Today’s joint announcement by the city’s Museum of Contemporary Art Calgary (MOCA) and Institute of Modern and Contemporary Art (IMCA) marks a new chapter in Calgary’s cultural development. IMCA and MOCA share a common aspiration: to support Calgary as a centre of excellence in the visual arts and today the two organizations announced an MOU that sees the start of a joint endeavor to realize that ambition.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Calgary will present the best regional, national and international contemporary art, design and new media and deliver education programs and related activities that engage the wider community in the enjoyment of the visual arts. Michael Doyle, Chairman of MOCA said in a statement today “MOCA, in its various guises, has been presenting the visual arts in Calgary since the late 1980s and our intuition tells us that this is the right moment in the city’s evolution to take the next big step. We’ve been gaining momentum over the past year and our partnership with IMCA is part of the snowball effect as we head towards our goal of establishing a new venue for the visual arts in Calgary that the city can be proud of.”
IMCA Chairman, D’Arcy Levesque added that “We are delighted to be partnering with MOCA at this pivotal moment in Calgary’s economic and social development. Our city is growing and so is the appetite for culture amongst all sections of our population. Joining forces with MOCA allows us to align our resources towards a common goal of establishing a dedicated museum for contemporary art – offering Calgarians and visitors exceptional opportunities to connect with the art of our times.”
The partners are currently reviewing a short list of preferred and potential locations in the city Centre, including existing buildings and new developments. “In pursuit of our goal, we are in dialogue with a number of civic agencies,” says Mr Levesque “and we recognize that there is a lot of competing demand for the very best available sites. We see this competition as very positive however, and it makes us even more determined to put forward what we believe is a compelling case to establish a world class centre for the visual arts in Calgary.”
MOCA’s Artistic Director, Jeffrey Spalding reinforced this message of strength through collaboration, noting “We are stronger and more effective when we all work cooperatively together. Calgarians have longed to see a stand-alone full service art museum established, this announcement advances that cause. We will be seeking input from the community to inform and guide our aspirations as we endeavour to re-locate to a more appropriate permanent facility. There are a number of exciting options to be considered: renovating an existing structure or designing a new purpose-built museum. I’m confident that our community will work together to ensure that we will soon witness positive moves in this direction.”
A joint steering group will develop an implementation plan for the creation of the new facility and the establishment of a charitable foundation dedicated to ensuring the economic viability and sustainability of the museum and its programs for the foreseeable future.
While the search for a new home continues, MOCA continues to develop and deliver exhibition, education and community programs in celebration of Calgary 2012 our year as Cultural Capital of Canada.