Arts + Culture now more accessible during challenging economic times

CALGARY, Aug. 2, 2016 /CNW/ - Just when financially barriered Calgarians need it most, access to arts + culture has become that much easier thanks to Sun Life Financial, Calgary Public Library, and more than 40 community partners.

Paul Joliat, Assistant VP, Philanthropy & Sponsorships, Global Marketing - Sun Life Financial was on hand today at Central Library as the highly successful program's new look and new digital format were unveiled.

"With unemployment at staggering levels, The Sun Life Financial Arts + Culture Pass brings the imagination and vibrancy of theatre, opera, museums, music, and festivals to Calgarians at a time when wonder and creativity are needed most," says Paul McIntyre Royston, President & CEO, Calgary Public Library Foundation.

In 2010, with support from the Calgary Foundation, the Library piloted a new initiative to provide arts and culture experiences to low-income Calgarians. The program was introduced at five community libraries in high-needs neighbourhoods for one year.

In 2012, the Calgary Public Library Foundation finalized a multi-year investment with Sun Life Financial to expand the program to all 18 community libraries throughout Calgary.  Over the life of the program, 36,500 tickets have been donated by more than 40 arts and culture partners with the ticket redemption rate growing to 95% by 2015.

"Sun Life Financial's renewed investment during these challenging economic times, speaks to their unwavering commitment to opening doors to arts and culture across Canada," said McIntyre Royston to the assembled crowd.

Guest speaker Ian David Moss underscored the importance of arts and culture in our community. Moss is Senior Director of Information Strategy at Fractured Atlas and founder of Createquity, an arts policy think tank.

Since the inception of the Sun Life Financial Arts + Culture Pass program, more than 30,000 Calgary Public Library patrons who are part of the City of Calgary Recreation Fee Assistance Program have had life changing arts and culture experiences. For more information, visit

Sun Life Financial is a Founding Partner of Add In—the Campaign for Calgary's Library, a bold, audacious vision to take a great library system and transform it into the best in the world for Calgarians. The city-wide campaign will build capacity for each and every community library and will include projects with a strong impact for Library patrons. For more information, visit

The Calgary Public Library Foundation was created in 1999 to provide an opportunity for all Calgarians to participate in building a library system for today and future generations. Its vision is to enable the citizens of Calgary to have the best public library in the world.


The Sun Life Financial Arts + Culture Pass program receives thousands of donated tickets annually from more than 40 community partners:

  • Aero Space Museum
  • Alberta Theatre Projects
  • Calgary Civic Symphony
  • Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre
  • Calgary International Children's Festival
  • Calgary International Film Festival
  • Calgary Multicultural Choir
  • Calgary Renaissance Singers & Players
  • Calgary Bach Society
  • Calgary Wind Symphony
  • Calgary Opera
  • Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Calgary United Scottish Games
  • Downstage
  • d.talks
  • Early Music Voices
  • Fort Calgary
  • Front Row Centre Players
  • Glenbow Museum
  • Honens
  • Instrumental Society of Calgary
  • Kensington Sinfonia
  • Land's End Ensemble
  • Luminous Voices
  • Lunchbox Theatre
  • Mount Royal Kantorei
  • New Works Calgary
  • One Yellow Rabbit
  • Rosebud Theatre
  • Royal Canadian College of Organists
  • Spiritus Chamber Choir
  • StoryBook Theatre
  • Theatre Junction
  • Theatre Calgary
  • University of Calgary
  • Vertigo Theatre
  • Vocal Latitudes
  • Youth Singers of Calgary

A very special thank you to our Founding Partners:

  • City of Calgary Recreation Department
  • Arts Commons
  • GlobalFest
  • Kids Up Front Calgary

SOURCE Calgary Public Library Foundation

Image with caption: "Arts + Culture Pass (CNW Group/Calgary Public Library Foundation)". Image available at:

For further information: Katherine Cormack, Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications, Calgary Public Library, M: 403.703.6431,


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