January 4, 2021 Mountain Living

Community Spaces: Unleash your Creativity at artsPlace

By Kate Barker

Living in the Bow Valley is more than just buying a home.

Located in the heart of downtown Canmore, artsPlace opened its doors in 2015 as a community hub for arts and creativity in the Bow Valley. Paula Krupa, Communications Manager at artsPlace says they strive to “encourage community to experience and explore creativity.” She says artsPlace, “envisions a time when all Bow Valley residents can enjoy arts and culture, no matter their age, skill, income or abilities.”

artsPlace offers classes and workshops, for those looking to tune their skills, as well as performances and shows, for those looking to experience the arts without actively creating something. Their classes cover many different mediums including painting, drawing, literary arts, cultural studies, jewellery, drama, stained glass and more. Most of the classes and workshops are geared towards beginners, so even people with no experience can learn some skills and enjoy. For those with advanced skills, or even professionals looking to hone their craft, artsPlace has learning opportunities available, although they may not be as frequent as the beginner classes.

More than a learning space, artsPlace hosts regular events and performances. Their box theatre allows them to showcase live performances and screenings. They often host concerts, theatre, comedy nights and more. Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused artsPlace to change their protocols, but they have found innovative ways to keep the arts alive while adapting to the new normal of safety protocols and social distancing.

“We have started doing in-person classes again,” says Krupa, “and we are inviting small audiences back into the theatre.” Krupa says artsPlace will still host online workshops and livestream events for those who wish to stay at home, but she says after asking the community what they prefer, most have said they would like to return to in-person classes once again.

Perhaps the easiest way to get involved with artsPlace is through one of their community events, including the Festival of Arts & Creativity or the wildly popular Creative Combat fundraiser – where local painters go head-to-head to create a work of art in 20 minutes. Krupa says this is an easy entry point to the arts in Canmore, “It’s a great way to engage, especially if you don’t know much about us. You get to learn about the local artists and get to know about artsPlace.”

In order to make the arts accessible to everyone, artsPlace is proud to support the Affordable Services Program in both Banff and Canmore. This program assists people with low income in the valley. Through this program, participants can receive up to 65% off courses and 50% off single events and shows. It’s just one of the many ways artsPlace strives to “enrich lives and build community through the arts.”

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