Conferences and symposia

As a leading centre for education and research, AUArts offers special programming throughout the year to enrich life on campus and the greater arts community.


OCT 2016 - Canadian Crafts Federation 2017 Conference

Cultivating Craft: Pathways to Practice

During October 2017 AUArts hosted the CCF Cultivating Craft: Pathways to Practice Conference a two-day event focused on contemporary craft education and the exploration of ideas from outside formal educational structures.

With a spotlight on Indigenous recognition and representation, the impact of mentorship, residency activity and lifelong career sustainability the conference supported AUArts' New MFA program and commitment to contemporary craft.

Supporting the event was AUArts' Premier Keynote Speaker, Shannon Stratton, Museum of Arts and Design New York, William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator and our 2017 Craft Resident, Katrin Steiger, artistic assistant and lecturer in the school of Media, Trend and Public Appearance at the Bauhaus-University, Weimar Germany. 

FEB 2016 - WHERE NEXT?: Creative Writing, Narrative, Film + Contemporary Art

For two days students, teachers, artists and anyone excited about the future of writing, graphic novels, screenwriting, and script gathered at AUArts for WHERE NEXT? a creative writing, narrative, film and contemporary art symposium.
Co-ordinated by Calgary's 2014-2016 Poet Laureate, and AUArts Instructor, Derek Beaulieu, WHERE NEXT? featured nationally and internationally-recognized artists, Calgary teachers and practitioners, AUArtsstaff and students -- all focused on creative writing and radical pedagogy. 
“There is so much cutting edge inquiry happening right here in our city that I’m thrilled to help bring in artists from across North America in a celebration exploring the future of writing, text and visuality.” Derek Beaulieu

2015 - Stronger than Stone: (RE)Inventing the Indigenous Monument

Communities today extend far beyond traditional boundaries and AUArts is engaging the global arts community by discovering unique ways to contribute to community-based cultural well-being that can, on occasion, lead the international discourse on artmaking.

Thanks in part to grants from Suncor, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Calgary Foundation, AUArts and the Illingworth Kerr Gallery were able to participate in a conceptually ground-breaking four-day symposium that took place in two cities in Alberta and Saskatchewan (read more about the Calgary Foundation and its support of AUArts). It is the first time that AUArts and the Illingworth Kerr Gallery have collaborated with interprovincial cultural and educational institutions to bring a highly inclusive symposium to multiple audiences.

With AUArts Illingworth Kerr Gallery taking the lead for the College, Stronger Than Stone: (Re)Inventing the Indigenous Monument, brought together world-renowned Indigenous and non-Indigenous speakers to engage in panel presentations, performances, and informal public dialogue about land forms as monuments, the power of language, memory, and the creation of public sites to represent recorded histories.

The intent of the symposium was to create a thought-provoking resource of diverse perspectives on Indigenous monuments and anti-monuments that would, in turn, inform artists, designers, curators, museum directors, public art commissioners, urban planners, architects, academics, policy makers, educators and others working to empower Indigenous cultures across Canada and internationally.

“Stronger Than Stone:…” was a symposium that gave unprecedented depth and range to the ideas presented by over thirty participants.  As much as AUArts is extending its community beyond its physical boundaries, the outcomes of the symposium extended beyond the art world - to the fields of urban planning, geography, education, and architecture, among others. Outcomes established models for the commissioning and production of new, “Indigenized” memorials. People working in these fields will better understand the often complicated interpretation and visual representation of collective or cultural memory, conflicting oral and written histories, and the human interdependence with the land.

“Stronger Than Stone:…” brought AUArts together with world-renowned creatives through the College’s unique collaboration with the Mendel Art Gallery, Museums 3.0, Kenderdine Art Gallery/University of Saskatchewan, and Wanuskewin Heritage Park, Saskatoon.

“Co-producing events and exhibitions such as “Stronger Than Stone:…” harnesses the connections and creativity of the collective, allowing us to bring a deeper experience to our students and the public in general”, says Wayne Baerwaldt, Director/Curator of the Illingworth Kerr Gallery.

It is through synergies such as the ones developed through “Stronger Than Stone:…” that AUArts will continue to strengthen educational experiences, grow support for the arts and cultural industries, and provide the public with exemplary ways for art and innovative thinking to be a vital part of the community, locally and globally.