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Rural Artistic Initiative

Impacts Southern Alberta

RADF Investment: $1,431,800

Other Investment: $946,150

Total Investment: $2,377,950

Project Period: July 2008–December 2011

Economic Development Economic Development
Sports, Recreation or Culture Sports, Recreation or Culture

T: 403.553.4404, ext. 204


Project Description

The Rural Artistic Initiative allows the Empress Theatre Society to expand the Windy Mountain Music Festival to include training for rural-based classical musicians, tours to other rural Alberta communities, and off-season residencies with artistic partners across Alberta. Funding also allows the society to develop a system for restoring and screening historical films and a world music series, while modernizing its booking, promotional, and ticket sales systems.

The Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod is Alberta's oldest theatre. The 96-year-old venue is owned by the Town of Fort Macleod and currently hosts an annual film festival, annual music festival, live music and theatre, and daily first-run movies.

Expected Outcomes and Benefits         

All projects go through a selection process to ensure they will improve the quality of life for Albertans. This project meets this objective through the following outcomes and benefits:

  • Expand the arts community in southern Alberta
  • Increase interest in the Windy Mountain Music Festival from artists and patrons
  • Increase efficiencies by using new technologies for artist booking, information, and ticket sales
  • Increase success for the Empress Theatre by expanding programming and marketing
  • Empress has coverted to a digital format, ensuring the sustainability of the theatre.