Alberta Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ricardo Miranda, declared January to be the “Month of the Artist”. Alberta is the first province in the country to recognize the financial, educational, and entertainment contributions made by artists and performers.
Hanna Fridhed, communications advisor for Arts Council Wood Buffalo (ACWB), believes this distinction affirms the legitimacy of the arts as “extremely important”.
“Having a month that specifically showcases and honours the artists, and the work they do is really adding legitimacy to a lot of these artist’s work and their contributions.”
Every day for the month of January, as part of the “Month of the Artist” campaign, the ACWB highlights a registered artist, musician, writer, or performer on their Facebook page.
Coupled with Alberta’s proclamation, Fridhed hopes the support of the local arts scene will encourage new and future artists to join and participate in the growing community.
“We have different artists in town who do woodworking, beading, different fine crafts, screenwriting, videography, photography, and they just never self-identified as artists. You don’t have to make money on your art to be an artist; as long as you are creating, you’re an artist.”
Facts and figures about the arts in Alberta:
- According to Stats Canada, Alberta exported $777.5 million in arts and culture products in 2016.
- In 2016, visual and applied arts, and live performance art generated $1.3 billion in GDP to Alberta. (Source: Statistics Canada: 2016 Travel Survey of Residents of Canada)
- In 2017-18, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts donated $24.1 million in grants to different arts organizations across the province with another $3.1 million in grants to individual artists and performers to support their crafts.
Arts Council Wood Buffalo runs many daily programs and special events throughout the region; a monthly calendar and more information on how to get involved can be found on their website.