Community Open House #4 Invitation

King Edward School Site Master Plan 
Community Open House #4 
Wednesday, October 26th, 6:30pm - 9:00pm 
Calgary Community Reform Church, 1638 30th Ave. SW  

Calgary Arts Development and The Calgary Foundation invite local residents, the arts community and not-for-profit representatives to see the most current site plan options for the development of the King Edward School site. We look forward to discussion opportunities that consider how King Edward School and its site can be envisioned as a sustainable and vital arts hub for the community. Your support and engagement is valued as we move towards finalizing the purchase of King Edward School. 

6:30pm - Doors Open

7:00pm - Formal Presentation

7:45pm - Open Q&A

8:45pm - Closing Remarks

The Calgary Community Reform Church is located across from King Edward School at:

1638 30 Avenue Southwest, Calgary, AB T2T 1P4


Space Market Analysis


From October to November 2010, Calgary Arts Development conducted a detailed Space Market Analysis that included 151 individual artists and representatives from 60 organizations who completed the survey. This research provides a grounding for creative infrastructure development with the space and preferences that Non-Profit Organizations and artists require to fulfill their mandates.


Marda Gras Street Festival Shines!


What fantastic weather and attendance at this year's Marda Gras Festival - one could not ask for a more a perfect day to hit the streets and celebrate another cultural event in the city! Calgary Arts Development was pleased to join in these festivities with an invitation by the Marda Loop BRZ to share our vision for the  transformation of King Edward School into an arts incubator and we are glad we did.

Marda Gras Street Festival

Throughout the day we spoke with hundreds of you from the neighbourhood and other parts of the city who had interest in the project or stories to tell. It was great to hear the legacy of those who attended the school including accounts of  grandparents who were one of the first pupils, stories of fondly remembered reunions and parties in the gym to vividly remembered fire drills to the sound of an air raid siren! These stories all remind us of the formative value that is embedded in the walls of this landmark and how richly they can be brought back to life in a dialogue between friends.  

We are so pleased that you shared these memories and feel invigorated that our proposal keeps this heritage in the public trust for future generations' stories to  grow. Your support and sentiments that these are the types of places that Calgary needs - affirms that we are moving in the right direction, that the arts have a vital role in anchoring and promoting sustainable communities, and that community grows through engagement and participation at events like this. While much work continues, we look forward to further dialogue in realizing a continued legacy for King Edward School. 

As a final note, I leave you with sentiments from C.A. Johnson, a past teacher at King Edward School from the 1960's who captures it well:

“The school, every school, is a continuous tradition. It is a personal, life-receiving, life-giving. More than any other work-place, this institution is built with the spirits, lives and minds of all who come together here. There is really no past, no present; there is only the milieu in which we all grow. When we leave, we take with us the part of the school that we personally have become, we leave something of ourselves.” 

Standing Policy Committee Presentation on June 29, 2011

CADA and TCF will make a presentation on King Edward School to the Standing Policy Committee (SPC) on Community and Protective Services to be held on June 29th, 2011 at 9:30am in the Engineering Traditions Committee Room. 

For the municipal contribution to the overall project budget, we are seeking an allocation of $5 million through the Cultural Municipal Sustainability Initiative. The King Edward School project was recommended for this investment by an arms-length assessment committee through the Cultural Spaces Investment Process concluded earlier this year.

As members of the local and arts community, it would be immensely valuable for you to be present at the CPS meeting to express support for the King Edward School project. Calgary Arts Development, The Calgary Foundation and the South Calgary Community Association will be presenting directly to the committee on the merits, community impact and engagement process. 

The agenda for the July 29th CPS is attached, and we will update our website and via twitter @cadaspaces when we have a better sense when our presentation will occur. Please join us on Wednesday to communicate your passion and perspective to Council members next week.

3rd Community Open House on June 15th Beats the Odds

On another rainy evening in Calgary, chock-a-block full of design charrettes, award presentations, and hockey finals - our 3rd Community Open House beat the odds and saw nearly 90 in attendance despite the competition! Following a similar structure to our previous open house, local residents and artists spent time investigating the information presented on display boards at the South Calgary Reform Church before a formal presentation, informal discussion, and a question and answer period.

