Wednesday, April 4th marked the official kick-off of the Calgary 2012 movement. As you may have heard, Calgary has been successful in the attempt to be recognized as Canada’s Cultural Capital.
Being the 3rd largest city in Canada, and the 5th largest metropolitan area, Calgary has often been overlooked as a centre for cultural activity. Because artists, musicians, athletes and academics have been known to leave Calgary for Vancouver, Toronto, or Montreal (or worse, L.A or New York), the city can sometimes feel like a cultural dead-zone. One of Calgary’s biggest stars, Feist has a new city to call home, so it’s not surprising that some Canadians have this view. Calgary is better known for the oil, agriculture and outdoor spaces that make our city thrive through industry and tourism.
The Calgary 2012 team hopes to all change that. With a mandate to expose, support and create culture in our city, the team has put together a number of interesting programs to increase Calgary’s cultural output, and get the citizens out to experience this culture.
Community organizers and artists can look forward to grants, smart-phone junkies can get their fix with the forthcoming SceneYYC app, and the entire city is invited to take part in a lip-dub video. The lip-dub is being set to the 1970′s classic hit Sweet City Woman by the Stampeders, which was chosen for being the first international hit to come out of Calgary. Planned for some time in September, this event is sure to draw a crowd, and if all goes well, Calgary will have a viral video to show the world just how much culture we have.
The kick-off was attended by media, volunteers, Mayor Nenshi and other representatives from the City, as well as Calgary’s new Poet Laureate Kris Demeanor, who was joined by Anne Loree to do a live rendition of Sweet City Woman on guitar and accordion.
It was quite the kick-off for what should be an interesting year of culture for Calgary, and even if you still don’t believe that Calgary has culture by the end of the year, I can guarantee that Sweet City Woman is going to be stuck in your heard for most of 2012.