Alberta’s Month of the Artist was proclaimed as an annual celebration of artists and the value they bring to the province. Alberta Culture Days is an annual three-day event held on the final weekend of September to discover, experience and celebrate arts and culture through local events and activities across the province. Alberta will now celebrate these two initiatives at the same time.

The inspiration to align the complementary initiatives came directly from Alberta’s arts community that recognized how it could create more opportunities for planning, collaboration and promotion with the arts sector.

“Alberta’s arts community is world-renowned. Our government is proud to be able to support the contributions of our incredible and talented artists. Art is work. We look forward to magnifying their accomplishments in September by shifting Month of the Artist to align with the celebration of Culture Days.”

Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women

“Aligning the Month of the Artist with Culture Days in September is a natural fit, and this change will help make the fall an even better time to recognize the important contributions of Alberta’s arts community. Artists are at the centre of everything we do, and we look forward to showcasing and celebrating them with our community this September.”

Jon Jackson, executive director, Theatre Calgary

Artists provided feedback about the potential of moving the Month of the Artist during this fall’s engagement to support the development of the Arts Professions Act. The proposed act, which is intended to promote greater economic security and professional recognition for artists in Alberta, is being developed as part of government’s commitment to support Alberta artists.

Alberta’s inaugural Month of the Artist was made by a Royal Proclamation through Order in Council on Nov. 14, 2018 establishing January as the annual Month of the Artist in Alberta. Alberta was the first and remains the only province in Canada to dedicate an entire month to the celebration and recognition of artists.

Alberta’s Artist in Residence Program, announced in conjunction with the province’s first Month of the Artist celebrations in January 2019, will also be moving to September. More details about the program will be announced soon.

Quick facts

  • In 2017, the visual and applied arts, and live performance industries contributed about $1.3 billion in GDP and sustained nearly 20,000 jobs in Alberta (source: Statistics Canada, Provincial and Territorial Culture Indicators, 2017).
  • According to the 2011 census, there were 11,300 artists in Alberta (eight per cent of all artists in the country).
  • Alberta Culture Days is part of the National Culture Days movement. Alberta has been celebrating Culture Days longer than any other province – since 2008.
  • Alberta’s first Artist in Residence is Lauren Crazybull, a Blackfoot Dene visual artist who resides in Edmonton. 

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