Disability arts group returns 'home' 5 months after arena collapse with plans for new campus
Indefinite Arts Centre was forced out of its home when the adjacent Fairview Arena roof caved in
A disability arts group that was forced to leave its southeast Calgary space earlier this year when the roof of the adjacent arena collapsed was able to move back in on Monday.
People at the Indefinite Arts Centre had to get out quickly on Feb. 20 when word came that the roof of the Fairview Arena was in danger of caving in.
The group left its space by 3:30 p.m. and the roof of the adjacent arena came down an hour later.
The Fairview Arena was deemed structurally unsafe by city engineers and the fire department the day before the collapse.
The not-for-profit society — the oldest and largest of its kind in Canada — has been temporarily operating out of the Shane Homes YMCA in Rocky View.
On Monday, a welcome back block party marked the group's return to its old location in Fairview.
Group spokesman Jung-Suk Ryu says it's good to be home.
"When we were forced to leave, one of the sad parts of that was that we were leaving our home. We were leaving the Fairview community, a community that our artists know and feel comfortable, feel welcome to be a part of," he said.
The adjacent arena, which was built in 1972, was carefully demolished in March so that inspectors could try to pinpoint what caused the roof to collapse.
The incident prompted the city to inspect approximately 40 arenas that were built between 1960 and 1980.
Indefinite Arts also unveiled plans Monday for a new home to be built on the same site on Fairmount Drive, billed as a "Banff Centre" style campus for artists with disabilities.
The proposed National accessArts Centre is envisioned as a purpose-built accessible, multidisciplinary arts hub that will have expanded arts studios, galleries, retail spaces and a flexible, black box theatre space with both indoor and outdoor stages.
The Indefinite Arts Centre has signed an agreement to partner with the dance company Momo Movement.
"Though we provide a wide range of programming and engage artists and participants across the disability spectrum, we've never had a space of our own," said the company's general manager Talia Potter in a release.
"By partnering with Indefinite Arts Centre as a resident company in the new National accessArts Centre, Momo sees exponential growth in the future, not only for our company, but the disability arts sector altogether."
About 300 artists per week use current studio space at the Indefinite Arts Centre, according to the organization.
"Working alongside talented instructors, our artists are supported and empowered to experience the entire artistic creation process — from conceptualization to exhibition," the group said in a release.