"We recognize the creative voice of every citizen and believe that we are all richer for having listened."
No other organization is doing what This is My City does. Scale, scope, and inclusiveness distinguish TMC in the following ways:
This is My City Art Society (TMC) began life as a program of The City of Calgary's Arts & Culture department in 2008. A full year of multi-disciplinary arts programming involving over a dozen visual, theatre, music, and literary artists took place in homeless shelters, service agencies, public venues, and on the streets. Artists served as mentors, working alongside agency staff to provide increased opportunities for homeless and at-risk individuals to engage in art-making. They also facilitated opportunities for the resulting expressions to be shared with the broader community. Many of those involved were committed to continuing the work and in September 2010, we formed a nonprofit society with that objective.
In collaboration with The City of Calgary, TMC presented its first Festival in 2012 with the participation of many community partners such as the Central Library, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Calgary, and the High Performance Rodeo. TMC program participants shared the stage with theatre professionals. Paintings, drawing and photographs from TMC workshops were exhibited. Homeless voices were heard in panel discussions. The public watched, looked, listened, and responded.
The festival format offers a structure in which works produced in our year-round programs can be featured at an annual showcase. As the festival and TMC evolve, we look forward to deepening our relationship with our partners, broadening our reach in the public sphere, and continuing to provide meaningful avenues of creative expression for our program participants.