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.

Please email us at [email protected] with any ideas for workshops you would like to see.

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].

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

2019 Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Exhibit

Arts Council Wood Buffalo proudly invites you to the Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Exhibit, running October 16-21 at the Keyano Theatre Art Gallery. The opening reception will be held on October 16, 5-8 PM.

This unique exhibition showcases the artwork of the 2019 Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Awards Midnight Coffeehouse (the Buffys) nominees in the categories Craft, Indigenous Arts, and Visual Arts.

Join us for the opening reception on Wednesday, October 16, between 5-8 PM at the Keyano Art Gallery. Light refreshments will be served, and there will be a wine bar.

The Buffys celebrate the achievements of local artists through performances and exhibition. Tickets to the main showcase on October 19 is now on sale at

October 16, 2019

Making it in Music: FACTOR Funding 101

ACWB and FACTOR invite musicians and recording artists on August 20 to a helpful grants webinar. Join FACTOR online to learn all about their funding opportunities that can finance recording, touring, music videos, and everything in between!

Facilitator: Karina Moldovan

FREE – registration required

The Business of the Arts program offers local artists an opportunity to build their capacity to compete and thrive by providing them with the resources they need to flourish as entrepreneurs as well as artists and to create a sustainable living from their artistic practice.

FACTOR (the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings) is a public/private partnership that supports the production of sound recordings by Canadian musicians and helps Canadian music companies make recordings available to a wider public.

August 20, 2019

Arts Match

Amazing things happen when the arts get together!

ACWB invites all artists and artisans in Wood Buffalo who would like to connect with other artists to our FREE Arts Match on August 6, 5:30 PM – 9 PM in the Keyano Recital Theatre Lobby, with a complimentary BBQ in the adjacent courtyard!

Are you working on a project and need participants? Are you an actor, singer, dancer, musician looking for opportunities to perform? Visual artist looking for an opportunity to show and or sell your work? Would you like to volunteer in the arts, find a mentor, or perhaps you are a filmmaker looking for actors? Do you simply have an idea you want to talk about?

Let’s find your magic connection at the ACWB Arts Match!

What should you expect?

This fun and engaging event is based on the speed dating model: local arts groups and individuals who have information to share, are looking for volunteers, or would like to get information about their project out to the arts community will have 2 minutes to make their pitch one-on-one with interested individuals.

For individuals, this is an opportunity to talk directly to arts groups about how you might get involved with them, and ask about their projects and programs.

Sign up today at!

August 6, 2019

Working Artist 101

ACWB invites artists, arts organizations, and community arts groups on July 9 to Keyano Theatre & Arts Centre for our next Business of the Arts workshop. Join ACWB for a crash course in building a solid foundation for your artistic enterprise – expect tips, tricks, and takeaways!

Topics for the Working Artist 101 workshop include:

– Administrative and financial basics
– Building your portfolio
– Pricing your work
– Promoting yourself

Facilitator: Diana Moser, ACWB Programs Manager
Registration is $20 for ACWB members and $25 for non-members, and is available through Eventbrite at:

The Business of the Arts program offers local artists an opportunity to build their capacity to compete and thrive by providing them with the resources they need to flourish as entrepreneurs as well as artists and to create a sustainable living from their artistic practice.

July 9, 2019

We Heal, an Art Exhibition

YMCA Wood Buffalo and Arts Council Wood Buffalo Arts Recovery Project presented We Heal, an Art Exhibition! on May 2 from 6:30-8:30 PM at the Keyano Art Gallery, to enjoy the art that healed our community members from the 2016 Horse River Wildfire.


We Heal, an Art Exhibition was a community show juried by professional peers highlighting journeys of healing since the 2016 Horse River Wildfire.

May 2, 2019

Canadian Art Support Organizations Meet & Greet

Arts Council Wood Buffalo invited Artists and arts enthusiasts to an evening of conversation in the Rehearsal Hall at Keyano Theatre & Arts Centre, with visitors to our region from Calgary Arts Development, Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des Arts du Canada, and more.

Featuring live musical performances, networking with local champions of Arts, Culture, and Heritage, as well as The Art of Healing visual and literary art exhibit in the Keyano exhibition space were all available to enjoy by guests.

In partnership with Keyano Theatre & Arts Centre, ACWB also hosted the Canada Council for the Arts for a free information session about their funding programs. The session provided an overview of grants available to artists working across artistic fields of practice. Several artists also met one on one with Canada Council program officers to discuss their needs in more detail.

April 30, 2019

Making It in Music – The District Recording Studio open house

ACWB partnered with The District Recording Studio for an open house that included studio demos, performances, networking, and a learning opportunity with Canadian musician Trevor McNevan.

April 23, 2019

Making It in Music – Alberta Music

March 18-21, 2019

ACWB hosted Albert Music for a three-day visit that featured three different opportunities for local musicians to connect with Alberta Music and learn about making it in music: a recorded interview, an Evening with Alberta Music information session, and drop-in sessions. Musicians learned about Alberta Music and the basics of the music industry in Canada such as grants, how to register songs with SOCAN, and information on conferences and festivals. Alberta Music also met with several musicians, promoters, and venues during their visit.

Thank you to Carly Klassen from Alberta Music for sharing your knowledge, and learning about our music community, and thank you to all the local musicians that came out!

March 18, 2019

Ballet Jörgen master classes

ACWB partnered with Keyano Theatre and Canada’s Ballet Jörgen to present ballet master classes in addition to their performance of Coppélia. The classes were taught by members of the Ballet Jörgen company. One was for ages 11-13 and the other for ages 14+. Several dance students from multiple studios participated in this development opportunity.

March 15, 2019

Headshot and Artwork Photography

March 12, 17-18, 2019

Arts Council Wood Buffalo presented a new member-exclusive addition to the Business of the Arts program – headshot and artwork photography services!

Artist portfolios are vital to landing commissions, booking gigs, or selling work. These portfolios are often one of the only ways people can learn about who you are as an artist and what you have to offer. Put your best face forward with a professionally photographed headshot and if you’re a visual artist, showcase your pieces in high quality photographs that are almost as good as the real thing.

Photography services were provided by Crystal Mercredi of Life and Portraits. She is a local award winning photographer who is accredited by the Professional Photographers of Canada, recognized by The National Association for Professional Child Photographers and the Accredited Professional Newborn Photographers Internationale, as well as a proud ACWB member.

Each session cost $45.00 – ACWB heavily subsidized the photographer rate for these services. A regular studio session with Life and Portraits costs $299.99 – an 85% discount.

March 12, 2019

Art in Anzac

Join ACWB for an afternoon of painting, tea, and bannock! Artists Treasure Cooper and Barbara Madden will guide youth and adults through this fun painting project.

Saturday, February 16, 2019
1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
At the Anzac Sport and Recreation Centre

Registration is required and by donation. Funds will go towards arts supplies for local children’s programming.
Call Anzac Recreation Centre Guest Services at (780) 793-6000 to register.

Youth 8-12 years old
Adult 13+ years old

February 16, 2019

Highlights from past events

What our Artists have to say