Plans revealed for $12M disability arts venue in northwest Calgary

A new $12-million multidisciplinary disability arts venue is in the works for northwest Calgary.

National accessArts Centre to be constructed on Brownsea Drive N.W.

An artist's rendering shows what the new National accessArts Centre in northwest Calgary will look like. (National accessArts Centre)

A new $12-million multidisciplinary disability arts venue is in the works for northwest Calgary. 

The National accessArts Centre will be constructed next to the former Scouts Canada building on Brownsea Drive N.W.

It will feature a performing arts venue, an art gallery and outdoor gathering spaces.

"This project will bring artists from across Canada to want to be able to be a part of this facility to showcase their work, to be trained in our facilities. It's going to really be one of a kind," said the group's executive director, J.S. Ryu.

(National accessArts Centre)

The building will also have the second location of Lil E Coffee Cafe, a local business that employs individuals with disabilities.

The federal government helped pay for planning and design of the project through its Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.

Ryu said organizers have applied for funding to built it through Infrastructure Canada's Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program, which can contribute as much as 60 per cent of the total project costs.

The centre would help make Canada a global player in this segment of the arts, according to Ryu.

"Every city has a performing arts venue, a museum, a visual arts gallery, but no other major metropolitan city on this side of the planet is going to have specific infrastructure that is designed for artists with disabilities," he said.

The plan is to have the new facility completed by the end of 2023.

Previously known as the Indefinite Arts Society, the organization was temporarily forced to leave its current home in 2018 when the roof of the adjacent Fairview Arena in the city's southeast collapsed under the weight of heavy snow.

(National accessArts Centre)
(National accessArts Centre)