“Art creates cities of great opportunity”, says Patti Pon, President & CEO of Calgary Arts Development. “It builds connection; it builds community”.
On March 16th 2016, the arts and business communities came together for the Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions; an event where the work of seven local artists was recognized and celebrated.
The event also served to continue an ongoing conversation about the relevance of supporting the arts in Calgary. “Our world has changed in the last year, and we need to create unconventional thinking”, said Randy Ferguson, Chief Operating Officer for Strategic Group, and the Champion Sponsor for the event.
The relationship between the arts and the business communities is more than a sponsorship relationship. “It is mutually beneficial”, said Patti. “Our team gets as much out of the relationship as the artists” shared Randy.
Strategic Group has embraced the arts in their organization. They are very active in inviting others to unleash their creativity too. During the event, they placed trios of silly putty at each plate on every table and invited the diners to have fun while creating something. Hundreds of photos of people´s creations were shared on Twitter.
“Art pushes boundaries, it starts conversations and creates dialogue”, said Randy, inviting corporate Calgary to continue its support to the local arts community. Mayor Nenshi also asked Calgarians for their continuous support, even more so in these challenging economic times. It is the way to “make our vibrant arts organizations stay vibrant”, he said.
“Calgary has an entrepreneurial spirit, which is the same as saying that is has a creative spirit”, said Patti, who believes that creative expansion creates economic expansion.
How are we Calgarians living a creative life? Let´s discover the many ways in which we can exercise living creatively, connecting to new possibilities. As Patti says, this is what entrepreneurship is all about. And as said by Randy, “entrepreneurship knows no boundaries”.
Let´s all embrace and manifest our creativity. Let´s become arts champions and encourage creative living in our communities. Let´s all push boundaries and help Calgary thrive.