Everyday Tourist: King Edward Village?

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King Edward Village?

By Richard White, January 12, 2014

Note: An edited version of this blog was originally published in the Calgary Herald’s Neighbours section, on January 9 2014 with the title, “Sewing the seeds that will help a community grow.”

Community Development vs Urban Development?

All too often planning professionals and the media use the term “urban development” when referencing everything from new residential, retail, recreational and office developments, when they should be using the term “community development.”

While the difference may seem subtle, it is important to remember the end goal of any new development should be to enhance the sense of community felt by the people who will live, work and play around it. I am guilty as any; my title at Ground3 Landscape Architects is Urban Strategist when in fact it should and from now on will be from now on “Community Strategist,” to best reflect my passion to foster a stronger sense of community – be that downtown, inner-city, established communities or new suburbs
This is one of the additions to the sandstone King Edward School that will soon become part of a new 21st century arts incubator.

This is one of the additions to the sandstone King Edward School that will soon become part of a new 21st century arts incubator. 
This is one of the additions to the sandstone King Edward School that will soon become part of a new 21st century arts incubator.

cSPACE

The light bulb went on when early in December when I checked the 100-year old King Edward School in South Calgary that is about to be transformed into a multi-purpose arts centre called cSPACE King Edward (1720 30th Ave SW). cSPACE (“c” stands for creative) is being touted as an arts incubator, with 45,000 square feet of production, exhibition and rehearsal spaces for dozens of small arts organizations. The vision is to create a flexible space where artists of all ages and genres will collaborate to create exciting and interesting experiences for everyone (both artists and public).

cSPACE Projects, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Calgary Arts Development Authority and the Calgary Foundation that is using a social enterprise model to develop spaces for the arts across the city. King Edward School is the first of what will hopefully be many future projects. For more information on the King Edward School Incubator project, check out cspaceprojects.com.
Market Collective took over the space from hallways to classrooms and made it like one giant art studio. How fun is that?
Market Collective took over the space from hallways to classrooms and made it like one giant art studio. How fun is that?

Pop-up Community Building

What I found was an old, tired majestic sandstone school with two “big box” ugly additions. But once inside, the place was full of largely young Calgarians participating in a Christmas market-like event by Market Collective (a co-operative of artisans).

There was a wonderful community buzz (a reinvented old church bazaar buzz if you will) that shouted out “COMMUNITY.”

Market Collective took over the space from hallways to classrooms and made it like one giant art studio.  How fun is that?

The main floor housed a pop-up café with Café Rosso (possibly testing the area for a new location?) offering coffee, as well as a DJ playing music. On the second floor, local artisans had converted the classrooms into pop-up retail outlets selling everything from art to jewelry, clothing to artifacts.

The third floor was like an art gallery with figure drawings pinned from floor to ceiling (some even on the floor) from the life drawing classes held there. Once could already see how Calgary’s arts community was taking over the dying space and creating life.

Read the full article here

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