Community Partnerships

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Arts Council Wood Buffalo partners with various organizations to ensure that the arts are recognized as essential in creating a balanced community. Partnerships can be in many forms with artists, community organizations, industry and government through our Creative Connections program, Advocacy and Community Partnerships.

Looking for other ways to partner with Arts Council Wood Buffalo? Visit our Support Us page to learn more about the ways people and businesses can support Arts Council Wood Buffalo.

Art of Conversation

In partnership with St. Aidan’s Society

The Art of Conversation is a collaborative project by Arts Council Wood Buffalo and St. Aidan’s Society for artists, seniors and Elders in the Wood Buffalo region.

Arts Council is paying to commission artists of various disciplines in the local community to engage in phone conversations with Wood Buffalo’s isolated seniors and Elders. The artists and (optionally) seniors and Elders will then create new art inspired by the stories that are shared.

The phone call and artists’ creation process will be documented to be shared through Arts Council communications, and the artist’s completed pieces (e.g., song, short story, paintings, craft, and animation) will be shared with the senior and Elder with whom the piece was created.

Suncor Student Art Awards

In partnership with Suncor, Fort McMurray Public School District and Fort McMurray Catholic School District

The Suncor Student Art Awards and Kim Jenkins Student Art Scholarship were a collaboration between Suncor Energy, Arts Council Wood Buffalo, the Fort McMurray Public School District, and the Fort McMurray Catholic School District from 2014 – 2019. The purpose of the program was to increase the reach and impact of artwork created within the school system, build the confidence of emerging artists to exhibit their work, and provide financial investment in their continued development. Suncor hosted three student art exhibitions each year: one for Public High Schools, one for Catholic High Schools, and one for Jr. High Schools from both districts. Award recipients for each exhibition were selected through Suncor employee voting. The Kim Jenkins Student Art Scholarship was given to a Grade 12 student pursuing Visual Arts or Design at the Post-Secondary level the following year whose work in the annual high school exhibition at the MacDonald Island Community Art Gallery showed the most promise. The scholarship and two additional prizes were awarded through a professional visual artist jury. The program invested $24,000 in the development of youth visual artists over the past 5 years.

Wood Buffalo Timeraiser

in partnership with FuseSocial

Arts Council Wood Buffalo partners with FuseSocial to make the annual Wood Buffalo Timeraiser event meaningful for visual artists, and to ensure the arts are fairly represented and that best practices are followed. ACWB works with FuseSocial to help with the artist calls and selection, installation of the exhibition, and the public event at the Kirschner Community Art Gallery.

For more information on the Wood Buffalo Timeraiser, visit fusesocial.ca/programs/volunteerism/timeraiser/

Empty Bowls Festival

In partnership with The Wood Buffalo Food Bank

Arts Council Wood Buffalo partnered with the Wood Buffalo Food Bank to plan, organize and execute the annual Empty Bowls Festival, which included artist performer and vendor calls. For three years ACWB helped build the capacity of WBFB and built the foundation for the program. This successful partnership created an engaging community event and provided the WBFB with a toolkit to work with artists and create sustainable fundraising initiatives that integrate the arts.

The Empty Bowls Festival is a family-friendly celebration of local talent in visual and performing arts and fine crafts. It draws the community together and brings awareness to local hunger issues while also raising funds for the Wood Buffalo Food Bank. Guests purchase a hand-crafted bowl made by the Fort McMurray Potters Guild and Colour Me Mine, and with that bowl make their way around the festival sampling creations from several different local eateries. The artist marketplace, developed in partnership with Arts Council Wood Buffalo, features local artisans selling their art and fine crafts (a portion of sales are donated back to the WBFB) as well as displays and demonstrations of live visual arts and fine crafts. Throughout the day guests also enjoy live local performances.

For more information on the Empty Bowls Festival, visit the Wood Buffalo Food Bank’s website.

Redpoll Centre Public Art Commission

In partnership with Alberta Foundation for the Arts and Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo.

The Redpoll Centre Public Art Commission project created an original piece of public art that is now a permanent part of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts collection and is on display at the Redpoll Centre at Shell Place in Fort McMurray. ACWB received funding for the project through the Alberta Foundation of the Arts (AFA) Public Art Commissions grant. Alberta visual artists or artist collectives working in 2D or 3D, photography or fine craft were invited to respond to a Request for Expression of Interest. Through a two-round selection process open to artists locally and across Alberta, an artist was chosen and the artwork was officially unveiled on September 29, 2017. The artwork commemorates the opening of The Redpoll Centre, the shared social profit workspace managed by the United Way of Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo, reflecting the values of collaboration, innovation, creativity, courage and integrity.

Want to learn more? Click HERE to learn about the project.