Market Collective Interviews Deeter Schurig
Mc community // deeter schurig from cspace king edward
Posted by admin on friday, december 6, 2013 · leave a comment
This month market collective is being held in a very special place. Not only is this location amazing because it is a historic school right in the heart of marda loop boasting of magnificent sandstone walls and ornate architecture, but this building is soon to become one of the most outstanding and prolific arts hubs in the city of calgary.
The king edward school is owned by an organization called cspace – a unique social enterprise that is dedicated to developing places for artists’ ideas to thrive. Cspace designs, builds and operates multi-tenant workspaces with the scale and diversity to transform the way creative people collaborate in their practice, missions and enterprises. Cspace king edward is the flagship project, a showcase for this approach to community-building: a transformed 100 year-old sandstone building, reimagined with creativity and sustainability at its core.
We sat down with deeter schurig to ask him all about their plans with cspace king edward. Deeter is a project manager involved with cspace from its inception and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with him during the process of organizing the holiday 2013 mcs.
Mc: can you tell us a little about cspace and why an organization like this is important in the city of calgary?
First off, i must say that this is an amazing time to be in calgary! From seeing our city’s public realm and communities enlivened with defining architecture and infrastructure projects, to incredible art, festivals and community building events like the market collective – one cannot help but be excited to see what our city is set to become.
From my perspective, cspace is an extension of these positive changes we are seeing across the city. Formed in 2011 from a unique alliance of community leaders, calgary arts development established cspace in partnership with the calgary foundation to respond to the immense challenges facing emerging artists, small non-profits and early-stage social entrepreneurs in our city.
As a social enterprise dedicated to developing places for artists’ ideas to thrive, cspace provides a unique model for designing, building and operating multi-tenant facilities. Cspace projects connect community stewardship with entrepreneurial agility to generate the necessary capacity and capital to achieve complex, mission-driven projects.
Our projects are run as cost-recovery operations and require no ongoing subsidy once constructed. By delivering valuable shared resources and affordable space to the tenant communities we serve, creative practitioners are then enabled to focus on the impact they can make in our communities and help to further realize our potential as a culturally vibrant city.
Undoubtedly there is a great “coming of age” narrative to promote as the vitality and diversity of cultural expression in calgary catches up with the exceptional natural beauty of our city’s backyard. As we gain momentum with place-making projects like cspace king edward, i look forward to the role we can will play in supporting the initiatives of our city’s community leaders in continuing to make calgary a better place to live.
Mc: what is cspace planning to do with the king edward school?
King edward is one of calgary’s stoic sandstone structures that speak to an important era in our evolution – where proud schools were built up against the empty prairie as remarkable symbols of optimism for our city’s future. For cspace, this civic history together with the public heritage value embedded within king edward is an integral consideration towards guiding its future transformation.
The vision for cspace king edward is a 21st century hub and incubator for our city’s artists, non-profit organizations and social entrepreneurs to connect, collaborate and engage. Cspace king edward will be a place designed for people and the exchange of diverse ideas. It will facilitate the creative process, both individual and collaborative.
With 45,000 square feet of creation, production, exhibition and rehearsal spaces, the facility will support dozens of small organizations and the hundreds of creators they enable. Our shared spaces and business infrastructure provide access to affordable and valuable services that is typically out of reach for calgary’s artists and non-profits.
In addition to the multi-tenant hub, the school site will also accommodate artist studios, affordable artist live-work housing, residential development with private sector partners, and a new civic park. A walkable pedestrian realm enlivened with multiple opportunities for arts integration will complete the planned redevelopment.
Mc: what are some of the organizations and groups that will be moving into cspace?
The vision for cspace king edward and other facilities we develop will only reach their full potential when our tenants reactivate vacant classrooms and bring the vital energy of creativity, community and collaboration back to its empty halls. To this end, we actively curate our buildings with tenants who are natural collaborators, dissolving boundaries as they advance new and exciting ideas.
From an initial tenant call, we are excited that our anchor tenants will include artist-run centres emmedia, quickdraw animation society, calgary society of independent filmmakers, and untitled arts society. Together with the alberta craft council, wordfest, studio c, and fairytales presentation society, the facility will also provide an affordable childcare option for the creative and local community with a maria montessori early learning centre.
In early 2014 we look forward to building on this emerging community at cspace king edward with a further call for tenants. With approximately 50% of the building still available, plenty of opportunities still exist to join the dynamic group of artists, non-profit organizations and social entrepreneurs who will call this place home.
Mc: when can we expect to see the building fully developed?
In the past month, the transformation of king edward has been initiated with the selective removal of unsafe materials from the 1950s and 1960s additions. This process will continue over the coming weeks with demolition of these wings anticipated for early 2014. The demolition of these unsympathetic wings will be an exciting milestone for the historic 1912 school, as it will shed a few layers and step back towards its original self. Official groundbreaking is anticipated to commence in spring 2014 with occupancy for tenants slated towards the end of 2015.
Mc: what are some of the events that you have had at the king edward in the past year?
2013 Has been an busy year at king edward with several events at the school that acknowledge its long standing role as a community hub, its sustainable intent, and towards its revitalization through the arts.
From july until november 2013, cspace king edward was utilized as temporary office, art conservation and storage space for artists, collectors, and gallery owners whose operations, archives and collections were impacting by the flood. Between two galleries, a museum, 4 collectors, and several artists with large bodies of work, more than 300 individual artworks were conserved where possible, several 1000 archival documents restored, and over 1300 cultural artifacts were documented and stored.
This past september, our general assembly event once again brought the school back to life with a unique collision of people and ideas through 6 days of interactive programming. Fashion, art, community and music were all connected in one special place, providing a glimpse of what cspace envisions for this historic sandstone school. Together with yyc fashion week, pechakucha night calgary #17, doors open yyc, and phantom wing the site at king edward provided some 4000 visitors with a diverse selection of culture to choose from.
Phantom wing – a pre-demolition project organized by the independent artist-curators behind wreck city and the house project was undoubtedly a hit. With over 30 artists creating large-scale installations within the abandoned 1960s addition of the school – the experience was completely transformative thanks to ingenuity, imagination, and performative engagement that these inspired artists’ employed.
One tactic explicitly used throughout phantom wing was the reuse of materials directly from the school and through salvage efforts of artists. Together with a pre-demolition sale of salvaged items from the 1950s and 60s wings a diversion of 2880 kg of construction materials were deconstructed and diverted from landfill. Seeing these materials and spaces repurposed through compelling art installations, and the purposeful diversion of waste confirm for us an important intersection between creativity and environment.
Mc: why do you feel that collaboration between community organizations in the city is necessary?
For many of us there is a recognition that challenges related to climate change, diminishing resources and an increasing global population requires an evolution towards more sustainable development and behaviors. In my mind the role of local communities and how we collaborate are critical to initiating this positive change. If the june flood was any indication, how we come together and support one another becomes integral to how successfully we can manage adversity. At cspace we recognize there is an important role we can play in creating resilient places that support the creative and collaborative practices of creative communities to meet the challenge of making positive change.
Mc: lastly, how can people get involved?
First, i would suggest signing up to our newsletter to receive information about events, space availability, and development updates about cspace king edward and other projects we will have underway. Second, from volunteers and patrons, to arts champions and alumni of king edward school, we are eager to connect with each of you! Realizing the vision of cspace king edward will certainly be a community effort and we look forward to your involvement and support.
For more information on cspace visit them at: