Thursday, 24 May 2012

Arts Council Wood Buffalo

We are very proud to announce the formation of Arts Council Wood Buffalo. This is a
community-based non-profit corporation set up by the arts community at the request
of her Worship, Mayor Melissa Blake, to work with regional arts organizations to
strengthen and promote the arts in the region.

An Interim Board of Directors has been established to guide the organization through
its initial stages with a fully representational Board being elected in September 2012.
Interim Board members include Chair, Ken Chapman with the Oil Sands Developers
Group, David Whitelock with Events Wood Buffalo, Ana Maria Mendez, Cultural
Coordinator with MacDonald Island Park, artist and President, Wood Buffalo Artists
Forum, Jenny Berube, Accountant and art lover, Christine Burton, community
advocate and artist, Bryan Jackson, artist and Suncor manager.

"At this point, the Arts Council needs to focus on reaching out to all regional arts
organizations, understanding their needs, and developing a strategic plan to support
and develop the arts in our community," explains Chair, Ken Chapman. "We have had
to hit the ground running, however." states Chapman, "We have a number of projects
on the table already. These include starting discussions with Keyano College to explore collaboration opportunities for learning and the arts, working with the Fort McMurray Airport Authority to include art in the new airport terminal, working with Social Prosperity on understanding the needs of arts organizations and developing a public art policy for presentation to Regional Council." "Our project list shows how critical it is to have an organization that can represent and advocate for the arts and arts organizations in our community", says Chapman.

Board member, Christine Burton states "it is a good time to form an Arts Council. We
have a vibrant and growing visual and performing arts community that needs to be
supported and promoted. By bringing all arts organizations together, we are creating
a powerful voice for the arts. We know from examples around the world that support
for the arts creates communities people want to live in. That is what we want to do
here - imagine the possibilities and then make them real."

For media inquiries, please contact:

Ken Chapman
Arts Council Wood Buffalo, Chair
780-790-1979 (office)
1-780-990-8559 (cell)

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