along 30th Avenue is slated for completion this week, weatherdigger3_731x308 dependent.

roller_731x308The former school grounds were also transformed with the excavation of tonnes of earth to create trenches some 5 meters deep last week. Making new connections along 29th Avenue, these deep service runs created mountains, deep crevices and dramatic images against a long-quiet vacant school. With gravel, concrete piping laid and backfilled, the rumble of the compactor vibrations last week is now nearly another memory.

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Francois works on restoring King Edward’s historic ceiling.

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Historic medallions found in each classroom.

Within the school, work also continues with new holes drilled throughout the historic structure but also patching where historic plaster needs fixing up. In historic classrooms where 1960s drop ceilings once hung, a pockmarked ceiling is now being painstakingly restored. The care and commitment to this endeavor by our francophone friend Francois will certainly require a more detailed account in the weeks ahead.

With many trades overlapping each other on every floor, we look forward to what this week has in store!

 

Marda Loop Area Construction Closures – UPDATE

With construction at the King Edward School in full swing, Marda Loop area neighbors should be aware of Road closures and Water Shutdowns between the dates of July 15th – 23rd, affecting 29th & 30th Ave, between 16th and 17th street.  Affected areas are outlined in red on the above map.

Please see the following PDF’s for full information and specific dates concerning the shutdowns:

29th Ave Road Closure and Water Interruption
29th Ave Details
30th Ave Road Closure – UPDATE
30th Ave Details

makeCalgary – New or Renew?

My vote is for renew, what is yours?

As a city continues to grow, it is important for the spaces within to grow alongside it. Abandoned buildings play an integral part in this conversation. Do we tear down old buildings to make way for new and better things or try to alter those existing buildings to suit an entirely new purpose? This revitalization of old buildings is called adaptive reuse. In the highly disposable culture that we live in today, adaptive reuse is becoming increasingly important, despite additional costs.

This is especially relevant when discussing the fate of historic structures. Often, institutional buildings of the early 20th century were built to stand the test of time. Why not exploit the level of quality and craftsmanship that still exists in this type of architecture? To explore this concept further, we have dug into the urban adaptation project taking place at King Edward in Marda Loop. For those of you who don’t know, the sandstone school is being restored, taking shape as an Arts Hub which will provide affordable spaces for artists and entrepreneurs to work and learn.  Read More…

Historic Boilers Rest in Peace

With an intent to equip the former King Edward School for another hundred years, the redevelopment of the heritage building requires a complete overhaul of the existing mechanical and electrical systems. As part of these measures, the century-old boilers were retired, dismantled from their present location and reimagined for life in an arts environment.

The coal-fired boilers at King Edward School are a remarkable sight and have a wonderful history associated with the pioneering spirit of Calgary. Piecing together their cross-Canada journey, Arthur Krahn, our last engineer working at the facility before construction started, described their origins:

The story starts in Amherst, Nova Scotia. Here the boiler drums were riveted together and tubing was installed by Robb Engineering Co. Ltd. The shipment to Calgary was presumably by rail. What a massive undertaking to move these vessels and the related steel framework to the 1912 construction site.

Marr’s Plumbing and Heating of Calgary installed the steel structure and hung the drums from the steel cross members. The construction of the school continued and enclosed the structure around these heating vessels. Masons bricked in the bottom to create a furnace area and combustion chamber under the drums. The front doors, trim, water columns, and combustion controls were added. The new boiler units were inspected and given Alberta designations as A-3533 and A-3534 pressure vessels.

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Detail of the boiler’s heating tubes as they are dismantled

For heritage and engineering buffs, these twin HRT type low pressure steam boilers were situated in the lower mechanical room and occupied a space of some 14’ high by 20’ wide by 25’ deep. Complete with an underground coal storage room, Arthur confirms that, “the original installation included grating for coal combustion” and that, Gary Hanson of CBE informed him that a “caretaker lived in the school and kept the fires stoked in the heating season. The exact date is unknown but these boilers were converted to natural gas fuel, probably in the 1940’s. The grating was removed, and burners were installed in the ash door openings. Triumph Series E  NO gas burners were used, manufactured by C Lehman” who Arthur believes is the same company written up in “Alberta Inventors and Inventions” under Heating and Gas Devices.

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The material culture of these boilers speaks to something more beyond their important function. Over the duration of this project, we have an increasing respect that heritage elements like this are a non-renewable resource, that these boilers embody the spirit of this historic place.

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Brick being removed around boiler drum

Given the character and finer details of these boilers cast in iron, the intent from the start of the design process was to consider reusing them as artifacts to embed their history in the new arts hub. Given their scale however, it has been a challenge to determine their future place. Early options included converting the boiler room itself into a coffee shop – with the heat transfer tubes at the back removed and the front elevation with boiler doors and wall left in situ. Later, the boiler doors were considered as exterior park features, followed by interpretive displays within adjacent buildings, to interior features within the stairwells.

As a fitting conclusion to their legacy and unknown future, we decided that cavities in the terrazzo of the lower floor of the school be crafted for the boiler doors to be laid and displayed under the protection of tempered glass. With a surround of local brick and LED fixtures to illuminate their years of service, these heritage boilers will live on as a defining feature of the foyer for the new studio theatre.

On April 27th at 12:21pm after 103 years of service, our great boilers at King Edward School were decommissioned ending their long commitment to heating classrooms for thousands of alumni since 1913. While no coal was burned on this final occasion as it would have back in the day, the gas was solemnly shutoff for the final time, the pilot light was extinguished, and the cast iron went cold.

In the brief moments of this historic event shared only by two, Arthur who helped with the historical details of this article fittingly captures our sentiment, how “with mixed feelings we “bid adieu” to boilers that served well for over a century and ponder over all the operators, pipefitters, control technicians, boiler makers, brick layers, construction personnel, and boiler inspectors that left their fingerprints on this equipment.” But rest assured dear friends, as these historic mementos will soon rest in peace yet continue to ignite inspiration for many more years to come!

July Project Update & Construction Blog

For the first time, construction at King Edward has spilled beyond our site boundaries with temporary road closures along 29th and 30th Avenues for new connections to city electric, water and natural gas services. With a deluge of early summer rain, it is hoped this work can be completed with as little disruption as possible for the community before crews can continue with connecting these deep services to the new facility.

On the exterior of the school, demolition of the former 1912 coal room together with the 1960s north entrance and boiler room have now been removed in their entirety. Along with the scissored pinchers of the excavator, a robot was used to demolish a 1960s staircase sutchered into the historic sandstone structure. .

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Demolition of the 1960’s staircase

Within the school, work also continues with lead paint abatement preceding any demolition that may be required in select locations. On the upper floor of the building, restoration of heritage ceilings where drop ceilings once hung is one step ahead as new hangers are being installed to carry enhanced mechanical ducting and electrical services closely behind.

Lead abatement on the lower, soon to be “Boiler Floor”

Lead abatement on the lower, soon to be “Boiler Floor”

Together with all the onsite action, remnants of the past were revealed with the signatures from tradesmen in the 60s discovered on support columns. Demolition debris against the backdrop of historic sandstone also made for some dramatic pictures!

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Signatures remain from 1960’s tradesmen who worked on the school

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Debris against sandstone exterior wall

Construction Blog Kickoff

With the first days of summer construction now well upon us, we are kicking off this blog to highlight the transformation of historic King Edward School into a new arts hub and incubator for cSPACE. Over the next year and a half, we invite you to follow along as we capture moments of interest throughout the process of construction leading to our opening.

What will be uncovered throughout this process is yet to be determined. Undoubtedly within the historic walls of a century old school there are stories to discover and surprises to share. For some of you who may have little interest in construction, there may also be a few stories about the people and ideas, both past and present, that are uncovered or perhaps are playing an active part in awakening this historic place once again.

Since our groundbreaking event in May 2015, we have uncovered so many great stories and personal connections to the project that we want to share. Some of these posts will be short snippets, while others may require a little more storytelling. In the meantime, hopefully these initial entries from the first few months of construction will spark your curiosity in cSPACE and our approach to community building.

Transplanting the King Edward’s Hollyhocks

Historic Boilers Rest in Peace

Change Machine – Wreck City’s DEMO TAPE

The Wreck City collective boasts a unique take on placemaking in Calgary, celebrating and transforming derelict spaces into fleeting exhibition space for contemporary art. cSPACE joined Caitlind Brown, one of 8 Wreck City curators, to chat about their latest curatorial offering: DEMO TAPE.

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Upcycled DEMO TAPE signage greets viewers

If you missed the June event, here is the scene at the site of the former Penguin Carwash in Ramsay for our interview: with a melodic drone music performance (Miles Cooper Seaton) in the background, art viewers on bikes arrive from Sled Island music shows to explore works by 50 artists, musicians, and writers utilizing scrap materials found on site. Panel discussions, performances and Sled Island performances combine with a screening of the in-progress documentary of the first Wreck City project in Kensington (Ramin Eshraghi-Yazdi) to activate the vacant spaces.

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Signage painted on the Carwash bay doors. By Cody Swinkels

With Sled Island as a partner in the project, sound is a compelling component in many of the installations.  One key thread that runs through all of the art is the experiential nature. From a deconstructed Carwash office (Palmer Olsen) and interactive audio and light installations, to ‘The Cave’ (Jayda Karsten, Don Hill, Ed Keeble, Sarah Proctor, Alicia Yip), a wind-driven sparkle machine (Desiree Nault, Lane Shordee), or foaming former car wash sign (Peter Redecopp), the art is intended to be experienced in the short time it will exist before the building is demolished.

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Repurposed carwash parts are featured in hanging sculpture ‘Welcome Home (this place is never open!)’ by Svea Ferguson

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Robotic cleaning brush ‘Scrubbie – The Last of Its King’ by Sarah Storteboom and Lowell Smith

As a curatorial collective that ekes out a place in a thriving, demolition-happy Calgary, Wreck City claims space for artists in urban areas experiencing rapid change.  And while this concept  opportunistically makes use of Calgary’s rapidly developing spaces, it fits as a part of a broader worldwide movement to utilize forgotten spaces, with examples including the Heidelberg project in Detroit, Leona Drive in Toronto, to name a few.  DEMO TAPE follows 2 previous projects by the collective including Wreck City: an epilogue for 809 which transformed a block of pre-demolition houses in Kensington, and Phantom Wing, held in the now-demolished 1950’s wing of cSPACE’s own King Edward School.

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Phantom Wing signage, at the 2013 event held in the now demolished West wing of the King Edward School

In the difficult process of securing the Penguin Carwash (provided generously by Torode Realty), the curators visited almost a dozen potential spaces, from a block of heritage buildings to forgotten industrial spaces, many with safety problems from structural, to mold and asbestos.  After many arduous hours prepping the Carwash building for exhibition, Caitlind doesn’t necessarily feel bad about the building’s demise – plagued by a leaky roof, the large inner city lot will likely make way for something better, “It’s not my job to say if this is the perfect development for this property but I do think it’s better than the carwash.  I can say that with some certainty about this site. I couldn’t say that about the Wreck City houses –  there are arguments in both directions.” While the carwash space does not carry the same history and nostalgia as the catalyst Kensington houses, utilizing pre-demolition, soon-to-be gentrified space has provoked contention in the past;

“A space is already condemned, or it’s prepared to be knocked down, and you have a choice as an arts collective…if there is a possibility to further develop our arts community in a space that isn’t being used, do you do something, or nothing?  I’m usually more on the side of something” says Caitlind.  She further states  “One of the artists Palmer Olsen said it best “ I love Wreck City, but I’d rather live in a city where WC couldn’t exist”…that’s an interesting statement the collective makes about changing spaces, and the kinds of things you can do in spaces that are rapidly changing”.

