Fall 2016 Update

With Council approval, we will start working with partners Calgary Arts Development, Calgary Economic Development, Tourism Calgary, Ethno-Cultural Council of Calgary, Federation of Calgary Communities, Calgary Heritage Authority and other cultural organizations to build out an implementation plan that will enable us to fulfil the goals and objectives outlined in the Cultural Plan.

View the Cultural Plan for Calgary and Culture Shift, an overview of the plan.


What is culture?

In the broadest sense, culture is anything that defines the unique identity of a community or social group. Those characteristics often include social customs, seasonal traditions, cuisine, fashion, music and religious expression. Culture also includes less obvious aspects of our lives such as heritage (both built and natural), community initiatives, the creative arts industries and much more.

Developing the Cultural Plan

The Cultural Plan will allow us to understand what cultural resources we have, help identify the gaps and plan for what we need to do in the future. The Cultural Plan will demonstrate what a culturally rich city Calgary is, and how culture strengthens our economy and improves the quality of life for all Calgarians.

The plan will guide decision-making and planning internally within The City and externally with partners. A first for Calgary, the Cultural Plan will support long-term planning, better integrate culture into municipal planning initiatives and provide recommendations to be implemented over the next 10 years. It will reflect Calgary as it is today and take into consideration the demographic trends impacting the city into the future.

MDB Insight has been contracted to help develop the Cultural Plan. The Plan is expected to be delivered in 2016 to help realize City Council’s goal of making Calgary “a great place to make a living, a great place to make a life.”


More than 850 Calgarians have provided input into the development of the Cultural Plan. Your valuable contributions throughout the engagement process have helped us to fully understand the scope of our current cultural resources and start planning for future needs and opportunities.

What We Heard Report

How Calgarians have been engaged

We talked to a broad and diverse range of people from the community about what culture in Calgary means to them. The extensive consultation process was carried out between October and December 2015, and included:

  • One-on-one interviews and small group discussions with over 60 Calgarians that included representation from creative and cultural businesses, non-profit organizations, Indigenous leaders and youth, ethno-cultural leaders, young professionals, elected officials and senior management from The City of Calgary.
  • Seven focus group discussions, geared to the themes of public art and festival and events, The City and its external partners, culture and neighbourhood development, culture and Indigenous communities, culture and ethno-cultural communities, heritage resources and conservation, and creative industries and sector development.
  • Community soundings in six neighbourhoods.
  • Two online engagement platforms that were available for comment
  • A statistically valid telephone survey of 600 people to gauge Calgarians’ perceptions of culture and to understand current types of participation.