Fall is here in Edmonton and, as I write this, snow is flying outside so there’s even a hint of winter in the air. We trust it will quickly disappear and give way to a sunny, warm September and beyond.


An important conference for our organization, the PACE Arts Advocacy Workshop, will be held on Wednesday, September 26th, at the Jubilee Auditorium. It is a facilitated gathering, with Marci Scharlé, Community Development Officer for Alberta Culture and Tourism, leading the workshop. This is a members-only meeting. The focus is to clearly establish the value and purpose of the Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton as it applies to the city’s Arts scene today. It is to set priorities on the types of advocacy and activities that makes PACE useful and relevant. The results of this workshop will go to the PACE Annual General Meeting in October as a resolution for adoption to guide the organization going forward.

People wanting to take part in the Workshop must a) be paid-up members of PACE and b) must register in advance on Eventbrite at this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pace-arts-advocacy-strategic-workshop-tickets-49999535958


To take out a PACE membership and join us in advocating for a healthy and supported Arts community in Edmonton, click the button “Become a Member” on the home page of this website. There is an Application Form to fill out (it’s a downloadable PDF) and a cheque to write (see the schedule of fees on the membership page) and both need to be sent to the PACE mailbox (address on the membership page and the Application Form). Our current membership ranges from large Arts organizations, such as the Citadel Theatre and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, to small non-profits and individual artists. Our common cause is that we all have a professional stake in artistic expression and want to ensure that the professional Arts remain viable and robust in Edmonton.


One of the topics we will tackle at the PACE Workshop on September 26th is whether PACE should be involved in helping to build a new, major Arts awards platform in Edmonton, now that the Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts (MCA) appears to be dormant. PACE administered the MCA for 30 years but balked earlier this year at expanding the scope of the creative disciplines that are honoured, so as to include creative sectors that are not considered Fine Arts. I have suggested since that we could build a new platform and change the focus of the Awards so that outstanding accomplishment in each of the Fine Arts disciplines would be honoured: music, theatre, dance, visual arts, screen arts, literature, and possibly, digital media arts. To that end, I have opened discussions with the Arts organizations that administer the city-funded Edmonton Book Prize, Edmonton Film Prize, Edmonton Music Prize and the Foote Foundation-funded Edmonton Visual Arts Award. Building a major platform will be quite a bit of work and so, not surprisingly, there are a variety of views as to whether the benefits of such a platform will outweigh the effort. I have always seen PACE’s role, were we to participate in such a project, to be administrative as well as being instrumental in raising funds to support the event. It is my hope that the PACE executive planning committee will have a clear mandate to either participate in the development of a new awards platform or to step away from the project altogether after the meeting on September 26th.


PACE will hold two Salons in October that we believe you will find most interesting.

The first Salon will be in partnership with the Citadel Theatre as it launches its new World Café series. This animated coffee house discussion will centre on the topic “Cultural Appreciation or Appropriation: The Artist’s Dilemma.” It will be held the evening of Monday, October 22nd, at the Citadel Theatre.

The second Salon, just a week later, will feature the executive director of the Edmonton Arts Council, Sanjay Shahani, discussing the new 10-year plan for Arts and Heritage in Edmonton. Mr. Shahani will have just presented the plan to city council the week previous. The Salon will be held in the early evening of Monday, October 29th. Location TBD. Stay tuned for more details soon.

Ken Davis

Chair, PACE


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