Hon. Heather Klimchuk 
Minister of culture

As Minister of Culture, I have the opportunity to meet with many different people from all walks of life. What I have learned from them is that culture can mean many different things.

Culture can be that feeling of satisfaction that comes from finishing a good book or sharing an appetizer with a friend at a local eatery. It can be discovering locally-made products at your neighbourhood farmers’ market, or touring a local art gallery or museum with your family. However you define it, culture feeds the soul and makes us who we are.  Culture matters.

Defining culture

How we define culture is not as important as making sure culture has a presence in every person’s life. Part of my job is ensuring our province’s cultural life continues to flourish and that Albertans continue to enjoy a culturally rich life.

“How we define culture is not as important as making sure culture has a presence in every person’s life.”

Our unique Albertan culture not only adds to a better quality of life, it also makes our province and communities attractive to visitors and those building a life here. With Alberta’s population expected to reach five million by 2027, fostering growth and sustainability in our cultural, heritage, and volunteer sectors is important. There is unlimited potential. In 2012, Alberta’s creative industries were responsible for almost three percent of our province’s GDP, amounting to $8.2 billion.

So much to offer

The Government of Alberta is committed to building our province and building unique access points to culture through innovative programs and initiatives. These include the annual Alberta Culture Days celebration, which takes place the last weekend in September; as well as the Alberta Culture Calendar and mobile app, which lists hundreds of cultural events and activities throughout the province.

We also offer world class tourism and educational programming at our 19 historic sites and museums, and our Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium — and its Southern Alberta twin — are among the most successful live performance venues in Canada. We help support Alberta’s nonprofit agencies with grant funding, training, development and facilitation services so they can continue providing critical community services. We also provide support to artists and arts organizations through the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, as well as our cultural industries through the Alberta Media Fund.

We’re also building an environment where our current and next generation of cultural stars can continue to find work and mentorship opportunities close to home. This includes investing in infrastructure projects like the new Calgary Film Studio and the Mount Royal Conservatory.

Preparing for the future

Last year, 77,300 people were employed in creative industries in Alberta.  We’d like to see this number continue to grow. Our vision for the cultural future of this province is one that includes all levels of government, the private sector, our public institutions and individual Albertans working together to foster excellence in our people and our cultural industries. Together, we can build a future where the greatest risk for a career in the culture sector is creative risk.

Hon. Heather Klimchuk