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.