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“Me, You, Us’ by Jennifer Bassett and David Tyl.

The Carwash’s purposefully minimal prepped space does not hold the same exact playful impulsiveness that spurred slides, swings, and rope bridges of the original project. The Ramsay building sported bay “galleries” that feel more like a traditional arts space.   As the collective evolves and streamlines working processes, preserving “grit and impulsiveness” in the art-making process is a goal partially necessitated by challenge of the spaces they inhabit.  While exploratory use of space fuels a collective intent to be on the edge, temporary spaces are key to Wreck City’s mandate. “The most important thing is experimenting… the less permanent a space we have, the more likely we are to be relevant and topical”  says Caitlind.

“There is a quote that states ‘validity of an arts space is defined by it’s willingness to self implode’…the closer you are to the edge of imploding the more experimental you are being… and Wreck City is certainly on that edge”, she adds.

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In a hidden spot behind the carwash, Aaron Moran’s piece – “Interventions using materials left on sites present a fleeting moment, not unlike a site in transition between absence and presence.”

While temporality of space leaves artists on the edge of experimentation, stability and sustainability for those involved is always a concern.  With no recurring funding, Wreck City’s hardworking curators are not paid, but instead prioritise fees paid to artists through one-off grants and donations. Grit, rough edges and impulsiveness make Wreck City what it is, but ongoing financial viability and sustainability is a concern of the collective. Like many in the arts, the curator group hold various other positions to stay afloat, from running galleries and festivals to arts administration.

“Just because Wreck City has glorified the temporary, doesn’t mean that is all that we believe is important – history, heritage, (past Calgary) organizations like Graceland – all this complexity is what makes a thriving ecosystem, and the more diversity you have the more sustainability you have”.  Caitlind further adds, “I don’t know if permanence is something that we long for – sustainability is different than permanence.”

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Original Carwash signage.

Back to the scene:  At the soon to be demolished building, the original carwash signage “Change Machine” evokes perfectly the function that Wreck City and other enterprising art entrepreneurs play in our city’s cultural development.  Wreck City’s projects herald change in neighborhoods, and seek to provide opportunities for artists in a city where constant gentrification deserves critical commentary, and necessitates the use of temporary space.  A line from their mandate potently says it best: “our projects create a lasting legacy for ephemeral spaces, while solidifying the creative potential of the communities they inhabit”.

This is a posthumous article for a project complete, and demolition at the site will soon make way for high density housing.  We congratulate Wreck City on another job well done, and wait excitedly for the next inevitable space to fall, and rise again, to be celebrated by the artists.

Our photos don’t do it this event justice; check out the Wreck City website for more information on DEMO TAPE and past events HERE.

Transplanting the King Edward’s Hollyhocks

cSPACE aspires to be sustainable – our approach to redeveloping the former King Edward School site has always been grounded in reuse and up-cycling. The many unique heritage pieces that we are preserving and reimagining stretch from century old boiler plates (read more here) to historic windows frames and locker doors.  In 2013, we worked with 30 artists to reuse building materials for artwork during Phantom Wing. Early in our demolition stage, we held a public salvage auction to keep as much out of the landfill as possible.

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Dried seed pods from past seasons of flowering

Our philosophy for providing new life for old things had a unique twist this year as we gave a grove of Hollyhocks that had sprung up near the school an opportunity for a second life. In the immediate path of impending demolition, a call from our local neighbour Andrea made us rethink their value.

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New spring growth against the south sandstone wall

For the construction team, I’m sure these flowers might have been seen as a weed leading to water infiltration and cracking of a century old foundation. But that’s not a story worth telling! These hollyhocks are a poetic reminder, a trace of cultivation where a community would put down roots in the midst of the once vast prairie. They could have been a placemaking effort by a citizen of the community, a teacher or student who took it upon themselves to plant a moment of colour and beauty in this protected spot against the backdrop of a sandstone wall.Holly_shovel_web_731x308

On the morning of April 21st, 2015 with shovels in hand, a transplant operation started – with seeds collected and several plants moved to live on in the cultivation of other places. Today, thanks to a neighbour’s thoughtfulness, the hollyhocks have re-rooted themselves elsewhere in the community to enliven those who acknowledge their beauty.

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Remaining hollyhocks bloom onsite as construction begins on the new south facing city park.

For us, with our view to towards the vision of a new arts facility and public park, we’re now all the richer for understanding how others connect to place. With a few remaining hollyhocks now in bloom at King Edward we are reminded how connections to place extend beyond the legacy of sandstone architecture, extending to small acts of making, of cultivation, that bring bricks and mortar truly to life.

CBE – Mayor Nenshi wears hard hat designed by Willow Park student for Arts Hub groundbreaking ceremony

It’s not every day you get to give Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi one of your very own designs to wear. But that’s exactly what happened to Willow Park School’s own Grade 8 student Giovanna Acosta after she won a competition to design a hard hat for the groundbreaking ceremony at the new cSPACE King Edward Creative Hub & Arts Incubator.

Willow Park was chosen as the only CBE school to share in this exceptional experience. The design competition was for an artistic hard hat concept and accompanying artist statement that would be worn by one of the dignitaries at the ceremony alongside the work of other professional Calgary artists such as Verna Vogel, Billie Ray Busby, and Daniel Kirk.

Many thanks to the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) for the article – Read the full article HERE.

cSPACE welcomes new Board Chair

After three years leading the Board of Directors at cSPACE, Cheryl Gottselig is stepping down as Chair.  The Board and staff are immensely grateful for Cheryl’s leadership, passion and insight over the challenging start-up stage of cSPACE. Cheryl will remain as an active member of of the Board over the coming year, continuing to bring her expertise to cSPACE as we welcome our new Chair, Patricia McLeod.

Patricia McLeod, QC (Patty) is a lawyer and corporate director, specializing in the areas of corporate governance and ethics, corporate commercial, privacy and compliance law. Patty has held the roles of Vice President, Corporate Responsibility as well as the Associate General Counsel and Compliance Officer for regulated utility companies in Alberta and in July, she will be starting a new role as General Counsel for CareVest Operations, a real estate development and mortgage investment company with operations in British Columbia and Alberta.

Patty has an MBA from Queen’s University, is a Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional, and a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors accredited directors program. In addition to our Board, Patty is the Chair of the Board of the YWCA of Calgary, Vice Chair of Calgary Economic Development and sits as a director on the boards of the Calgary Film Centre and Vibrant Communities Calgary. She was also just appointed in 2015 to the Alberta Order of Excellence Council.

Patty has two daughters who are involved in competitive swimming and dance and also belong to the Calgary Girls’ Choir. She, along with her husband Dan, a partner at Blake Cassels and Graydon LLP, enjoy life in Calgary and keep busy with many family and community activities. All this and a passion for the arts (and travel)!

“I am delighted to be invited to work with the Board of cSPACE as the organization moves forward to its next phase of construction on the King Edward School restoration along with exploring new opportunities in other areas of Calgary. It is very exciting to be a part of the team supporting the vision for cSPACE; bringing artists, non-profits and creative entrepreneurs together to collaborate, incubate their ideas and build community in Calgary.”

Vibrant mural sets the stage for future public art call

Reimagining the King Edward as a hub for creativity has always included using outdoor public space as a canvas for art, temporary and permanent. As the future location for a significant public art installation, cSPACE invited local artist Tyler Hochhalter to paint a large mural, framed by the original sandstone at the south entrance of the historic school. Tyler is a graduate of the Alberta College of Art and Design, a painter, graffiti and tattoo artist, and was up for the challenge to transforming a tired front stoop on short notice.

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The blank canvas.

“The inspiration for this mural was to merge the past with the now,” Tyler says of his concept for the piece. “I wanted to not just replicate what had been done before, but use the space accordingly and push it forward into a more refined state – as with the intention for the King Edward School, taking something old and giving it new life within a progressive context.  Respecting the merit of heritage and establishing new ideas that maintain openness and opportunity for things to come.”

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The mural in process

Tyler’s mural is a placeholder, transforming the space temporarily. Once historic restoration is complete and the facility opens, this space will be the site of a significant work of public art. The restored grand entrance and art installation will be the first impression for visitors to the King Edward, a focal point of creative energy. Further information regarding cSPACE King Edward’s Public Art Project will be released later in 2015.

To see Tyler’s creation process for the mural, check out our timelapse video below.

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The final artwork sets the stage for our groundbreaking ceremony

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grade 8 artist chosen for Mayor Nenshi’s “hard-hatting”

Everyone has probably seen the Mayor’s ‘white-hatting’ ceremony of VIPs who visit our city or important community members who have contributed immense value to the quality of life of Calgarians. For Mayor Nenshi, we wanted to extend the same gratitude and celebrate the City of Calgary’s long-standing support of our flagship project.

We collaborated with Willow Park School, an art centred learning centre, to create a memorable art piece for a ‘hard-hatting’ ceremony. And did they deliver!

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The finished hard hat.

Distinguishing itself as a unique place for education in the city, the grade 5 to 9 school focuses on learning IN and THROUGH the arts. Eager to engage students with this creative opportunity, teacher Carrie Schurig (wife of our dynamic cSPACER, Deeter) developed a plan to engage the school’s artist-in-residence, Morgan Free, along with the greater student body by running a competition for hard hat designs. With earth-shattering prestige and an artist fee on the line, 16 submissions were received from students in the short week following the release of the artist call.

A jury was assembled with an internal panel including the artist-in-residence and staff to determine the most promising concept. Grade 8 student Giovanna Acosta was chosen based on her proposed design and artist statement:

‘For my hard hat, I put an eye in the middle of the hat because I wanted it to represent noticing deeply and how our eyes see art and how peoples’ eyes see art in different ways.’

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Giovanna works with artist-in-residence Morgan Free to execute her elaborate design

 

 

 

The statement continues on to describe how she ‘chose to put two phoenix on both sides of the hat’. The mythic character represents how Willow Park School was reborn again after a school fire in 2013 and ‘how the King Edward School will rise to be something more beautiful and stronger’ because of its new arts purpose.

Pulled up alongside Mayor Nenshi to stand on the steps of KIng Edward during our groundbreaking ceremony to share her artistic intent, Giovanna will undoubtedly have a life shaping memory to reflect on for years to come!

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Giovanna joins Mayor Nenshi at the podium to speak about her design.

 

The connection of Willow Park and the King Edward doesn’t start and end with Giovanna. Coincidentally, Willow Park’s Principal, Leslie Robertson, had her first Calgary teaching position at the King Edward. With fond memories of a ‘circus themed artist-in-residency’ and reenacting stories of elderly members from the local community in a student drama production, Robertson also reflects that King Edward “has always been a school that recognized the importance of welcoming our larger community into our learning space”. That tradition of connecting the arts and community stretches back to William Aberhart, the King Edward’s original principal in 1913, who brought the very first theatre production in a Calgary Board of Education facility to life with staff and student actors.  Aberhart would later become 7th Premier of Alberta between 1935-1943.

