A new Urban Arts Village for the Quarters Downtown
The vision for Artists Quarters is to provide support to multi-generational, mixed-income artists of all artistic disciplines in response to the increasingly critical need for affordable, appropriate, and sustainable housing option. Identified as an integral part of the redevelopment of the eastside of downtown Edmonton – The Quarters district — Mayor Don Iveson described Artists Quarters as a future “iconic and inspiring addition to downtown Edmonton.”
Artists Urban Village and Arts Habitat Edmonton, along with the City of Edmonton know the importance of this new facility for artists and arts organizations. Artists Quarters is a response to the increasingly critical need in Edmonton’s arts and cultural community for affordable and sustainable work space and the proven need for affordable housing options for low-income professional artists. Artists Quarters will be located on the site of the Koermann Block in a community that is rich in culture and artistic history.
Artist Quarters in the News
Six Projects That are Reshaping Downtown Edmonton – The Globe and Mail 02/2018
How One Area is Revitalizing and Keeping its Heart – Business in Edmonton 07/2018
Artists Quarters up for debate at Edmonton city council Monday – Global News 09/2016
The residential component to this development is a 13 story tower with 65 spaces providing live/work studio space and will include separate studios, single or family sized unites with different configurations to support a variety of artists. A percentage of the units will be supported through the Cornerstones programs for artists whose incomes are below the program’s income cap. We know from our business case study and the research we have invested that shows the average income of a Canadian artist is a third lower than the average wage in the overall labour force.
The opportunity provided by a live/work space will help offset costs for artists, be a unique facility that will offer the ability to collaborate, and be entrepreneurial in their mission and practice. It will be a community of artists and arts organizations living and working cohesively in an urban arts village.
Providing over 33,000 square feet of much needed arts space, the two-story podium will include gallery space, purpose-built space for different disciplines, working studio space, and offer programing to the citizens of Edmonton. These spaces will be managed by Arts Habitat and leased to users at an affordable rate. We believe that providing under-represented groups access to safe, affordable space, they will flourish as artists and participate as contributing members of the community.
This vibrant, active, mixed use facility will be at a key location to accelerate the creation of such an ambitious vision. Throughout the design process, the values have remained well defined. We are committed to sustainability and accessibility.
The Artists Quarters will be:
- Innovative residential and studio configurations
- Environmentally and economically sustainable
The total cost of Artists Quarters is $49.9M. The City of Edmonton has shown leadership commitment to Artists Quarters through a contribution of $8.3M, including the donation of land.
The total cost of the Podium component of Artists Quarters is $17.6M. It is anticipated that the Podium will be funded through contributed revenue from Arts Habitat and support from the three orders of government – with $6.8M the Government of Alberta and $8.8M Government of Canada (Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – $6.8M and Cultural Spaces – $2M) adding to the City’s contribution towards the Podium component.
With expression of interest from over 200 individual artists and 20 smaller not-for-profit arts organizations, our feasibility study identifies a strong demand for this development. Preliminary stakeholder identification and engagement was undertaken with the City of Edmonton in 2011. Since that time, many more have come forward as community stakeholders and believe in what this project can offer.
The City of Edmonton has shown leadership of their commitment to Artists Quarters through a contribution of $8.3 million, including the donation of land. Arts Habitat and the Artists Urban Village Cooperative are currently in the process of securing funding from the federal and provincial governments.