03 May 2018

This morning I communicated to the Mayor’s office that the Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton (PACE) is removing itself from further involvement with the annual Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts (MCA). This communication came after a vote last evening by the PACE executive planning committee to withdraw from the MCA. The committee also directed myself as PACE chair to initiate a comprehensive strategic review of PACE this spring and summer, one that would address the organization’s mandate in 2018 and beyond, the need for robust and engaged membership, financial sustainability, program development, and the feasibility and design of a new PACE Edmonton Arts Awards.

Here is the text of my communication with the Mayor’s office this morning:

“At the executive planning committee of PACE last evening, the EPC voted in favour of pulling PACE out of the Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts. This vote was consistent with the sentiment of most of those attending the PACE Special General Meeting the week previous.

The membership clearly expressed a view that PACE exists to serve as an advocate for professional artists and Arts organizations in Edmonton, with the emphasis on the Fine Arts. I have been instructed to conduct a comprehensive strategic review of the PACE organization and mandate this summer, including an aggressive membership drive and infrastructural re-building. The Fine Arts community is facing significant challenges on all fronts and this is a time when strong multi-disciplinary Arts advocacy is needed. Per the motion approved by the EPC last evening, part of this strategic review will include a serious study of a proposed Edmonton Arts Awards celebration and ceremony, with a focus on the Fine Arts. The membership and the executive expressed the view that it is vital to celebrate the Fine Arts in their own right and not in a diluted context with a broader sector of the community which we might loosely define as the “creative class.” We will actively seek to strengthen relations with that sector of the business community that supports and resonates with the Fine Arts, as active partners and sponsors of an Edmonton Arts Awards celebration.

Having said all of this, PACE is not opposed to the idea of collaboration with other related sectors in common cause. But the organization must maintain a clear mandate that is true to its own base, that of Fine Arts practitioners. And so, in that spirit, we respectfully withdraw from further administration and participation in the Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts. This week we will communicate these decisions to the corporate community with which we have partnered in the past, as well as to the community at large.”

I will shortly announce details of our process for a comprehensive strategic review and will look forward to you, as a PACE member, playing a significant role as we move forward.

Ken Davis

Chair, PACE


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