Calgary 2012: Federal Government Cancels Cultural Capital Program

Enjoy Calgary's Cultural Capital celebrations — they'll be the last.

The federal government announced Monday it's canceling the program, which provides funding on an annual basis to different communities for arts and cultural activities.

A notice posted on the Department of Canadian Heritage website says the Canada Cultural Investment Fund, which funds the Cultural Capitals of Canada program, is being canceled as part of the 2012 budget.

"Therefore, the Cultural Capitals of Canada designations of 2012 were the final communities to receive awards," the notice reads.

Calgary and the Niagara Region were designated as Cultural Capitals of Canada in 2012. Each received $1.625 million in federal funding.

A total of 42 communities have been designated as Cultural Capitals since the program started in 2002.

Karen Ball, executive director of the cultural organization Calgary 2012, says the Cultural Capital events being planned in the city "will leave a good legacy for the program."

"We feel very happy that Calgary was able to be included in the long list of Canadian cities to have been named Cultural Capital of Canada," Ball says.

Ball says Calgary 2012 is continuing to roll out new programs with the funding received from the Canada Cultural Investment Fund, including the Grassroots Inspired Grants intiative, whose website officially launched today.

The initiative support individuals or groups that want to host community-specific cultural events with grants of $1,200.

As part of the initiative, a dozen grants will be awarded each month based on votes from the public. Another dozen will be selected by members of Calgary 2012 Cultural Ambassador program. Three wildcat projects will also be selected by the Calgary 2012 curator, Michael Green.

Members of the public can vote for their favourite projects, or propose their own, at

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