3rd Community Open House Presentation (VIDEO)

3rd Community Open House Presentation (PDF)

3rd Community Open House Panels (PDF)

3rd Community Open House Community Feedback (PDF) 

Presented first by The Calgary Foundation (TCF) and Calgary Arts Development (CADA) were the project drivers and community impact proposed with the revitalization of King Edward School, our commitment to community engagement as a key component of our due diligence process, and a realization of the vision through the concept of the creative, learning and community 'commons' (as described in the May 20th blog post: Over 100 Attend 2nd Community Open House).

Community Open House on May 18th

Mark your calendars for 6:30pm-9pm on May 18th for our second Community Open House at the Calgary Community Reform Church. This will be a great opportunity to share in the dialogue of how to transform King Edward School into a revitalized community asset.

We are expecting a formal presentation at 7pm followed by community participation in master planning activities with our representatives and consultant team. Intimate table sessions will give local residents, artists, and not-for-profit representatives an opportunity to share ideas and consider strategies for how King Edward School may be reactivated as a sustainable and vital arts hub. For those interested in learning more about Calgary Arts Development and The Calgary Foundation and the proposal to transform King Edward School into an Arts Incubator this will also be facilitated.

We look forward to your participation at this open house and eagerly anticipate a diverse attendance from the local and arts communities.

King Edward School comes to life during (REOI) Information Sessions

This week there has been a bluster of activity around the King Edward School with spring flurries that Calgarians have come to expect, but also from respondents to CADA and TCF’s call for future tenants and partners for the proposed arts incubator.  On Tuesday, April 26th three information sessions were held for more than one hundred individuals and organizations who were presented with the background, values and intent for the incubator.

Following the information sessions the halls of King Edward School came to life once again as the pitter-patter of artists and not-for-profit representatives discussed the possibilities to invigorate this now quiet, but once bustling hub. Walking through the halls, one immediately felt the excitement of exploring the classrooms, climbing the stairs and sharing in the past narratives captured in the grand sandstone walls and imagining those yet to come. 

Several in attendance included alumni who remembered their homeroom class from grade 5 or the stories recalled while growing up in the area. A special visitor included past Principal John Braun who shared stories and insights from his tenure. Now retired, John spent several of his CBE years stewarding the students and staff at King Edward and couldn’t help but disappear from the group and check out the nooks and crannies for details only he could know.

REOI Information Session

King Edward School Transit Directions

For transit riders coming to King Edward School Information sessions please find the attached map, suggested routes, and transit link for your convenience. 

1st Community Open House Comments

King Edward Community Open House – Mar 9th, 2011 @ Richmond School

The first public session on March 9th, 2011 provided the opportunity for citizens of Calgary to add their voice to the transformation proposal for King Edward School. Fundamental values set out by Calgary Arts Development and The Calgary Foundation for the project include: community, sustainability, heritage, creativity, and place making. Panels were exhibited to enable attendees to add comments to the discussion of what possibilities the school can offer. Here are a few highlighted comments with panel notes that follow.

Read Complete Open House Comments (PDF)


“South Calgary has a real opportunity – would be jealous if another community got it!”

“Public accessibility is important… to help make believers of Calgarians in the transformative power, imagination, excitement, and value of the arts.”

“Rather than just creating “a place where artists go,” make it a place that will integrate, attract and educate people in the arts.”

“An arts incubator is a great idea and it seems like you’re approaching this project in the right way – consultation, community, and sensitivity.”

“Can we legally protect the building as a heritage asset? Please!”

“My wife’s name is on a plaque in the school (she was a pupil)– hopefully this will be preserved.”

“The original school was made from material quarried about one kilometer away – very sustainable!”

“Our community needs public green space that can be more contemplative …a place to read a book or have a conversation with a friend – outdoors, under a tree, in a quiet public space. I would like part of the field to be made into this kind of place.”

“This building will create and provide the opportunities I currently don’t have to engage the arts.”

“As someone who doesn’t make a living in the arts, I look for relief, interesting things and fun in cultural activities.”

“It is encouraging to learn about [aiming for] LEED status – it would be great to see!”