Medicine Hat Media

No Alberta Arts Awards For Us

The council voted against the city’s public services committees recommendation to host the 2015 Lieutenant Governer of Alberta Arts Awards, typically a 2-4 day celebration. This event would have coincided with the Esplanade’s 10th anniversary and promote Medicine Hat’s art community.

It’s an estimated cost of $100,000 which has been argued that it would not draw thousands of people to the city the way large sporting events do. However, there’s an opportunity for the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games, which they guess would draw thousands of people – but would also cost $1,000,000.

Ald. John Hamill said the birthday of the Esplanade is nothing to celebrate, as many people opposed building it in the first place and “Many people have never darkened its door, and they never will.” Ald. Graham Kelly said if they’re supporting sports they need to support the arts as well.

The art community in Medicine Hat has grown significantly over the years, and recently lost the Struck Gallery. Now there’s no support for the Esplanade, and despite having equal ratios (10 times the cost, 10 times the turn out)  they’re favoring the sporting event. I would just like to toss in that I, and other people I know, haven’t “darkened the door” of the arena, and when the events center is built I don’t plan on entering it either.

User Comments

3 Responses to “No Alberta Arts Awards For Us”

  1. January 18th, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    Keri-Anne says:

    John Hamill keeps crying after spilled milk. The Esplanade exists, it serves a function a city like ours needs to fill. Like any other amenity in any city there will always be people who do not use the Esplanade. But there are plenty of people who have and will continue to darken its doors, many who never expected to do so. Just this morning I took a brief look at the guest book in the museum gallery – happy to see so many people list their hometown as Medicine Hat.

    The Arts Awards would have been a great opportunity to show off the facility and help our arts community create connections with like minded people in the province.

    Ald. Hamill needs to get over his bitter pill and start considering how to best use what we have to showcase Medicine Hat.

  2. January 18th, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    derek says:

    This is another example of council’s very short sightedness… Sad…

  3. January 25th, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    Dusty Melling says:

    Here’s a comment from the

    Ticked Off
    That some councillors would spend $100,000 for a four-day event that will bring nothing to Medicine Hat and are unwilling to spend money for an event centre that would bring thousands of people into town every year.

    The event center has a total capacity of 6, 164, and the total cost of the project is around $89,824,862, AND they want to spend 1, 000, 000 for the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games. It had BETTER bring THOUSANDS of people in, meaning every single event every year is completely sold out – remember the population of our city alone is 60, 000. Considering they want to spend 90 MILLION for the event center and can’t spend 100, 000 to appease the art crowd. NOBODY in council doesn’t want the event center, since the cost is so high some of them want to wait until it would be more a more financially stable idea.

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