The Board of PACE has made the difficult decision to dissolve the organization as of November 30, 2020.
This decision was made in the face of several current realities. PACE’s planned events for the past season were put on hold due to both politics and the pandemic, but even before this point, members of the board have observed that PACE no longer seems relevant for the local arts community. For many years, PACE and its predecessor the Edmonton Professional Arts Council (EPAC), played an important role in advocating for the Arts in Edmonton. In the 1980s, EPAC was instrumental in persuading the City of Edmonton to form the Edmonton Arts Council. PACE has provided vital information to the public during Edmonton municipal election campaigns in profiling the position of candidates on civic support and funding of the Arts. And for many years, PACE organized and hosted the annual Mayor’s Celebration for the Arts as a major showcase for the city’s professional arts communities. PACE played an ongoing role in meeting with city councillors and provincial politicians to advocate for the professional arts and held salons on topics of interest to professional artists.
However, the only constant in life is change, and that has been true for PACE. The Edmonton Arts Council is now a matured and strong organization in supporting Edmonton artists through city financial contributions and in providing valuable information and showcasing for the city’s talent. Provincial arts organizations, such as Alberta Music, Theatre Alberta, Alberta Dance Alliance, the Alberta Media Production Industries Association, and others, have grown and matured and now play a vital role in representing professional artists and cultural industries in respective disciplines at the provincial level.
In short, the need for an Edmonton-focussed arts advocacy organization has diminished and this has been reflected in the challenges faced by PACE in recruiting board members and volunteers. Many artists and administrators who were interested in joining the board, and who would have made incredible contributions to PACE, were simply too busy in their professional careers to commit to a board position. This is the ongoing challenge for artist-run organizations, of course, and is felt by the current board of directors. The board is made up of only four members at this time, many of whom have served on the board for several years, and the workload is unsustainable. With current board members needing to leave their volunteer positions, and seemingly little capacity for these members to be replaced, along with the general lack of necessity for PACE as an entity, it has become apparent that the organization’s lifespan is coming to an end.
Upon dissolution, PACE’s remaining financial and hard assets will be gifted to an arts organization with a set of objectives similar to those of PACE.
As always, the Board of PACE welcomes your thoughts and feedback, and we thank you for your continued support of PACE over its 34 years in existence.
The Board of Directors of PACE
Chair: Kate Stashko
Past Chair + Secretary: Ken Davis
Treasurer: Jacek Malec
Member at large: Jesse Lipscombe