The National accessArts Centre unveils plans for a $14M multidisciplinary disability arts venue

New building, in addition to the former Scouts Canada building, will realize a vision for a disability arts training and presentation campus – the first of its kind in the world.

The National accessArts Centre (NaAC), Canada’s oldest and largest disability arts organization, continues to move forward with its plans for a $14M multidisciplinary disability arts venue (2140 Brownsea Drive NW). Adjacent to the former Scouts Canada Building, this new facility will feature a multi-purpose presentation venue, a visual arts gallery, community rental space, and outdoor gathering spaces. The venue will also host the second location for Lil E Coffee Cafe, a local business that employs individuals with disabilities. The progress so far made on this facility including proposed planning has been made possible by the federal government’s Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.  This new facility will pivot the arts centre as the national capital of the disability arts movement.

“This is a groundbreaking project for Calgary and puts our city on the map for yet another spectacular reason,” said Jung-Suk (JS) Ryu, President and CEO of the NaAC. “Every city has a performing arts centre, a museum, or an art gallery – but Calgary will be the only city with infrastructure dedicated to the needs and talents of artists living with disabilities.” “Now, Calgary will truly become the national capital of this important, much celebrated element of our arts and culture sector.”

NaAC hopes to secure support through the Government of Canada’s Green and Inclusive Community Buildings (GICB) program, which can potentially unlock 60% of the project’s eligible costs. When green-lit, the project will move into subsequent phases of development, including the approval process through the City of Calgary which owns the land. Conceptual drawings and plans have been developed by award-winning firm DIALOG, a previous collaborator with NaAC.

“We are optimistic that the federal government will come on board. This project will not only add jobs through the construction process, but it aligns so perfectly with the sought-after outcomes around green and inclusive infrastructure outlined in this particular funding program,” added Ryu.


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