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].

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

Eduarts Hub

January 23, 2019

Presented by the Canadian Network for Arts & Learning in partnership with ACWB, the Eduarts Hub brought together arts and learning practitioners from Fort McMurray for a 3-part networking session that included a joint panel discussion between local and Edmonton-based arts educators and instructors, an exploration of programs and projects taking place in schools and community, and a focus group discussion to help guide the development of Canada’s Map of Arts & Learning.

January 23, 2019

One-Act Theatre 101

January 15, 2019

ACWB partnered with the Alberta Drama Festival Association North Zone to present a workshop aimed towards individuals or theatre groups who were interested in submitting a production to the 2019 ADFA North Zone One Act Theatre Festival. Topics included what the festival is and how it works, how to apply, how to produce a play and more! Participants also had an opportunity to ask questions of a panel consisting of the ADFA North Zone representative Hanna Fridhed, as well as previous participants.

The Alberta Drama Festival Association (ADFA) is a non-profit umbrella organization for adult community drama activity in the province of Alberta since 1967. Ten different regions of the province each organize an annual Regional One Act Theatre Festival where local theatre artists are given the opportunity to independently produce and showcase their work. From these festivals, one production is chosen by an adjudicator to represent each region at the annual Provincial One Act Theatre Festival.

January 15, 2019

Highlights from past events

What our Artists have to say