ArtsCommon 118 kicks off with a bang Party introduces hub design and programming to the community

MARIL MURRAY

On Aug. 29 at 6 pm, everyone is invited to the first ArtsCommon 118 Community Party.

The party, taking place on the very land that will hold the two-building creative hub, will feature light fare, live music, and the current design and programming concepts. The design presentation will run twice, with the first seating at 6:30 pm, and the second an hour later.

ArtsCommon 118 was sparked in 2007, thanks to former mayor Stephen Mandel, Christy Morin, executive director of Arts on the Ave (AOTA), and the support of the Avenue Initiative. The hub will bring multiple benefits to the district. The design includes live-work space for artists, a black-box theatre, commercial retail, a music school, art markets, informal performance areas, exhibition space, offices, outdoor markets, a café, and two rooftop garden farms. With sustainability and net-zero in mind, the design will include solar panels, high R-value materials, and geothermal heating options.

Momentum for ArtsCommon 118 has been growing ever since the City of Edmonton offered the old Alberta Cycle building to the community as a gathering place, who used it for theatre and art events until it was demolished due to structural problems. The grassy space where it stood, as well as the empty lots across 92 Street (east of the Nina), will house the hub. The street and alley will be transformed into a pedestrian area of shopping, culture, and vitality.

“We’re eager to get shovels in the ground,” said Morin. “ArtsCommon 118 is important to AOTA, its board, and the community. We’re hoping to see both longtime and new community members at the party—we need everyone’s input.”

Past community consultations and design charrettes led by AOTA created the project name, focus, and purpose, and formed the basis for a recent feasibility study by Manasc Isaac Architects.

AOTA’s partner on this project is Edmonton Community Development Company (ECDC). Mark Holmgren, ECDC’s executive director, explained the economic benefits of the project: “ArtsCommon 118 will bring jobs to the area, not only during construction, but also into the future as ECDC operates and maintains the building.”

ECDC, like other CDCs across North America, exists to undertake economically viable projects that bring direct social benefits to communities. Learn more at www.edmontoncdc.org.

We look forward to seeing you there! Please RSVP to mlpolydore@edmontoncdc.org.


ARTSCOMMON 118 COMMUNITY PARTY

Aug. 29, 6 pm

Grassy space on 118 Ave and 92 St


Featured Image: Kaleido’s Tawakin Village 2017 on ArtsCommon 118 land. | Christy Morin

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