Arts Commons could see $387 million transformation (RENDERINGS)

Jan 23 2019, 5:11 pm

Arts Commons could be getting a complete make-over.

The Arts Commons Transformation (ACT) project is asking for $387 million from three levels of government to get a total revamp, including the construction of additional venues, renovations of the existing buildings, and increased sustainability.

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ACT would be carried out in two phases, with the first converting brownfield into 440,000-sq-ft space that would include a 1,200-seat proscenium theatre, a 250-seat black box theatre, and an 80-seat black box theatre, according to Arts Common’s website.

arts commons

ACT phases

The first phase of the transformation would cost $182 million in funding from the municipal, provincial, and federal governments, though $25 million has already been obtained through the Municipal Sustainability Initiative.

The ACT project could potentially be grouped in as part of the Rivers District revitalization project that the City of Calgary currently has underway, which aims to revive Victoria Park and East Village with a number of new developments.

Arts commons

Arts Commons Transformation

ART was also nodded to in a Government of Alberta press release from last December, alongside the BMO Centre expansion.

“In addition to the expansion of the BMO Centre on Stampede Park, the Calgary Rivers District CRL extension will allow for $140 million in infrastructure upgrades in Victoria Park, and future transformation of Arts Commons, which includes the Jack Singer Concert Hall, Max Bell Theatre, Martha Cohen Theatre, Big Secret Theatre and the Engineered Air Theatre,” the release states.

Arts commons

Arts Commons Transformation

The second phase of the project aims to renew the existing 33-year-old facility, with $71 million going towards “critical life-cycle issues,” according to the website.

The full cost of Phase 2 is expected to land at $204 million and will see resident companies operate out of the new building once created in Phase 1, until the renovations are complete.

Arts commons

Arts Commons Transformation

ACT is expected to create 989 full-time and create a positive economic impact of $95.77 million.

“The ACT project will enhance the current facility and performance space, as well as amplify the vitality of the downtown core,” said Mary Moran, the President and CEO of Calgary Economic Development, on the website.

“We support this project and believe it will be a welcome investment in our urban infrastructure.”

Arts commons

Arts Commons Transformation

Calgary city council will be meeting on January 28 to discuss plans for many major capital projects in the city’s culture and entertainment district, and will then decide on the future of ACT.

“We have an opportunity for council to be ambitious and bold in moving Calgary forward. Today, more than ever, we need to find ways to build a more creative and compassionate society. The arts can inspire such a movement,” a letter from Arts Commons to city council reads.

“On January 28, 2019, when you go into chambers, we hope you will embody such an inspired vision for all Calgarians by expressing your support for ACT.

Arts commons

Arts Commons Transformation