Artist Development

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The Business of the Arts (BOA) program gives local artists an opportunity to build their capacity to compete and thrive. With the right resources, they can flourish as entrepreneurs as well as artists, and create a sustainable living from their artistic practice.

Calling all artists and art groups! ACWB reviews the BOA learning series on an ongoing basis and we are looking for feedback from local artists on the current interests and needs of the arts community. Please fill out the survey to give us a better understanding of what you would like to see in the Business of the Arts program!

Creative Connections (C²) focuses on artistic practice, creative work and networking — by artists, for artists.

C² exists to help artists develop skills relevant to their discipline, feel more confident in their artistic practice and creative work, and connect with each other and leaders in their disciplines. ACWB will develop meaningful partnerships with local and visiting artists and arts organizations to present the program.

Calling all artists and art groups! Do you have an idea for a workshop, master class or event? ACWB wants to help you make it happen! We could provide a variety of resources to assist you in bringing your concept to life. Learn more about how ACWB can help with your arts initiative through our Creative Connections Process.

After completing the Post Wildfire Recovery in the Arts Strategic Plan (conducted by the Arts Recovery Working Group), ACWB gained funding from the Canadian Red Cross to manage a two-year arts recovery project. The goal of the project is to create opportunities for artists to collaborate and heal through their art, ultimately supporting recovery and resiliency in our community.

Learn more about the Art Recovery Project and Arts Recovery Working Group.

The ACWB Artist in Residency program follows the traditional residency model, in which non-local or local professional artists spend time creating work inspired by the environment, culture and people of Wood Buffalo. These Residency artists will engage with the community in a variety of ways, showcase their work through a final event and, most importantly, spend time mentoring a selected group of emerging, established and professional artists from this area. The program will be open to artists in any discipline.

There are so many benefits with this type of program, including bringing new perspectives, techniques and networking opportunities to our arts community, and giving non-local artists a new lens on the Wood Buffalo region.

In past years, the Municipally operated Residency program focused on master classes and mentorship. This type of artistic development is available through Arts Council Wood Buffalo’s Creative Connections program stream.

If you have questions or would like more information about our Artist in Residency program, please contact us at [email protected].

ACWB AiR – Directing Script to Stage with Michelle Thorne

UPDATE: All spaces have now been filled, but residents of Wood Buffalo can still visit the Eventbrite page and sign up for the wait list. Thank you to everyone who registered.


Arts Council Wood Buffalo’s Artist in Residency & Mentorship Program, presented in partnership with Keyano Theatre & Arts Centre, through eight group sessions with Michelle Thorne. Participants will be provided with in-group, and one-on-one opportunities for participants to learn the “ins and outs” of creating theatre from a theatre directorial point of view.


Workshops will include such elements as script analysis, design concepts and collaborations, stage management, auditions, casting, marketing and publicity and will culminate in their own Director’s Proposal by the end of the workshop series.


This workshop series will have a minimum required enrollment of four people, up to a maximum of 12, ages 16 and older.


Program updates: Workshops will be offered in an online platform to support social distancing and those that are quarantined or self-isolating. ACWB will be contacting registrants with details.


Registration is now FREE: In an effort to keep Arts Council (ACWB) programming accessible, the ACWB team has decided to make registration for this program free for Wood Buffalo residents.  A fee will still be charged for those outside of the region.


Format: Online Platform – Zoom


Workshop dates: March 22 to April 13, 2020 (Sundays and Mondays only)


Workshop times: Sundays: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.  & Mondays: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.


NOTE: Minor schedule updates have been made since the original event posting. See schedule below for more details. (Updated March 24, 2020)


March 22, 2020

Up Close & Personal with Indigenous Author Wayne Arthurson

ACWB presents our first rendition of the ACWB AIR program with Up Close & Personal with Indigenous Author Wayne Arthurson, in partnership with the Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo.

Wayne Arthurson is a professional writer of Cree and French Canadian descent with over 30 years experience as well as the author of the bestselling and award-winning Leo Desroches crime series. The first novel in that series, Fall From Grace, was published by Forge Books in 2011 and won the $10,000 Alberta Readers Choice Award. The second, A Killing Winter, was published in 2012. The third was published in 2016. He is also the author of two other novels and five books of non-fiction. His freelance work has also appeared in over 100 publications and is also the co-author of one of the most popular fan blogs for Amazing Race Canada.

Meet Mr. Arthurson and listen to his in-person reading, with discussion to follow, on December 11 and 14.. Participants can also sign up to have 1 of 4 one-on-one 15 minutes session with the writer between Noon and 1pm on December 14. This is a great opportunity for individuals who want to dive into the inspirations of Arthurson’s work, take a deeper look at what it takes to write a novel with such depth, and learn about his experiences as an Indigenous literary artist in Canada.

All dates in the 2019 Arts Council Wood Buffalo’s Artist in Residency, Up Close & Personal with Indigenous Author Wayne Arthurson include:

Author Reading & Discussion, December 11 from 10am – 12pm at Fort McKay Métis Nation Office

Métis Elders Tea (By Invitation Only) , December 12 from 11:30am – 1:30pm at McMurray Métis

Author Reading & Discussion, December 14 from 11am – 12pm at the Wood Buffalo Regional Library

15 Minute Individual Sessions with Author, December 14 from 12pm – 1pm at the Wood Buffalo Regional Library

Register online at or by contacting Sharon Heading at [email protected] or 780-381-6898.

December 14, 2019

Highlights from past events

What our Artists have to say