It is the many moments and memories like these that make places resonate and have meaning. Collaborating with an art school, former teachers, inspiring artists and future creative leaders made a special event memorable for us as we launch into construction and the next steps of our transformation at the King Edward.

Artist-designed hard hats showcase local talent

The current head-wear of choice at cSPACE these days is hard hats as we begin our construction activity at the King Edward. For one special day in May, utilitarian hard hats became colourful and ingenious canvases for 25 works of art at our groundbreaking ceremony. We invited a dozen local artists – many who we have collaborated with us in the past – to create unique pieces to thank community champions and partners for their support.

With free reign to produce whatever they wanted, we were amazed at what came from the talents of our creative community. Featured artists included Billie Rae Busbydaniel j. kirkEarthFolkGiovanna AcostaIvan OstapenkoJayda KarstenJesse GoucheyKatie GreenLane Shordee, Morgan Free, Tyler Hochhalter and Verna Vogel

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Hard Hat by EarthFolk

 

Hard hats were adorned with everything from a bird’s nest (Katie Green), to arrows (EarthFolk), geodesic domes (Morgan Free), and teddy bears (daniel j.kirk).  Many of the artists had past connections to either the historic school , and while the King Edward is not yet open, we still endeavor to support the artistic community as we wait patiently (and for not much longer!) for the building to open.

Hats by, Left to Right Top: Tyler Hochhalter, Katie Green, daniel j. kirk, Katie Green, Billie Rae Busby, Giovanna Acosta (worn by Mayor Nenshi). Bottom Row: Ivan Ostapenko (worn by Dean Prodan, Calgary Arts Development), daniel j. Kirk, Morgan Free, Tyler Hochhalter, Bille Rae Busby

Jesse Gouchey’s 4 hard hats featured graffiti and animal themes, heralding from his Cree-Metis heritage.  Hard hats were not his first taste of making art at the King Edward. As the award-winning animator of “Spirit of the Bluebird”, Jesse was provided a temporary space in the building to create a segment of his newest painted, stop-motion animation.  The work releases in the fall of 2015, and we’re excited to keep an eye out for it!

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Hats by Jesse Gouchey. From Left to Right: “Soaring Raven”, “Perched Raven”, “Maskwa” (Cree for “Bear”, and a sign of good luck), “From the Streets”

Verna Vogel, a local painter and creator of 3 hats for the ceremony has had a varied connection to the King Edward, from displaying art during one of cSPACE’s first open houses, to a draw-til-you-drop event by Mark Vasquez-Mackay (another creator friend of ours), and exploring a camera obscura at the school before it was brought to Beakerhead in 2104.  Verna’s hard hat creations bring her to the King Edward one more time with the lovely Healer’s, Instrumentalist’s, and Miner’s Hats.

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Hard hats by Verna Vogel Left to Right: “Healer’s Hat”, “Instrumentalist’s Hat”, & “Miner’s Hat”.

PHANTOM WING, a 2013 art show by the collective Wreck City (who’s newest collaboration DEMO TAPE launches in June) commemorated the soon-to-be demolished 1960’s edition to the school, and made many community connections to the King Edward.  Lane Shordee, a scavenger artist who “drawing from construction waste and items found by happenstance, builds elegant sculptures and installations that both challenge and indulge our relationships with the things we throw away,” was one such connection.  During PHANTOM WING, Lane helped create a collaborative installation called “Waterways”. The piece was created in response to Calgary’s floods, using reused and repurposed flood debris to create a water-based public sculpture.  Lane’s 2 hard hats featured his signature scavenger style, one with a working gas gauge, and the other transforming the hat into a video game console.

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Hard hats by Lane Shordee. Gas Gauge hat worn by Dale Ens of the Calgary Foundation.

Jayda Karsten – artist and former King Edward student – used repurposed materials from a collaborative installation during PHANTOM WING for her first hard hat. In the installation Winged Apocalypse, “wings made out of window blinds represented a Phoenix rising out of the ashes or an angel of a postlapsarian city”. For the hat worn by Reid Henry, cSPACE’s President & CEO, Jayda posed, “If wings on your feet represent being swift footed, do wings on your head represent having your head in the clouds?”.

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Hard hat by Jayda Karsten Worn by Reid Henry, President and CEO of cSPACE Projects. The hat was created with recycled materials from the “Winged Apocalypse” installation at PHANTOM WING (2013 photo with Mayor Nenshi)

Inspiration for Jayda’s second, balloon-adorned hat came from reused materials from the 2012 Doors Open YYC and celebration of the 100th birthday of the school. Jayda created an installation that engaged the community to fill a room full of balloons – symbolically breathing new life into the building.

We thank all of the artists who helped make our groundbreaking a very special and memorable event and look forward to providing the arts a place to thrive when we open cSPACE King Edward in a short 18 months.

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cSPACE partners, shareholders, staff and board wearing their custom hard hats. Thank you from our team to the artists!

May project update: cSPACE breaks ground on King Edward

cSPACE was joined by friends and partners on May 13 to officially break ground on the first phase of our flagship project – restoring the former 1912 King Edward School and creation of a new public park.  With the century-old heritage school as a backdrop, the ceremony featured music by local band Rotary Park, the unveiling of a temporary mural by artist Tyler Hochhalter, and beautiful artist-designed hard hats provided to our partners.

Guest of Honour Mayor Naheed Nenshi captured the vision of cSPACE King Edward in his opening remarks:

“I love that we’re taking a century-old building that’s been vacant for years and putting it where it belongs — right back into the community,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

For us, that community is both local and city-wide. At the same time as it is revived as a neighbourhood gathering place, cSPACE King Edward will be the home to dozens of small non-profit organizations and artists starting in 2016. The groundbreaking ceremony provided us with an opportunity to announce the initial slate of those arts and culture organizations that have now leased space at the hub:

Filling 50% of the leasable space in the building, these organizations will bring new life  to the vacant former school as a hub for artistic and community programming. Another 18,000 s.f. of affordable artist studios, flexible offices and organizational workspace will be made available in mid-2016.

Breaking ground also signalled the mobilization of our construction team to prepare the site for the many trades that will be restoring and updating the century-old heritage building. Over the coming weeks, Clark Builders will be protecting historic doors and trim, together with original terrazzo, tile and slate flooring. The beautiful wood windows are each being assessed for the detailed restoration process ahead. Mechanical systems will be decommissioned and existing services disconnected. Careful demolition will allow for many new features of the building including an oversized elevator to ensure the historic school is fully accessible. Visible exterior work will begin in June with regrading, trenching and new underground service installations.

Reaching a milestone such as groundbreaking is an incredible achievement for a start-up organization like cSPACE. As we continue to fundraise for the final $4.2 million to complete the new west wing, we are incredibly thankful for the ongoing support from our partners, donors and communities.  Onward!

Calgary Herald – Arts Incubator Breaks Ground at King Edward

Calgary’s arts incubator broke some new ground Wednesday — literally.

The first shovel went into the ground at CSpace, the city’s new arts incubator being built at the site of the old King Edward School in Marda Loop.

It’s the start of an ambitious multi-use project that will transform the century-old school into a 4,366 square meter (47,000 square foot) multi-purpose creative incubator housing a variety of Calgary arts groups, and non-profit community organizations, as well as a real estate development that ranges from luxury condos to more affordable artist studios, to seniors housing.

The $28 million project is scheduled to open in late 2016.

“I love that we’re taking a century-old building that’s been vacant for years and putting it where it belongs — right back into the community,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

“We’re breaking ground on something really important here. We’re breaking ground on history. And that is what makes me really excited, because what better way to celebrate history than with art?”

For Reid Henry, the President and CEO of CSpace, Wednesday marked a breakthrough moment in a project that has had its share of ups and downs since it was announced in 2012.

“It’s a pretty special moment for everybody,” said Henry.

Read the full article from the Calgary Herald HERE

Metro News – Ground Breaks for cSPACE King Edward Project aimed at offering affordable space for artists and non-profits in Calgary

Shovels in soil Wednesday officially kicked off the start of construction for cSPACE King Edward, a project aimed at providing affordable space for artists and non-profit organizations.

By 2016, the tall, sandstone King Edward School that has been sitting idle for the past 12 years in the Marda Loop community is projected to be a hub for innovation and creativity, according to president and CEO of cSPACE, Reid Henry.

“It’s a place for people working from the full spectrum of community non-profits and commercial creative arts to come together and shape new ideas,” Henry said.

Henry added that shared infrastructure and leasable space within 60 to 80 per cent of the market rate in Calgary would provide artists and small businesses struggling to find space new, more affordable options.

Read the Full article from METRO News HERE

Globe and Mail – Calgary’s Kind Edward School to be reborn as creative hub cSPACE

The King Edward School was built with sandstone in South Calgary in 1912, closed by the school board in 2001 and is about to rise again – as cSPACE King Edward. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held next Wednesday for the project: a 47,000-square-foot creative hub and arts incubator for a diverse group of artists and arts organizations. It will have studios, offices and production facilities, as well as exhibition and performance spaces – including a 130-seat theatre built in a new glass wing.

The idea is to bring artists, non-profits and creative entrepreneurs together “to collaborate, feed off each other’s energy and create new work,” cSPACE president and chief executive Reid Henry says. “I’m very interested in this building being a place where every facet of the cultural and creative sector come together, so whether you’re working in community projects or non-profit, performance art or commercial art, even, … we want to be a space for them to incubate their ideas.”

To read the full article visit The Globe and Mail HERE

Mayor Nenshi breaks ground on cSPACE King Edward

On May 13, 2015, cSPACE Projects broke ground on its flagship project – the 47,000 square foot King Edward arts hub, in the south Calgary community of Marda Loop.  cSPACE, Calgary Arts Development and the Calgary Foundation celebrated with supporters, including Guest of Honour Mayor Naheed Nenshi. Artist-designed hardhats by 12 local artists were presented to project champions and a temporary mural by Tyler Hochhalter was unveiled at the historic front entrance of the school building.

Opening in late 2016, cSPACE King Edward will support dozens of small non-profit organizations as tenants as well as hundreds of artists and entrepreneurs working across disciplines and sectors.  The renovated 1912 sandstone school will be the first heritage adaptive reuse project by a nonprofit in Calgary designed to achieve LEED Gold standards. The project will feature highly adaptable production, rehearsal, presentation and office space as well as dedicated artist studios. A new public park will be infused with many opportunities for showcasing creative work, including mobile ‘art cubes’ and shifting public art displays. Sitting at the heart of two distinctive new residential developments by Rockwood Custom Homes and Section23 Group, the building will become a vibrant mixed-use, multi-tenant arts and community hub.

“Collaboration is critical for making these types of projects work – momentum for realizing our vision for the King Edward has been built through the power of partnerships and an entrepreneurial approach to developing bold and innovative art space for Calgarians,“ said Reid Henry, President and CEO of cSPACE Projects.

