Social profit provides community tools to artistic residents

A Day in the Life – Arts Council Wood Buffalo

By THERESA WELLS, Connect Contributor


The vibrant and energetic arts community in the Wood Buffalo region received a new advocate in 2012 when the Arts Council Wood Buffalo (ACWB) was formed.

Constance Scarlett, the ACWB Executive Director, said: “The Arts Council was formed in order to raise the profile of the arts in our region and to speak with one voice on behalf of the hundreds of artists, of all disciplines, that call Wood Buffalo home. The first Board of Directors was elected in December 2013 and is made up of leaders from all areas of the arts sector.”

Since the formation of the ACWB, the organization has been busy connecting with both the arts community in the region, as well as, developing a strong public profile.

“Arts Council Wood Buffalo’s primary goals are: to ensure that the arts community is connected and has the resources to thrive, and that the arts are recognized as essential in creating a balanced community. ACWB is working towards building the capacity of our local arts community by providing learning opportunities to which local artists would not normally have access. These include our Business of the Arts Workshop Series (which focuses specifically on the business side of being an artist) and collaborations with other arts organizations to bring in discipline-specific training; such as voice master classes, or film production workshops. We also provide free consultative services to our membership on everything from grant writing to portfolio development,” said Scarlett.

She added: “ The Arts Council also works diligently to promote our growing and vibrant arts community through: partnerships that increase the number of arts opportunities for our community; Arts Tours of our city which showcase the people, places, and programs that make our arts sector successful; and, our on-line Cultural Calendar and Artist Directory.”

Key ACWB achievements to date have been six Business of the Arts workshops, as well as, sector-specific partnership workshops with the Fort McMurray Filmmakers Association and the Fort McMurray Music Teacher’s Association in 2015, participation in the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games, a partnership with the RMWB to create community events and the launch of the Wood Buffalo Artist Directory.

“Arts Council Wood Buffalo is currently completing the first ever arts impact study for our region,” she said. “The coming year will also see the Arts Council expand upon its Arts Tours (primarily for visiting artists and dignitaries) and work across sectors to investigate the possibility of a regional cultural tourism strategy as well as opportunities to use our arts community to attract and retain skilled workers. The Arts Council is also in the process of developing an annual Regional Arts Showcase and Awards Program which would recognize local established and emerging artists from all disciplines.”

Learn more about the ACWB online at and visit its Facebook page.

– Connect Weekly –