Best of Calgary

Beltline association’s new hub a building BLOX for the inner city artistic community

Consider it a community centre.

Or, maybe even better, a clubhouse.

Where everyone’s invited, all are welcome.

The BLOX Arts Centre.

The new Beltline spot at 625 11 Ave. S.W. is hoping to become a much used and valued central venue for the entire Calgary arts and culture community.

The room is the work of BLOX, a community of businesses, opportunities, and experiences nestled in the heart of Calgary’s historic Beltline District, and the Beltline Business Improvement Association.

The project has been spearheaded by Adrian Urlacher, the executive director of BLOX, and also the man beside winter music festival BIG! Winter Classic.

Featuring rooms available for visual art exhibits, small concerts, etc., everyone in the arts community — be they creator or consumer — should make it a regular room to view it all.

We talked to Urlacher about the venue, what it’s for, who it’s for, and what they hope to achieve with it

What exactly is it or what do you envision it being, becoming?

The BLOX Arts Centre was brought to life by a passionate team of community leaders, artists and city builders who believe in the transformative power of the arts. Through their shared vision this centre aspires to invigorate the local arts scene, nurture emerging talents, and create a welcoming space where creativity can flourish.

The centre boasts a variety of versatile spaces, including a spacious gallery, performance stage, podcast room, and bar. These multipurpose areas are designed to accommodate diverse artistic endeavours, allowing for exhibitions, workshops, rehearsals, and performances.

BAC has already hosted numerous events during its first month in operation, including the SkunkWorks Invitational Jiu Jitsu Tournament, AAWEAR’s launch of Alberta’s first federally funded drug checking program and multiple album release parties for local Calgary bands. In total the centre has welcomed over 1,500 people through its doors to enjoy the arts and the Beltline BIA expects that number to multiply exponentially throughout the remainder of the 2023. 

Who is it for and how can they access it?

Anyone and everyone — arts- and culture-based programming is out core mandate. 

What do you hope comes from it?

Downtown vibrancy and economic return for the Beltline. More people on the streets. at one point Electric Avenue defined this city’s entertainment and nightlife. We are hoping to achieve and fresh, new and mature renaissance for the Beltline. 

Why do you think its important?

Calgary has been losing live, connective spaces for years in the downtown. Having an inclusive space that caters to all ages, nationalities and preference is key to the revitalization of our city. Blox Arts Centre is here to help mentor and host events, shows, workshops, seminars and beyond with the least amount of financial restrictions

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