“cSPACE King Edward will be transformational for our city,” says Patti Pon, President & CEO of Calgary Arts Development. “Not only will it support our creative community, enrich its neighbourhood and strengthen Calgary’s arts ecosystem, but the King Edward will also serve as a sustainable model for future arts incubators.”

“We could not be more thrilled that the cSPACE King Edward project breaks ground this week. The Calgary Foundation’s continued commitment to community and the arts is exemplified in this unique project that encourages exciting collaborations. It is this energy that revitalizes and builds our communities and neighbourhoods.” said Eva Friesen, President & CEO, the Calgary Foundation.

The unique capital structure for developing the $28.2 million cSPACE King Edward includes social finance, real estate land sales, corporate sponsorship, individual philanthropy and multi-level government investment. The restoration and reuse of the 1912 school building, park space and site-work are fully funded with a campaign goal of $4.2 million remaining to complete the new west wing.

For more project details, download the EXPANDED Version of the News Release (cSPACE_GroundBreak_NewsRelease.pdf).

April 2015 Project Update

With the recent announcement of our land sales closing and an additional $1 million from our partner at Alberta Culture and Tourism, we have reached 80% of our total goal of $29.5 million and are moving ahead on Phase I of our construction.

While we continue to raise funding for the final component of the arts hub (completion of the new West Wing), cSPACE and our construction team are mobilizing to restart work on the site in May. Vacancy over the last decade has taken a toll on the century-old sandstone school – protecting and restoring the venerable historic building is our top priority over the next 18 months of Phase I construction activity.

Neighbours will begin to see more activity over the coming weeks, with interior demolition, earthworks and installation of deep services planned to start next month. The exterior sitework (i.e. big equipment!) is planned for May to October. Clark Builders will work closely with us to communicate major activity and will be proactive about managing impacts (e.g. dust) on surrounding properties.  Stay tuned to our e-newsletters and website for up-to-date project updates and construction blogs as well as our announcement of the formal ground-breaking event!

Visit this link to hear project manager, Deeter Schurig, talk to CBC about the unique architecture of the old school including a visit up the cupola.

Artist Ivan Ostapenko creates new work at cSPACE

Construction sites are notorious for getting tagged by vandals and cSPACE King Edward is no different.  We could have simply painted over some recent graffiti but why not take it as an opportunity for art creation? cSPACE recently invited our friend – artist, architect and Blank Page Studio resident Ivan Ostapenko – to tackle our North entrance while we await our construction to start.  We also took the opportunity to talk to him about his practice and the inspiration for his piece at the King Edward School.

A collaborative practice 

An emerging design professional, Ivan holds both a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Studies from U of C and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. His practice ranges from art and architecture, to magazine writing and curation.  Recently, collaboration has played a large part in his practice: from Play on Wheels with Antyx Community Art , Water Works with Wreck City’s Phantom Wing project at the King Edward in 2013, to The Field Manual in the East Village with with local artists daniel j. kirk and Kai Cabunoc-Boettcher. His newest focus is the curation of an upcoming metalwork gallery show at the studio he shares – Blank Page.   Much of his recent collaboration has arisen organically from the community in that space (learn more in our article about Blank Page).

Entrepreneurship & the arts

When asked how entrepreneurship informs his practice, Ivan replied “it’s a necessity”. Often, Ivan’s practice has been about experience, learning through failure and the journey. While he isn’t one to hold a standard day job (and has avoided the traditional route to working as an architect), involvement in diverse projects such as welding Calgary’s food trucks have been experiences to fuel better art making.  But while business skills are important, he feels “the arts should not necessarily be commodified…for artists there are often more pertinent concerns –  like passion”.  The best entrepreneurs stick to the novel idea that made them stand out – rather than changing course simply to generate revenue. Ivan believes that one key to successful entrepreneurship as an artist is to “not be afraid to fail – without some degree of risk you won’t get anywhere innovative.”

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In progress

 

Vitality of Calgary’s art scene

Ivan describes the Calgary art scene as “a healthy and thriving community” fuelled by tremendous local talent.  Stuart Mclean (of CBC’s The Vinyl Cafe) recently visited Blank Page Studio to ask his office mates about just that. They didn’t hold any opinions back – there are still many challenges facing artists in the city. Like many other artists, Ivan echoes a dire lack of affordable workspace. From his perspective, Calgary is “lacking facilities and that’s a big obstacle in getting local talent to the next level… especially for bigger projects requiring shop equipment and space. There is no acceptable communal pool of resources, and it’s done on an individual level out of people’s garages”, Ivan says.

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The final piece, woven into earlier work by Karen Klassen during Phantom Wing in 2013

On Graffiti, and the newest mural at the King Edward School

The North door piece, like much of Ivan’s work, is less about specific imagery and focuses more on the process of creation. With the remnants of an earlier pre-demolition art piece by Karen Klassen, Ivan describes that the piece was “not about covering up but about creating a visual discussion”.  With an effort made to integrate and remix the old work and celebrate the original, he likened the process to preservation of older buildings in Calgary. “The attitude in the city is that if it’s not new we don’t like it…but integrating or remixing and keeping a little bit of the old even if its not great or popular, brings layering and diversity rather than monoculture” Ivan says.

Blank Page Studio – supporting creatives in Calgary

Collaborative spaces like Blank Page Studio are providing new models of support for creatives in Calgary. Through unique shared work environments delivering affordable and flexible space, the culture of coworking is showing benefits across all sectors – including the arts.

Co…what?

“Coworking” is what it sounds like – workers (typically freelancers, entrepreneurs, small businesses, former home office and coffee shop inhabitors) come together to share a space and build community.  In this non-traditional environment, eclectic work practices come together supported through an amenity-rich space.  This trend of sharing resources (and ideas) is a growing phenomenon globally and in Calgary. While several coworking spaces such as Assembly, Accelerator YYC and The Commons have popped up in town, Blank Page Studios joins cSPACE’s Arts Co-lab as coworking space catering to artistic and creative communities.

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A Blank Page for the Arts  

Blank Page came into existence when daniel j kirk – artist, muralist, and University of Calgary fine arts graduate – seized an opportunity for subsidized space from Truman Developments in the trendy neighbourhood of Kensington.  Daniel followed precedents from Calgary art-space innovators, including the Seafood Market, Pith, Haight, and Untitled Art Galleries. These diverse locations have risen up in Calgary to transform temporary spaces with below market rent for artists, made possible through unique partnerships.  Working with University of Calgary fine arts and Architecture graduates, Ivan Ostapenko, and Studio North’s Mark Erickson and Matthew Kennedy, a place to support the arts, entrepreneurship and community building was conceived.  Blank Page Studio was born.

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The 1,660 sq. ft. space features:

  • three retractable offices
  • an artist studio
  • short term drop-in ‘hot desks’ (desks rented by the hour)
  • a common area that plays host to a variety of community events

With a gentle push, walls that previously defined offices retract inwards on a wheel and rail system to transform workspaces into an ideal event space.  Over just a short year in existence, this flexibility has established Blank Page as a key location in the creative community. The space has hosted everything from improv nights, literary studies, and clown training to live concerts and design lectures with partners such as d.Talks.

Blank Page is also a daily home to established businesses, freelance artists and designers. Studio North is an architecture firm with enthusiasm for social good, the arts and sustainability. Calgary’s hugely successful Market Collective also calls Blank Page home.  Founders Angel Guerra and Angela Dione serve Calgary’s arts community by curating dynamic events that provide local arts entrepreneurs the opportunity to sell and promote their work. Urban sustainability firm Intelligent Futures, web developer Justin Brown, graphic designer Mark Rimmer add to the art and design vibe that daniel j. kirk and Ivan Ostapenko bring (read more about Ivan and his work with cSPACE).

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731x308-BlkDoorCoworking Works for the Arts  

Affordable space, integral to successful artistic practice, is a constant struggle in an expensive and ever-changing city.  Blank Pager Ivan’s musings on Calgary’s art scene confirm a potent need: “Calgary is lacking facilities and this is a big obstacle in getting local talent to the next level”. The highly adaptable space at Blank Page Studio is responding to this gap, but the future for the space unknown.  As early as next year, the space may meet a fate akin to predecessors like the temporary Seafood Market Studios in the East Village. Daniel is ready to rise to this challenge – running the Studio has created a strong blueprint for future opportunities to leverage partnerships and utilize vacant spaces. We can’t wait to see what comes next!

Tories kick in $1m for Calgary arts incubator project

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A future arts and cultural hub at the former King Edward School in Calgary’s southwest received a $1-million injection from the provincial government.

Tory cabinet ministers continued their post-budget tour of the province Thursday, stopping in the city to announce money for flood projects, supports for francophone students and the cSpace arts incubator in Marda Loop.

“It is our flagship project, one of many I hope to build in the future,” said Reid Henry, president and CEO of cSpace. “It will be come a hub for Calgary’s culture and creative sector and a treasured gathering place for the local community.”

The three-acre site includes the 45,000-square-foot historic sandstone school (which closed in 2000 because of declining student enrolment), as well as a new modern wing that will ultimately house performance space, galleries and community hubs.

The province has now contributed $4.5 million toward the project, which has now reached 80 per cent of its $29.5-million funding target, Henry said.

The announcement was attended by Culture and Tourism Minister Maureen Kubinec and Education Minister Gordon Dirks, who represents Calgary-Elbow, where the facility resides.

Dirks said the facility, slated to open in 2016, would be home to some of “the most artistic businesses and highly marketable artists in Calgary and right across Canada.”

To see the full article, visit Calgary Herald here.

cSPACE receives $1m from Province and announces new development partners

A new funding contribution of $1 million from The Province of Alberta’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism will go towards cSPACE’s $29.5-million arts and community hub at the former King Edward School in South Calgary. Alberta Culture and Tourism Minister Maureen Kubinec (MLA Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock) and Education Minister Gordon Dirks (MLA Calgary-Elbow) announced the funding earlier today. cSPACE was also pleased to welcome Calgary-based developers Rockwood Custom Homes and Section23 Group as partners in the residential portion of the block.

cSPACE is redeveloping a three-acre, inner-city site that includes a 45,000-sq.-ft. former sandstone school built in 1912. At the heart of this distinctive new residential development, the LEED Gold facility will become a mixed-use, multi-tenant arts and community hub in 2016.

“We are proud to support cSPACE, The Calgary Foundation and the City of Calgary in the renovation of King Edward School. The project not only preserves an important part of Calgary’s past, the repurposed space will support a bright, sustainable future for Calgary’s cultural community,” says Maureen Kubinec, Minister of Culture and Tourism.

“We are very excited by how the King Edward project will act to integrate and imbed an arts and culture component within the community of South Calgary. We see our involvement in this project as a unique opportunity to create extraordinary value—not only for those becoming owners or tenants in the residential elements of the project, but also the wider community,” says Section23’s Executive Chairman, Robert Ollerenshaw.

“The history and legacy of our firm emphasizes the principles of wellness, education, and life-long learning, and we see the King Edward project as a tremendous fit with those principles—particularly in the context of a seniors’ development,” Ollerenshaw adds.

