Published on October 12, 2021

2020 Culture Report Card Shows Resilience through Adversity

There’s no doubt that the cultural industries took a heavy hit in 2020, while they waged a year-long negotiation with a pandemic that was acutely uncompromising.

‘Mass gatherings,’ as we now see them, were central to most artistic encounters. Whether it be at a concert, a musical, a play or a festival, bringing people together to revel in a shared experience was at the core of the job. To celebrate, to empathize, to understand, to tell our communal stories—that’s what the arts do and that was made, at first blush, very nearly impossible while battling COVID-19.

The newly released 2020 Report on Culture tells the story of the cultural branch of the City of St. Albert’s Community Services Department, as they re-imagined service delivery—diving into the world of digital presenting and navigating the ‘new normal.’ After all, if there is a branch that should exemplify the creative aspect of creative-problem solving, it’s cultural services.

Despite how difficult 2020 was for all residents, St. Albertans were still able to experience some cultural highlights in the past year; including,

  • Virtual arts and cultural programming from the safety of their homes. This shift from in-person participation to virtual not only kept participants safe from COVID-19, but also disassembled some of the physical barriers to accessing cultural programming and provided increased accessibility for all.
  • The new Arts Development Advisory Committee was established. This Committee is devoted to policies that will support the development of the Arts and artists in our community 
  • Infrastructure projects moved forward. City employees focused on restoration, renovation and maintenance projects while supporting an update to St. Albert’s Heritage Sites Functional Plan to reflect completed work and to accommodate Area Structure Plan changes. 

To learn more about the City’s cultural priorities and the details of both the successes and challenges of providing cultural programing in 2020, please read through the full report card

The report underscores the flexibility, resiliency and resourcefulness of the Community Services department, as well as our residents deep love and passion for the arts, both in terms of participation and appreciation. As we continue to face COVID-19, it also serves as a reminder of just how irrepressible the arts are, especially in the Botanic Arts City. 

Photo Credit: Ash Halinda

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Last edited: October 13, 2021