2022 had an arts renaissance. Or at least it felt that way to us at Stagehand. It was a year of collaboration with arts champions. It was also a year where we won a national award for our work with Music Mile!
We kicked it off working with Calgary Arts Development and their Chinook Blast Winter festival. There was music in the Core Shopping Centre, on C-Train platforms and scattered throughout Downtown Calgary.
We partnered with CMLC and the East Village to help them program Hygge Hutt in C-Square. Despite the winter challenges we managed to have artists performing from January to the end of March. CMLC also ran a music program during the summer at the East Village Headquarters. Every Saturday afternoon, there were musical artists to entertain the people strolling the river walk.
Stagehand worked with the Calgary Downtown Association to activate Lot 6 in the west end with music on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout the summer, as well as along the Stephen Avenue Pedestrian Mall.
7th Avenue was alive with more than the C-Train for our Autumn Activations. There was live music at City Hall, the 6th Street train station, in the courtyard at Brookfield Place, as well as at South Bow Park.
One of our most exciting partnerships was with the City of Calgary. We brought forward the idea of activating Calgary’s downtown during weekday lunch hours by utilizing local musicians to fill office towers, food courts and the +15 walkway with music. “DowntownVibe” began Phase 1 in the spring. The City was encouraged by the results so we ran Phase 2 from September until the end of the year which included 153 performances, with 60 artists at 42 different locations! Property managers were happy to have easy access to the many talented musicians that inhabit our city. Tenants and the public surveyed were thrilled to have live music showing up in unexpected places as part of their day.
Stagehand began a relationship with the Calgary Public Library during the darkest days of the pandemic. They were keen to be a part of “The Music Mile” and so with our help, we connected the two organizations. Musicians began performing both inside and outside the Central Library. We continued working with them this year and expanded to the Memorial Park Library twice a week.
Our relationship with the Music Mile Society garnered us a national award from the Business/Arts organization. Stagehand founder Derek Manns and Music Mile President Rob Skeet flew to Toronto to accept the award. We received the Community Impact Award for partnering with Music Mile to use technology to help musicians earn money during the pandemic. We find ourselves in pretty good company bringing home this award; the previous winner was Netflix!
2022 was an eventful and busy year for Stagehand. We built solid new partnerships and strengthened existing ones. Data infrastructure may not be sexy (depends who you ask), but connecting artists and businesses certainly is.
We hope this art renaissance is here to stay. We plan to continue to create more opportunities for artists in both traditional and non traditional spaces while bringing culture to all walks of life.