Grainger Nimmo, Partner of Rockwood Custom Homes echoed this confidence in cSPACE’s vision: “We are thrilled to partner with cSPACE on this unique project—a legacy community in what’s sure to be one of Calgary’s premiere arts and cultural hubs.”

President of Rockwood, Allison Grafton, added, “The opportunity for Rockwood to take part in Calgary’s first master-planned, arts-based community is very exciting. Our vision is to create exclusive luxury flats—the Residences of King Edward—that honour the historic site while introducing modern elements that blend seamlessly with the rest of the cSPACE vision for the development.”

Including the proceeds from the sale of land and substantial donations from both developers, cSPACE has raised $24 million of the project’s $29.5-million budget. In addition to over $8 million of early support by the City of Calgary, Calgary Arts Development and The Calgary Foundation, the Province’s contribution to date of $4.65 million has provided a solid foundation for investing in our city’s creative talent.

About Section23 Group

Section23 Group is a Calgary-based business dating back to the early 1900s, grounded in ranching and farming activities on the SE Calgary lands of the Ollerenshaw family. Over the past 20-plus years, the business and land holdings have transitioned from those traditional roots towards the fields of residential architecture and suburban land development, with more recent initiatives focused upon inner-city residential and commercial redevelopment. 

About Rockwood

Founded in 2009 in Calgary, Alberta, Rockwood Custom Homes is an award-winning, boutique luxury home construction and renovation company that provides a full suite of architectural, construction and interior design services to a discriminating client-base.

Spend a day with us for free!

Coworking space just got better – Spend a day with us for free!

You are invited to test drive a hot desk for a day at Arts CoLAB. Come by the Arts CoLAB and work with us for a day at no cost! No strings attached, just fill out our application form here and we will respond back to you within 24 hours to book you in for your first visit.

About Arts CoLAB

Arts CoLAB is located on the 5th floor of the Burns Building (Suite #501, 237 8th Ave. SE), a beautiful historic building overlooking Olympic Plaza and City Hall. Sharing a floor with other cultural and design enterprises, members will have immediate access to the Arts Commons (formerly the EPCOR Centre) and the new Ca’puccini coffee shop. Arts CoLAB will provide Calgary’s creative community with dedicated coworking space to support diverse projects, practices and missions.

Amenities

  • adjustable desk and chair
  • free meeting room access (based on availability)
  • free coffee and kitchenette access
  • wireless high-speed internet
  • color, black & white printing (pay per use)
  • lockable cabinet and/or locker
  • 10’ foot ceilings and natural light
  • operable window blinds
  • unit controlled air conditioning and heat
  • close to transit and +15
  • message / white board

Project update: December 2014

The new year brings exciting news for the King Edward project. We have been working diligently with our project team over the last year in final preparation for groundbreaking. With the approval of our subdivision permit, we are happy to report that construction will soon begin.

The first phase of work will focus on the careful restoration and preservation of the 100 year old heritage building by skilled artisans and tradespeople. The sandstone facade will be restored by expert masons, inspecting and repairing each of the thousands of stones and mortar joints that comprise the King Edward. Window openings that were covered over in the 1970s will be reinstated, doubling the natural light in most rooms. The heritage windows will be restored in place with new, clear-pane thermal windows placed on the outside. On the roof, the temporary protection installed will have environmentally friendly recycled rubber shingles installed, emulating the original black slate shingles of the school.

You don’t age 100 years without developing a bit of character along the way! The interior of the King Edward is full of ‘patina’ that celebrates its history. From initials scratched in wooden doors to the worn-in footprints going up the slate stairs, these nuances define the special legacy of the King Edward and are part of the character cSPACE wants to keep. Solid slate chalk boards, original woodwork and historic plasterwork will be restored and preserved by specialised artisans. Solid oak doors with original brass fittings will be re-hung, and cast-iron boiler doors will be preserved and commemorated as an important historic component to the building.

At the same time, the King Edward will be modernized as a LEED Gold Certified building. Mechanical and electrical systems will be completely new, providing high efficiency performance and reducing the operating costs to non-profit tenants.

To learn more about the King Edward project and how you can support Calgary’s creative community, please visit our support page here..

 

Jayda Karsten – art, entrepreneurship and social innovation

Calgary is full of creative people who are making our city a better place to live. Notable artists are distinguishing themselves by making an impact through multi-disciplinary work that extends beyond the scope of a standard arts practice. Change-makers are creative practitioners who break down barriers and embrace the challenges that face emerging artists. With ingenuity, change-makers navigate a complex environment by combining entrepreneurial skills, a collaborative mindset and unrelenting tenacity.

Jayda_headshot_1024x1024 Jayda Karsten is a creative change-maker who knows the recipe for success. She combines creativity with entrepreneurial spirit and a mission for social good, inspiring peers to think differently about shaping our city. She knows the importance of understanding the structure of things, both material and systematic. Throughout her young career Jayda has demonstrated an ability to use her fascination with knowledge and materials to influence dialogue and engage with individuals and communities.

Finding the passion: architecture, the arts and a connection to the King Edward

Beginning a career as an architectural technologist, Jayda studied at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in the architectural program. She credits her experience in architecture as helping to define her passions as an artist. The technical work was extremely interesting to her, yet her ambitions extended beyond the specialised role. The idea of working on suburban housing projects and commercial buildings did not appeal to her as an artist. She set out to discover more.

Taking night classes at Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD), she solidified her calling in the arts. After establishing her focus of study and moving into a degree program, she built up a network of peers and mentors that would help deepen her impact as a creative practitioner.

A class at ACAD in 2011 reconnected Jayda with the King Edward. Having spent her early years there as a student in kindergarten through to grade 5, she was intimately attached to the legacy of the heritage building. Her group presented a project that had envisioned a new purpose for the then vacant sandstone building. “The King Edward Residency and Arts Agency” proposal presented the King Edward as a centre that would provide professional development for artists at all career levels. The group went on to present the project to the Marda Loop Community Association as part of their discussions around the future repurposing of the King Edward.

Creative entrepreneurship & social innovation

Despite the success of the group project at ACAD, Jayda felt there was more to learn about arts and entrepreneurship. With the goal of establishing an art-based business Jayda enrolled in the “Women’s Venture” program at Momentum, an organization in Calgary that provides business training and resources for new entrepreneurs. “I sought it out. It was something that I was interested in, not something that was forced down my throat,” says Jayda, who acknowledges that business training is not necessarily for every artist. She wanted to learn the basics of business in order to prepare herself to manage her new endeavours.

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d.Talks panel for “Lost Spaces” event, 2014

In 2012 Jayda co-founded the non-profit organization “Design Talks Institute” (d.talks) with Amery Calvelli, Maureen Hodgan and Shannon Lanigan as a multidisciplinary group with a social mission. d.talks’ mission is “to foster collaborative and engaging public conversation about design and the built environment in Calgary.” To date, d.talks has opened up a dialogue between community and professionals who engage with topics including sustainability, public spaces and heritage preservation. Within the two years that d.talks has been in operation, it has held more than eight successful events, bringing together Calgary’s most innovative thinkers and engaging speakers working to make our city a better place to live. Most recently, d.talks won the Calgary Heritage Authority’s Lion Award in the “Advocacy and Awareness” category for their 2013 event called “Let’s talk about… Building ICONOMY”

Check out d.Talks here.

Collaboration builds meaningful relationships

“Winged Apocalypse” at Phantom Wing in 2013 once again reconnected Jayda to the King Edward. Along with artists Jack Bride and Chris Zajko, Jayda used repurposed materials from the soon-to-be-demolished 1960s wings of the King Edward. The collaborative project transformed a classroom into an immersive experience, engaging visitors within the setting of a post-apocalyptic world. Attendees were invited to pose with a set of wings crafted from classroom blinds, taking on the role of a Phoenix rising from the ashes, symbolic of a “spiritual release from within.” The group inspired thousands of visitors, including a very impressed Mayor Nenshi who took the time to experience the wings himself. Check out Phantom Wing here.

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Mayor Nenshi at “Winged Apocalypse”, Phantom Wing in 2013. Photo courtesy of Caitlind r.c. Brown

Jayda’s passion for architecture and work through d.talks lead her to approach the Environmental Designs department at the University of Calgary where she curated a show called “Neon: Audio Visual”. Describing the exhibition as “a sensory exploration of the medium of neon in the built environment,” she crafted a dialogue that explores the relationship between human senses and the environment. Jayda curated the work of Alberta artists Dick Averns, Don Hill, and Neil Martin. Each artist contributed pieces resulting from their work with neon signage. The show was exhibited at the Kasian Gallery in the University of Calgary’s Environmental Design building in October, 2014. Check out “Neon: Audio Visual” here.

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“Neon: Audio Visual” 2014. University of Calgary, Environmental Design Building

Leaving a lasting legacy

Currently, Jayda is artist in residence at the Calgary Board of Education, University Elementary School, Jayda is part of a program that places art at the foundation of learning. Through explorations in relationships with materials, environmental sustainability and inclusivity, her work is part of a legacy that will empower young minds for the future by encouraging students to think about things more creatively.

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As artist in residence at University School, Jayda is using her creativity to inspire students to think about materials in a new way.

Artists often work with many irons in the fire. Jayda is no exception, molding her practice around a strategy that takes a holistic approach, widening her creative impact well beyond the arts. From shaping young minds to think creatively, to engaging with the greater community on social issues, she is redefining what it means to be an artist. She leverages the relationships between distinct silos of research and information. Making connections and combining artistic dexterity with technical discipline, Jayda is defining a new type of artist. Change-makers are fundamental to Calgary’s future as a creative capital.

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Jayda at her studio in University Elementary School

Calgary’s creative community needs support from people like you. The King Edward arts incubator will provide space, tools and resources needed to support creative entrepreneurs. Learn more about how you can become a partner here.

 

 

Connecting creativity with business at the King Edward Arts Incubator

Calgary is a city that prides itself on its entrepreneurial culture. Startups incubated by industry-focused resources are building a growing ecosystem of innovative thinkers and entrepreneurial professionals. When compared to healthy emerging ventures in energy, finance, and technology, there is a lack of economic opportunities for growth within the arts.

Entrepreneurial communities of artists, designers, musicians and makers promise to shape our city for the future. However, they will need access to an ample range of resources to help them turn their ideas into successful businesses. The Arts Incubator at the King Edward will provide purpose-built space, resources and programming needed by creative entrepreneurs to turn their passions into sustainable enterprise.

Punctuating the top floor of the contemporary west wing addition, the Arts Incubator will be the social heart for the building’s resident and member community. The 2500 square feet of adaptable space will provide members with flexible collaboration rooms, informal gathering areas, individual work areas, a social kitchen, and a panoramic exterior deck offering prime views of the city and mountains in all directions. This unique collaborative space will be the foundation of Western Canada’s first incubator dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship in the arts.

Office resource management should never stand in the way of establishing a creative practice. Several private/semi-private spaces may be booked for board meetings and other collaboration sessions. These spaces will include flexible seating, high-speed wifi, room darkening blinds, white boards, printer and fax access, conference call phones and AV equipment including LCD screens or projectors. The incubator will accommodate intimate groups to large meetings of 60 people. A hot cup of coffee or tea from the social kitchen will help kick things into gear. These shared office resources will help our members take their creative practices to the next level.

