Erica Mattson's blog

Cultural Tourism - Advice from Atlanta

We had the privilege of spending time with Shelton Stanfill this morning discussing cultural tourism, thanks to the EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts. Shelton, a well-known arts leader from the U.S., had some great insights on how Calgary can start moving forward in this area based on his experiences building and shaping Atlanta's cultural tourism strategy. We were joined by Johann Zeitsmann who currently runs the Mesa Arts Center in Arizona and was able to offer some very interesting perspective based on his current work as well as his past experience developing the arts in South Africa. Read more »

I (heart) hockey blogs

Calgary PuckI don't think I'd be alone in saying that one of the biggest irritants in the lives of Calgary artists and cultural workers is the persistence of false and damaging stereotypes that liken our city to a cultural backwater. Read more »

Tune in 7pm tonight

This just in - you may want to tune your radio dial to 102.1FM in Calgary before you read.

The Calgary Girls Choir has just won the CBC Radio Choral Competition in the Youth Choirs Category! The choir performed this afternoon as part of a "live-to-air" broadcast today, April 30. If you were unable to attend in person, tune in to CBC Radio Two tonight at 7 p.m. MST or listen via the internet (see below).

A huge congratulations from all of us at Calgary Arts Development to the Calgary Girls Choir, artistic director Elaine Quilichini and all the hard-working parents and volunteers behind the scenes!

Internet Listening Instructions

1. Go to Read more »

Deploying artists

Edmonton Journal arts reporter / Alberta novelist Todd Babiak published an article today titled "Don't spin oilsands, deploy artists." In this piece he comments on a $25 million provincial advertising campaign aimed at improving perceptions about oil sands development among U.S. policymakers and poses an alternative: investing in a cultural diplomacy program instead as a way to bolster the province's reputation. Here's a brief excerpt and a link to the full article: Read more »

Rising to the top

Like many people, I spend a lot of time browsing blogs to keep up on news, trends and cool stuff. I'm always grateful for the amazing learning journey that comes from reading through my Bloglines feeds (almost!) every day. It was a great discovery to find New PR this week. It's a reader-ranked source of news and resources on all things PR-related. All the work of sorting and filtering to see what's worth reading is done already, so what you get is a really useful collection of great articles that's been ranked and screened by a readership of PR professionals. The concept of quality content rising to the top is one of the guiding principles of Web 2.0** and I really appreciate when it happens in such a useful way.

I'm interested to learn more about resources like this that others find useful in helping them navigate through the world in an interesting and engaged way. What's rising to the top of your list? Read more »

Calgary music meets Toronto!

Major music happenings have occupied my thoughts lately. Richard Branson strode into town awhile back on a crazy horse-drawn carriage to kick up a big fuss about the Virgin Festival coming to Calgary this June (right around the time of Sled Island and followed by the Calgary Folk Music Festival). Michael Green, Blake Brooker and the rest of the team at One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre announced January's sizzling High Performance Rodeo line-up - there are some fantastic music events including a new arrangement of Tubular Bells, presented in collaboration with Alberta Ballet and Honens.`And of course, the 2008 JUNO Awards are coming to Calgary this April! Read more »

Yarn and Threads

Calgary saw its first skiff of snow last week and it's here again today. I noticed one group of "people" looking especially cold this morning. Earlier this year artist Suzen Green dressed several pieces from the City of Calgary's Public Art collection in bright, colourful knits as part of the ArtCity festival. The long legs of Mario Armengol’s Family of Man sculptures – located on Macleod Trail and 5th Street SE outside of the Calgary Board of Education - were fitted with beautiful, extremely colourful knee-high knitted socks. The project was originally conceived as "guerilla-style graffiti using knitting," but instead Green was able to make a connection with civic officials to get the go-ahead to alter several public sculptures for 10 days during the festival. The "appropriated with permission” aspect of Green's work continues to be one of the things I appreciate most.Green's work has forever altered my view of that space in our city and really awakened a desire for more playfulness in our urban landscape. And now that it's getting cold, it really makes me feel sorry for those poor chilly sculptures!
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Engaging Art

I've been reading the ArtsJournal series "Engaging Art" since last week. What a great conversation about how things happen between art and audiences. A few brief excerpts below, plus great reading on the blog, mp3s, and a future book, so dig in!

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Ideas and dreams on the menu!

The following article appeared on the blog Urban Scrawl, penned by the Calgary Herald's Paula Arab. It's not everyday that compliments like this are handed out! Read more »

Talk about job perks!

The latest installment in Yann Martel's project is Orwell's book Animal Farm. After reading this article from the Globe and Mail, it seems that the newest great thing about being prime minister is getting really good books hand-delivered to your door every two weeks along with an insightful letter about the book by one of the country's best writers. Read more »

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