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EAC History

The Development of the Edmonton Arts Council
- A Case Study Connecting communities through the arts

John Mahon
Executive Director
Edmonton Arts Council


Purpose of Presentation

Typically, a presentation on connecting communities through the arts illustrates how artists favourably, or perhaps unfavourably, impact on their community.  This paper, while not the opposite, is a less direct story.  The purpose here is to describe a process, a history, where a community created an organization with a practical purpose of supporting artists and the process of art in that community while, at the same time, consciously serving the entire community by strengthening the connection(s) between the artists and the community.

The creation of the Edmonton Arts Council (EAC) was a long and, at times, annoyingly slow process but, in retrospect, that slow pace was ideal and resulted in a stronger, sturdier organization with amazingly solid support from all parts of the community.  The development of the EAC was not directed or controlled by a rigid pre-conceived policy or model.  It was ultimately a community-led process of planning and improvisation.  That process required not only that artists and specific parts of their artistic community work together but also that the arts community connect and work effectively with the overall community.

Download the PDF to read the full history of the Edmonton Arts Council.
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Edmonton Arts Council • Prince of Wales Armoury, 2nd Floor, 10440 108 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T5H 3Z9 • info@edmontonarts.ca • p. 780.424.2787 | f. 780.425.7620