The Arts Incubator will be a marquee location for the missions of the King Edward tenant community and cSPACE to intersect. Programming will focus on mentorship, knowledge exchange and business teaching tailored for the creative entrepreneur. A strong network of peers will provide a consistent level of support, and will always be close by to act as a sounding board for new ideas. Mentorship from business leaders and established artists will provide relevant, experiential learning opportunities. Programming will connect members with our rich tenant base, as well as external institutions dedicated to bringing entrepreneurship to the arts.

If you have a creative idea that’s ready to grow into a sustainable enterprise, the Arts Incubator is designed for you.

Calgary’s creative community needs support from people like you. Learn more about how you can become a partner here.

2014 Congress highlights innovative arts projects

A sold-out Creative Calgary Congress brought together arts champions on November 6 for an engaging day of discussion and visioning about arts, culture and creativity in the city. As a signatory to Calgary Arts Development’s ‘Living a Creative Life’, cSPACE joined a diverse group of citizens, artists and community leaders to network and learn more about the amazing initiatives happening across our city.

After a brief and always engaging welcome from Mayor Nenshi, the Congress’ keynote speaker, Erik Takeshita, framed the importance of a wide view of culture’s role in transforming cities.  Erik was an inspiring speaker and generous with his time (as well as a good sport for climbing up to the top of the King Edward cupola the day before to see the unparalleled view of downtown and the mountains!).

Congress sessions on creative placemaking and arts incubation space were packed, showcasing many of cSPACE’s collaborators from the past few years. Panelists included:

  • Susan Veres from Calgary Municipal Land Corporation talking about the arts-led branding of East Village, including the Seafood Market Studios managed for two years by now-cSPACE staff
  • Jennifer Crighton, one of the curators of Phantom WIng held at the King Edward in 2013
  • Nicole Mion from Springboard Dance inspiring delegates about the ContainR project, a shipping container village now in Sunnyside that started its life in Calgary at cSPACE’s Doors Open event in 2012.

We are so appreciative of having had the chance to work with such amazing and imaginative people – they have helped us signal to Calgary at an early stage that cSPACE values creativity, community, collaboration and change.

Thank you to Calgary Arts Development for organizing this fantastic event – we can’t wait for next year!!

Project update: October 2014

Developing mixed-use projects is a tough gig in most cities – design, financing, permitting, stakeholder engagement and political climate are all illustrative of the complex ‘theatre’ of urban revitalization. Add the challenge of reimagining a 3-acre former school site with a 100 year-old sandstone building in the middle, located within an inner-city neighbourhood, and the analogy to a major production becomes clear.

While we’re not quite at opening night, our cSPACE team has been working incredibly hard behind the scenes to prepare for our ground-breaking.  One of the recent outcomes was the signing and release of our development and building permits by the City of Calgary, a milestone that triggers our subdivision to be released soon afterwards.

Without a doubt, designing and developing a multi-disciplinary arts hub, a new park, affordable artist live-work housing, townhouses and condominiums has been a marathon – here’s a snapshot of our key steps of the municipal planning process:

  • November 22, 2011 – Purchase of site
  • April 11, 2012 – Rezoning application submitted
  • February 11, 2013 – 3rd reading by Council
  • March 5, 2013 – Subdivision application submitted
  • May 31, 2013 – Development Permit application submitted
  • August 15, 2013 – Demolition Permit application submitted
  • December 19, 2013 – Development Permit approved
  • January 16, 2014 – Demolition Permit approved
  • February 20, 2014 – Building Permit application submitted
  • February 20, 2014 – Subdivision approved
  • October 21, 2014 – Development Permit released
  • October 24, 2014 – Building Permit approved and released
  • November 2014 – Subdivision released (anticipated)

Throughout such a complex process, challenges arise from many places that require responsiveness, collaboration and a dose of tenacity to resolve.  Since March of this year, cSPACE’s team has worked to address concerns from various residents about the potential noise impact of our proposed chiller unit location at the King Edward site.

As a community builder, we met all municipal approvals processes noted above and the associated stringent technical reviews. Supported by the local community association and Ward 8 Councillor, cSPACE’s original chiller system design was approved by the City in 2013 and was never anticipated to be contentious.  However, a thoughtful communication from a neighbour recently reminded us of an important point. As an aspirational community builder, cSPACE needs to constantly challenge ourselves to lead positive change. Our award-winning approach to sustainable design and community vitalization has showcased this ambition from the beginning of cSPACE’s redevelopment of the King Edward site.

With that intent, our engineering and architect team has worked diligently to improve the sound performance of our system even further to an international best practice.  For details of the revised design, please read our October 3 Letter to the Marda Loop Communities Association posted on our website.

cSPACE is developing Calgary’s most unique studio theatre

Creativity needs flexible space and our new Studio Theatre at the King Edward will deliver Calgary’s most adaptable venue to experiment, collaborate and create new work. Addressing a critical shortage of production, rehearsal and event space across Calgary, the Studio Theatre will offer a variable layout to meet the dynamic needs of multiple arts disciplines. Designed for flexibility, it will transform between a technically sophisticated production space, an intimate ‘black box’ venue, and a premiere event space.

As the first fully equipped, LED-lit performance space in Canada, the two-storey 1,750 sq.ft. space will be designed with sustainability at its core. Programmable exterior louvres will adjust to sun exposure throughout the day, controlling natural lighting and interior conditions. High-efficiency heating and cooling will maintain a comfortable environment, and renewable power generation from an array of solar panels will offset energy consumption.

The Studio Theatre will feature retractable seating for multiple floor layouts, ranging from intimate gatherings to 200-person events. While the full capacity for theatre presentation is 123 seats, a vertical-drop acoustic wall will allow the space to be concurrently used for smaller shows of 44 and 68 seats. An enclosed control booth, touch-screen audio-visual technology and automated blackout shades will set a new standard for smaller-scale, multi-disciplinary spaces.Theatre-1

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From a broader design perspective, the Studio Theatre and new west wing will complete the King Edward’s classical symmetry as it was 40 years ago before the original sandstone wing was removed. Encased by the modern steel and glass of the new wing, the space will feature the original exterior sandstone wall as an interior design element. Reference to the historical architecture continues into the lobby space, where the two steel boiler doors built over 100 years ago in Amherst, Nova Scotia will be laid into the terrazzo floor and covered by structural glass.Photo by Azriel KnightPhoto by Azriel Knight

The development of multi-disciplinary, accessible and adaptable space is critical to ensuring a healthy and vibrant arts community in Calgary. Through the rejuvenation of the King Edward and the addition of the new west wing with the Studio Theatre, Calgary’s artists will have a new platform to amplify their creative impact and contribute to the future vitality of the city. Be a part of bringing this much-needed space to reality – learn more about how you can support the cSPACE King Edward.

 

La Caravan sets the stage for creative placemaking

Connecting creativity and community for the benefit of both is what creative placemaking is all about and a wave of Calgary’s artists and organizations are using this approach to shape the future of our city. Following a recent collaboration with cSPACE on “Spring Reveal”, a fundraising event at the King Edward, we caught up with Creative Director Maya Lewandowsky of La Caravan Dance Theatre about their work.

Dissolving barriers through their imaginative use of space and unique performances, La Caravan unites dancers, acrobats, performers, multimedia specialists and musicians to produce experiences that ride the cutting edge of creative expression. Under Maya’s leadership, La Caravan has opened up a unique dialogue with the community that has generated many opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration. Remarkable performances include “Theatrical Flash Mobs”, “La Soiree” and “Dance Opera.

La Caravan is defining their success through collaboration with artists at the top of their field. “The challenge of working with a group makes us better artists and brings a complex richness that evolves our art form. Finding our own autonomy within the collaborative process is more empowering,” Maya discusses with cSPACE.

Maya morphs her skills as a performer to find unconventional ways to connect La Caravan with performance spaces ranging from the traditional theatre to the streets and parks of Calgary, as well as private homes. La Caravan has cultivated unique strategies to flourish in the absence of affordable and sustainable space for their productions. To overcome the restraints of inaccessible, overbooked and unaffordable theatre and rehearsal space, Maya has learned to operate La Caravan with entrepreneurial agility.

“Having a place where we share our artistic vision with a larger audience and getting feedback increases the social intelligence of the community,” says Maya. Accessible space is just as important to La Caravan as it is to the wider arts community and Calgary needs more of it. Calgary Arts Development’s new arts strategy Living a Creative Life details ‘arts incubation’ as one of the five keys focus areas to improve the arts in Calgary. Simply put, without space to produce and exhibit their work, artists will quickly find other cities that provide a more supportive environment.

cSPACE is part of the solution, intending to create a network of affordable and sustainable arts spaces. At cSPACE’s flagship project in Marda Loop, the Studio Theatre will be Calgary’s most adaptable venue for the multi-disciplinary arts. Opening in 2016 as part of the larger creative hub and incubator, the Studio Theatre will provide vital space for performance-based arts groups like La Caravan.

To learn more about La Caravan and Maya Lewandowsky please visit:

LaCaravan.com
Facebook.com/LaCaravanDance
@LaCaravan
@mayalewandowsky

 

King Edward featured in Fall 2014 SPUR Magazine

 

SPUR-FALL-14---web-final-29 Arts Incubator stretches toward budget goal

A PROJECT aiming to turn a historic Calgary school into an innovative arts hub is reach-ing for its funding goal and seeking tenants.Proponent cSPACE Projects is looking for $7.5 million in funding to complete the King Edward Arts Incubator, says CEO Reid Henry. Almost 75 per cent of the proj-ect’s $31 million total cost has been raised with help from all levels of government and a partnership with The Calgary Foundation.Turning King Edward School, in the community of South Calgary, into an incubator and hub for the arts will be a first for Calgary.

Henry foresees the project, expected to begin construction in 2015, as a catalyst for the arts and sustainable development.“We’re an agile, entrepreneurial organi-zation with a bold idea, looking for organizations, companies and individuals who support what we are doing on the artistic and cultural scene. We’ll have Calgary’s first affordable live-work studios for artists.” The plan calls for a mixed-used facility for arts groups that will promote social innovation and community development. The centre will include ofces and collaboration spaces with on-site housing.

Read the full article here

cSPACE letter to MLCA re: revised chiller design

The following is a letter sent on October 3, 2014, addressed to the Marda Loop Community Association President, Marc Doll. The letter contains information regarding the revised cSPACE chiller noise levels with respect to World Health Organization specifications. New data detailing noise comparisons and the chiller location is available for download at the bottom of this page.


October 3, 2014

Marc Doll, President
Marda Loop Communities Association
3130 – 16th Street SW
Calgary, AB T2T 4G7

RE: Revised specifications and design for chiller unit location at 1720 – 30th Avenue SW (cSPACE King Edward)

Dear Mr. Doll,

As a follow-up to our letter of September 15 2014, cSPACE’s team has worked diligently to address concerns from various 29th Avenue residents about the potential noise impact of our proposed chiller unit location at the King Edward site. I can assure you and the MLCA Board, we are taking this issue very seriously and are eager to resolve it with our neighbours in a timely manner.

