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We are the organizational face and collective voice that is needed to provide arts advocacy at all levels of government. We work to identify and partner with community leaders and influencers to champion the need for arts hubs, live/work space, and look for other opportunities to grow arts spaces in Edmonton.

Past Projects

We have worked hard with the City of Edmonton Sustainable Development, the Edmonton Arts Council and the arts community to amend zoning bylaws that will positively impact arts space and activities. The complete scope of work includes:

  • Investigations of current bylaws and regulations to identify gaps and opportunities;
  • Research into best practices in other municipalities;
  • Community stakeholder consultations and a citywide survey hosted by Arts Habitat Association to understand actual impediments;
  • Investigation into comparative information;
  • A summary of relevant findings;
  • Team working meetings to respond to the information;
  • A defined set of actions and solutions to be vetted through City-hosted stakeholder consultation
  • Council Approval and implementation

Arts Habitat Review of Arts Spaces and Issues

Review of Art Space Issues in Edmonton, A Summary Report Prepared by Arts Habitat Edmonton summarizes Arts Habitat’s research, findings, and recommendations made within the Bylaws Unit and the Licensing Departments internal review of civic regulations.

Affordability and sustainability are central issues raised by the arts community. These issues necessitate an in-depth review of development incentives and initiatives to retain and encourage more affordable and appropriate arts spaces. It is ArtsHab’s hope that further action will be taken with the City to address this and integrate those in plans moving forward.

2012 Zoning Bylaw Text Amendments and Report

Arts Habitat created a working task force with the City of Edmonton and reviewed the current bylaws and regulations to identify gaps and opportunities. This enabled Arts Habitat to find solutions that resulted in improving and increasing opportunities for a broad range of art space uses in Edmonton.

We are particularly proud of the new Creation and Production Establishment definition that unequivocally describes studio space for artistic disciplines across the board. Equally, the new Media Studio makes room for new modes of digital design and production. Both of these uses will now be discretionary uses in the coveted industrial zones.

We are no less proud of the changes made to Live/Work Unit. Not only will it now be allowed across all commercial zones, it has been simplified and stripped of obstacles to artist uses.

You can find them all now online in Zoning Bylaw 12800.

A big thank you. Current and future arts community may remain blissfully unaware of the significant and sustained effort made on their behalf. However, the impact of these changes will be significant for the arts ecology in Edmonton for many years if not decades to come. Ultimately your efforts could very well have a long term ripple effect both locally and nationally. Congratulations!

Paul Reich - Arts Branch Grants Consultant, Alberta Foundation for the Arts

Creative Space Needs & Issues

“Space for the arts” is our priority.

The 2008 Art of Living Plan for Securing the Future of Arts in the City of Edmonton made the reinvigoration of Arts Habitat its #1 priority to ensure and sustain arts space in Edmonton. To accomplish this goal, Arts Habitat engages in arts community consultation and research to understand and determine our creative space opportunities and challenges.

A healthy relationship between space and the arts is essential in our city. Artists need space to create, to gather, to perform, to live.

John Mahon, Executive Director, Edmonton Arts Council


A working group made up of representatives from Community Services, Edmonton Chamber of Volunteer Organizations, the Multi-cultural Coalition, and Arts Habitat worked laboriously to understand the considerable amount of resources people use in trying to find suitable and affordable rental spaces. It was vital for Arts Habitat to understand the current arts space situation in Edmonton and a comprehensive Creative Space Needs & Issues Survey was conducted to uncover the needs of the art community. The results of the survey have been used to create solutions for positive change for space issues, including zoning bylaws and regulations.

Arts Habitat continues to compile data from various sources in order to determine known space issues.