Adhering to all municipal approvals processes, our previous chiller system design was never anticipated to be contentious. However, a thoughtful communication from a neighbour recently reminded me of an important point. As an aspirational community builder, cSPACE needs to constantly challenge ourselves to lead positive change. Our award-winning approach to sustainable design and community vitalization has showcased this intent from our inception.

With that intent, our team has completed an immense amount of work to improve the sound performance of our system to an international best practice.

In most cities, the lowest limit of urban ambient noise is approximately 40 dBa – this is also the threshold (outside a bedroom window) that the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) has identified where adverse effects on sleep begin to arise from sustained noise exposure at night. With our revised design, we are now achieving a maximum sound level at the property line of our nearest neighbour that surpasses that high international bar (see Attachments 1 and 2).

I would emphasize again to the Board that the 39.4 dBa on the north side of 29th Avenue SW is the worst-case scenario at peak cooling load – our new SMARDt chiller (see Attachment 3) includes variable speed motors on both the condenser and fans that slow during our normal operating levels. To achieve these performance levels, we have also invested in a solid acoustic enclosure around the unit that improves upon our original louvre design.

In addition to achieving W.H.O. levels, the City of Calgary has recently completed a substantial review of its Community Standards By-Law to address the low-frequency noise (‘hum’ and vibration) generated by residential air conditioners, fans, central vacuum systems and generators (see Attachment 4). Recently approved by Council in September, these new ‘C’ weighted levels are based on best practices from New Orleans. The new cSPACE chiller design also exceeds these performance levels substantially.

While cSPACE has 100% confidence in Nyhoff Ferrari Westwood Babits (architect), Hidi Rae (mechanical) and Threshold Acoustics (acoustician), we have recently offered the residents an option to have a 3rd party review of our team’s design and acoustic analysis should it be required to verify our approach.

I look forward to answering any questions that the Board and neighbours may have of our new design at the October 6 MLCA meeting.

Warm Regards,

Reid Henry
President and CEO
cSPACE Projects

cc Ward 8 Councilor Evan Woolley

ATTACHMENTS:

Full Letter PDF

cSPACE Chiller Options

Site Plan w/Chiller

 

 

Video pt.3 – A Place for People at the Creative Edge of Change

Creative people drive innovation through entrepreneurship and passion for the ideas they put into practice. cSPACE proudly presents the third installment of “A Place for People at the Creative Edge of Change”, a three part film series that showcases our vision of connecting people and ideas through places like the King Edward. Part one of our series highlights the impact that reimagining heritage buildings as vibrant places can have on cities. Part two features our creative communities and how they will shape our city for the future.

The film was written and directed by cSPACE, filmed and edited by John Kissak of Green Productions Inc with music by Six Degrees and narrated by Cherie McMaster. Much of the video was shot live at King Edward events over the last two years, showcasing Calgary artists at Market Collective, Doors Open and Phantom Wing.

The time to support creative communities is now. Contact us at info@cspaceprojects.com for more information on donating to cSPACE King Edward.

Collaborative spaces connect and amplify ideas

If you are passionate about how ideas move people and how people move ideas, then cSPACE King Edward will be the place for you. Transforming ideas into enterprises that generate value – economic, social or cultural – is what drives social and creative entrepreneurs. We want to help them shape our city for the future.

Through projects like the King Edward, we intend to provide the necessary conditions and resources that diverse cultural and creative entrepreneurs need to remain vital, sustainable and innovative. These include:

  • inspiring co-working space overlooking the tartan-inspired park
  • flexible meeting and collaboration rooms for small and large gatherings
  • leading-edge broadband networks
  • tenant and member-based intranet
  • shared social kitchen and informal gathering places
  • common exhibition, showcase and workshop spaces
  • short-term ‘hot-desk’ workspaces for organizations that expand and contract or for free-lancers that value flexibility
  • enterprise incubation programs that focus on mentorship, knowledge exchange and creative business start-up.

We know that innovation happens when diverse people collide, boundaries are dissolved and barriers are eliminated. We are developing cSPACE King Edward with the scale and diversity to transform the way creative people collaborate in their practice, missions and enterprises. Our spaces are being designed quite simply as silo-busters.

Learn more by watching our latest video on creative entrepreneurship.

Hear from some of our future tenants about the importance of collaborative space in cSPACE King Edward – Our Vision, Our Story.

 

cSPACE response to neighbour concerns on chiller unit location at King Edward

The following is a letter written by cSPACE to the President of the Marda Loop Communities Association on September 15, 2014 that clarifies the municipal approvals process and community engagement associated with the design and location of the chiller unit proposed for the King Edward site.

A PDF version of the letter is available here: 14-09-15 Letter to MLCA re cSPACE Chiller Design


September 15, 2014

 

Marc Doll, President

Marda Loop Communities Association

3130 – 16th Street SW

Calgary, AB   T2T 4G7

RE: Neighbour concerns regarding chiller unit location at 1720 – 30th Avenue SW  (cSPACE King Edward)

Dear Mr. Doll,

As the President and CEO of cSPACE Projects and the property owner of the former King Edward School site, I would like to address a perceived issue that has arisen with several of our neighbours concerning the proposed location of our chiller unit for the building on 29th Avenue.

The social mission of cSPACE as a non-profit organization is firmly grounded in a collaborative approach to community building. To that end, we have worked diligently since our first public meeting in March 2011 with the MLCA, residents, City of Calgary staff and the Ward 8 Councilor to ensure a high level of transparency, sensitivity and professionalism in our efforts to revitalize the vacant school site.

In an effort to address these residents’ concerns, I am providing a summary of the issues that they communicated and our detailed responses from the past few months of engagement:

NEIGHBOUR ISSUE #1 – Lack of communication and transparency

Throughout our early master planning process, we engaged the community in four public meetings from March to October 2011 to establish the overarching framework and density of the site. Local residents and MLCA executive participated on our advisory group and the rezoning application was submitted to the City of Calgary in April 2012.

On June 27 2012, cSPACE presented the final planning framework and conceptual drawings to the MLCA Board. As no design development or engineering work had been initiated, the drawings did not identify the location of our chiller unit. After a public meeting on October 30 2012, the rezoning was approved by City Council on February 11 2013.

Following several months of more detailed work, a Development Permit package was prepared showing the chiller unit located in an acoustic enclosure on 29th Avenue. The application for Development Permit was submitted to the City of Calgary on May 31 2013 and public notice was posted on site for several weeks. On July 17 2013, we presented our designs to the City’s Urban Design Review Panel, receiving a recommendation for approval. The final package was circulated to MLCA’s Development Committee for comments and was supported by the MLCA Board in December 2013. The Development Permit was approved by the City of Calgary on December 17 2013.

Beginning in March 2014, we received communications from a neighbor on 29th Avenue that requested detailed information on our chiller unit. We have met with the individual and provided detailed explanations in numerous subsequent emails to him as well as a broader group of residents that he notified.

NEIGHBOUR ISSUE #2 – Location of the chiller unit

During the design development stage of the project, our team worked through various scenarios to locate a number of services required for the site.  These include:

  • Electrical transformer
  • Telus pedestal
  • Chiller
  • Bicycle storage
  • Garbage/Recycling

Our team looked at locating the chiller unit on the roof of the new wing, however this location became less suitable for the following reasons:

  • Provision of an entire floorplate in the new west wing to accommodate the unit and its servicing requirements, reducing our ability to provide key program space for the non-profit community
  • Increased cost of enhanced structural system to support the weight of a roof-top location
  • Alignment to the principles and standards of the historic designation by-law of the heritage building

As shown in the attached site plan, we consolidated all of these services into one acoustically shielded enclosure on the North side to reduce the visual impact on the community and to improve efficiencies in servicing the site.  As illustrated, the chiller unit utilizes approximately 15% of the entire enclosure. With a municipal historic designation that includes the north wall of the school, our team had to locate it away from the building while allowing for the required fire truck access and parking spaces.  The existing housing to the north and future housing to the west and east necessitated this mid-block location. Our architect has designed an enclosure and significant landscaping to serve a dual purpose of improving the visual impact and addressing sound attenuation. This is our front door to the creative hub for our tenants and we want it to be designed as well as the other 3 sides.

NEIGHBOUR ISSUE #3 – Sound levels of the chiller unit

We understand that transforming a property that has been vacant for 12 years requires sensitivity, particularly for neighbours who have never lived across from the site as an active school. We have a highly sustainable building (LEED Gold) that has numerous enhancements that limit our cooling requirements. We have reduced the extent of chilled air supply to only the new construction and hallways of the school – all tenant spaces are not cooled mechanically, but by operable windows with fresh air.  With regards to the new West Wing, we have also invested in external louvers to reduce the solar gain and more operable windows to supplement the cooling. The new wing has a ‘second skin’ that blocks the sun as it tracks across the sky, reducing the need for cooling.

As our team worked through the detailed design of the building systems in 2013, we made some adjustments to the chiller specifications during our Development Permit approval process.  With the current unit design, we have added compressor wraps, larger acoustic louvers and additional height to the enclosure. With this set up, we are within the City’s Noise By-law standards at 48-50 dBA. The sound level data represents the maximum noise levels with full operation (e.g. middle of summer with a performance in our studio theatre) and does not represent normal operating levels.  To understand that number in layman terms, I have provided the web links below for reference:

Comparative Noise Examples

Noise Level Chart

The attached site plan also has the sound levels based on data from the manufacturer and our acoustic engineers work. We stand by our team’s work 100% on this. In terms of comparison, many residential air conditioning units emit similar, if not more, dBA than our currently designed commercial unit at the property line of our neighbours.

I would like to emphasize an important point with regards to the neighbours’ concerns about the size of the unit – increased size of chiller does not equal more noise. Our current unit has a larger capacity but uses more fans running at lower speeds to help reduce the noise generation. MORE FANS = LESS SPEED = REDUCED NOISE. We lower the fan’s RPM’s to achieve the same cooling effect.

While we have an approved design that meets all City of Calgary standards, cSPACE is committed to doing everything we can to ensure the MLCA is fully aware and remains supportive of our community project. We are looking into additional measures to lower the maximum noise levels with different manufacturers, variable speed fans and acoustic enclosure designs.

As we have many times over the last three years, my team would be pleased to answer any questions you may have regarding this issue or the project more broadly.

Warm Regards,

Reid Henry

President and CEO

cSPACE Projects

 14-08-26 Site Plan with Chiller Impact

Award-winning craft artists honoured at the King Edward

Alberta Craft Council kicked off their inaugural event at the cSPACE King Edward in style. The 100-year-old auditorium space was enlivened with our thriving fine crafts community and its supporters for the annual Alberta Craft Awards. Alberta’s most talented and successful crafts practitioners were celebrated in fine fashion, toasting to their future home among outstanding exhibits of fine crafts and splendid entertainment.

Mayor Nenshi presented three key awards, going to craftspeople excelling in their fields by translating their passions into viable professions and making a positive impact.

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Shona Rae was presented with the Award of Excellence for an established craftsperson who is exceptional in his or her area of craft. Running a professional gold-smithing and mixed media studio practice for over a decade, Shona has created a body of work ranging from clay to sacred vessels for the Catholic Church.

Andrea Blais received the Award of Achievement for an emerging craftsperson/student in recognition of her international reputation as a skilled Canadian designer and maker.

Anna Rasmussen was bestowed with the Linda Stantier and Family Memorial Award for Excellence in Ceramics for her masterful work and successful art practice

cSPACE was honored to host such inspired and accomplished craftspeople whose work reinforces the capacity of the arts and crafts community. Learn more about the how you can support Alberta Craft Council’s move to the King Edward, and the plans for their first Calgary location by clicking here!

See how creative entrepreneurs are shaping a new Calgary, watch our 3-part video series: A place for people at the creative edge of change

Art and Science Collide @Beakerhead!

A collision of art and science wowed and inspired many over 5 days in the cSPACE Camera Obscura Art Studio at this year’s Beakerhead! Visitors entered curious, and left amazed and speechless having been thoroughly immersed in a unique creative experience. Visuals were reversed, gravity flipped on its head, and a new dimension was revealed, all captured by the skill of an artists hand, using the ancient technology of the camera obscura.

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Talented Calgary artists were on site participating in our camera obscura community art project that connected Calgary’s creative talent with the public through art and science. Participants were invited to bring their most ambitious ideas, artists and the public alike, resulting in an eclectic artistic performance, including dancing on the ceiling, kids on motorcycles, shiney robots, steampunk cosplay, and a couple of gorillas too!

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cSPACE was exhilarated to work with such talented and accomplished artists, including:

  • Chris Cran who had donated his amazing camera obscura chamber for our project
  • Mark Vazquez-MacKay, masterful visual artist, expert figure painter, and ACAD painting instructor
  • Verna Vogel, skilled abstract landscape painter and portrait artist
  • Gorilla House/Rumble House proprietors, passionate visual artists and teachers, Rich Theroux and Jessica Szabo
  • Last but certainly not least, the visitors to the exhibit aged 2 to 85, who brought their imagination, creativity and eagerness to learn

Demonstrating the power of creative collaboration, The Camera Obscura Art Studio serves as an extension of the cSPACE mission to connect people and ideas through place. This community art project has increased awareness and support for Western Canada’s first purpose-built creative hub and arts incubator at the historic King Edward. cSPACE thanks all of the attendees who came out over the five days at Beakerhead to support our project and city-building vision.

 

New park design based on King Edward’s tartan

The creation of a new park at the King Edward will celebrate the century-old landmark and its history as a community gathering place. Working in collaboration with the City of Calgary and O2 Planning + Design, the public park will be designed with an interwoven pattern inspired by the royal tartan of King Edward VII – the school’s namesake, and King of England from 1901 to 1910.

King-Edward

The tartan will be integrated at different scales throughout the park and surrounding site, connecting the new public space with the historic King Edward. Recalling the natural and cultural history of the site, native prairie grass, paving stones and concrete walkways will be interwoven in a tartan pattern, adding a layer of contemporary design inspired by a legacy of tradition. The tartan will provide the community with a unique visual experience, inlaid and traversing along the west laneway, past the art pavilions, ribboning around the rear of the building to the play space on the East side.

 

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The tartan park design gives us a perspective of the past, crowned by the stoic sandstone King Edward, wrapping it in stories that will be celebrated through its revitalization as a creative hub and arts incubator for many decades to come. Long live the King!

 

cSPACE Receives 2014 Lion Award

As a recipient of Calgary Heritage Authority’s ‘Community Vitalization’ Award at the bi-annual Lion Awards, cSPACE extends a whole-hearted hoorah to the thousands of participants, partners and supporters that are helping to bring King Edward School back to life! This award acknowledges the tremendous civic involvement by Calgarians who during the past two years have brought creative energy back to the quiet halls of a long vacant sandstone school.

 

 

On July 31st, 2014 a full house of supporters gathered at Theatre Junction GRAND together with Mayor Nenshi and Councillors Woolley, Pincott and Chu to celebrate a range of heritage projects across the city. With a record number of submissions to this year’s awards, there is growing excitement about the heightened interest and profile of Calgary’s heritage.

 

For cSPACE, this award acknowledges two years of working with the community to invigorate and reactivate the vacant school site during the pre-construction stage of our project. Our special events, commissioned art installations and banner initiatives have generated substantial involvement and support from artists, citizens and our community neighbours. We couldn’t have done it without the community support and we are pleased to share some highlights of our past events.

 

During the spring of 2012, participants from Alberta College of Art and Design, Studio C and the photography community were invited to capture architectural perspectives of King Edward School in its vacant state. Several photographs from the competition, together with historic images from Glenbow Museum archives, were later reproduced as large-scale banners and installed on a blank façade of the school. The installation served to dramatically enhance the vacant King Edward with historical and artistic details, while creatively expressing the intended renewal for the building.

 

Our Doors Open @ King Edward event in September 2012 showcased over 75 participant groups in partnership with We Should Know Each Other #100. This collaboration brought the vacant school to life as some 3,000 visitors made their way through the grounds and halls to experience over 50,000 square feet of diverse programming. From artists and civic engagers to Calgary’s own Historian and Poet Laureates, visitors were inspired with the diversity of ideas while many alumni returned to share stories for our cameras.

 

Adding to this already eclectic mix, we were pleased to provide Springboard Performance with a location for their ContainR project. The King Edward was subsequently transformed to an Alberta Culture Days feature site with shipping containers that provided an innovative platform for multimedia dance performances.

 

Building from that success,the King Edward was once again reactivated through General Assembly in September 2013. Over 4,000 visitors attended our 6-day interactive event celebrating the collision of people and ideas. cSPACE hosted YYC Fashion Week to promote Calgary’s emerging fashion talent and PechaKucha Night Calgary, bringing speakers and patrons together to share innovative and creative ideas around a common theme of ‘SEED’. We also commissioned a pre-demolition project organized by the independent artist-curators behind Wreck City. With seventeen artists/collectives creating large-scale temporary art installations, the Phantom Wing event will be remembered for its creative homage to the mid-century wings prior to demolition.

 

Phantom Wing was also an important expression of cSPACE’s sustainability mission, providing opportunities for artists to reuse material from the school for their installations. Together with a pre-demolition sale of salvaged items from the 1950s and 60s wings, a diversion of 2,880 kilograms of construction materials were diverted from landfill.

 

For cSPACE, the legacy of the King Edward School resonates deeply and provides inspiration and vision for its future. Our placemaking efforts will continue to celebrate this wonderful building and the community that surrounds it.

 

 

cSPACE @Beakerhead 2014

While this fall at King Edward will be quiet as we continue fundraising, cSPACE invites you to ‘see space’ differently at our Beakerhead exhibit from September 10-14.

 

CALLING ALL ARTISTS! Want to get involved in a community art project? Join us in our camera obscura art studio! Contact us here for more details on how you can get involved!

 

You won’t believe your eyes! Gravity is flipped on its head, visuals are reversed and a new dimension of reality is revealed. Experience a fascinating merge of art, storytelling and science with an ancient invention that is a predecessor for modern day photography: the camera-obscura. Renowned Calgary artists Chris Cran and Mark Vazquez-Mackay will be on site to demonstrate the creative power of art and technology through live work and demonstration with the camera-obscura. Join Calgary’s creative community, be a part of a live art project, experience an active artist studio, and make some artistic discoveries of your own.

 

Beakerhead’s “Little Big Street” event will be held at Olympic Way and 12 Ave SE in Calgary from 9:00am – 8:00pm. Come by to show some community support, and have your socks knocked off by art and science!

 

For details, please visit www.beakerhead.org

Video pt.2 – A Place for People at the Creative Edge of Change

Check out how creative communities will shape our city for the future! cSPACE proudly presents the second installment of “A Place for People at the Creative Edge of Change”, a three part film series that showcases our vision of connecting people and ideas through places like the King Edward. Part two of our series highlights the role that diverse creative communities play in our city’s vibrancy.

The film was written and directed by cSPACE, filmed and edited by John Kissak of Green Productions Inc with music by Six Degrees and narrated by Cherie McMaster. Much of the video was shot live at King Edward events over the last two years, showcasing Calgary artists at Market Collective, Doors Open and Phantom Wing.

If you haven’t watched our first film in the series, please enjoy the video on the legacy and transformation of the 100 year old King Edward School here.

The time to support creative communities is now. Contact us for more information on donating to cSPACE King Edward.

Project Update: July 2014

Final Tenant Call

Our future creative community at the King Edward is coming together! We would like to thank all the organizations who took the time to visit our open house events in May/June and complete the tenant submission process.

As we near the deadline for the last tenant call before construction starts, an exciting range of non-profit organizations have expressed interest in becoming tenants at the King Edward. Representing all corners of Calgary’s creative sector, applicants will go through a rigourous evaluation and interview process. Once approved by cSPACE, these organizations will join anchor tenants previously identified in 2012 as we all work towards building an incredibly diverse and innovative community at the King Edward.

 

Stay tuned for our announcement in September of the full slate of tenants for the grand opening in 2016!

 

Construction News

The King Edward is a complex project with mixed uses, old and new architecture, land sales and innovative public spaces. City staff and our consultant team have been busy over the last few months finalizing our plans and designs. We are happy to report that our permitting processes are nearing completion!

 

In the meantime, the King Edward site will be active with general groundskeeping and building maintenance. Locals will see that the last of the metal debris from the demolition of the 1950’s and 60’s wings has been removed – thanks for your patience!

 

To stay on top of our progress, we encourage our friends and followers to regularly check our website for project updates, cSPACE news and events at www.cpsaceprojects.com. Follow us on Twitter @cspaceprojects or Facebook for social media updates and sign up for our newsletter.

The Bee Kingdom is Setting a Sweet Example…

Things are heating up at one of Calgary’s most unique and successful artist collectives! Whether its joining the elite ranks of Avenue Magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40”, their current retrospective “Iconoclasts in Glass” at the Glenbow Museum, or hanging out in their studio with Mayor Nenshi, the Bee Kingdom are proving that creativity is the foundation for our city’s vitality.

 

We’ve had a love-in for ‘The Bees’ for a while now – they were showcased in our original feature video that launched the King Edward project in 2013. cSPACE was recently invited to the Bee Kingdom workshop to observe the creation of a series of glass artworks commissioned for “Spring Reveal”, a pair of donor cultivation events held at the King Edward in May. From start to finish, the process of blowing a hundred unique vases played out like a ballet, as the golden molten glass was rolled, blown and flamed into shape.

 

The Bee Kingdom demonstrates that today’s successful artists need to be able to maximize a combination of passion, skills and entrepreneurial savvy. They are exceptional collaborators both within their creative group and outside of it. Relationships with key arts organizations like the Alberta Craft Council, Calgary Arts Development and Pilchuck Glass School have demonstrated the importance of building a network of supporters and collaborators to accelerate their practice.

 

The Bees are doing everything right by setting a valuable precedent of success for new and emerging artists in Calgary. Through corporate commissions, international shows, live workshops and classes, they demonstrate how an artist can be successful in a challenging environment. They have proven that the power of collaboration, an entrepreneurial mind-set, and artistic skill are key factors for creative practitioners in helping to build a more culturally and economically vibrant Calgary. These communities of artists, designers, and makers can shape our city for the future – one bee at a time.