Photo credit: Gerard Yunker 

Photo credit: Gerard Yunker 



CALGARY, August 14, 2018

Contemporary Calgary proudly announces the appointment of David Leinster as Chief Executive Officer. 

David joins Contemporary Calgary having built a successful career leading brand strategy, marketing and digital communications for Enbridge Inc. Prior to that, he led a series of high profile corporate and non-profit accounts at local branding firm, Karo Group.

No stranger to the visual arts community, David has been involved with Contemporary Calgary in a leading role, most significantly with our successful Expression of Interest submission for the Centennial Planetarium in 2013. He has also acted as a strategic advisor for the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Art. 

“The Board is thrilled to welcome David in this capacity,” says Jay Mehr, Chair of Contemporary Calgary. “What we needed was an energetic leader with a diverse skillset who knows how to build bridges, align vision, garner support from the community and manage a complex project,” Mehr added. “We have every confidence that David is the right person to lead us forward, and that our organization will thrive under his leadership.”

The appointment of Mr. Leinster comes at an exciting time for the organization. On June 19, Contemporary Calgary and the City of Calgary announced a lease agreement that will see the organization transform the Centennial Planetarium—former home of the Calgary Science Centre—into a world-class destination for modern and contemporary art. Prior to when Contemporary Calgary begins its transformation of the space, the City will complete a significant renovation to bring the planetarium into compliance with current building codes. This work is expected to be complete by December of this year.

“The planetarium has always been a place where Calgarians have come to learn, be challenged and inspired,” says Leinster, who officially took his post on August 7. “I’m looking forward to working with our team, engaging with our partners—and all Calgarians—to help turn this vision into reality.” 

Contemporary Calgary is actively focusing on a number of priorities, including community engagement and programming, developing a sound business and operating plan, engaging in an architectural competition for the development of the space, and capital campaign development.



Pierre Arpin steps down as Director & CEO of Contemporary Calgary

CALGARY, August 14, 2018

We would like to thank Pierre Arpin for his leadership and commitment to Contemporary Calgary and share that Pierre will be stepping down as Director & CEO effective August 17, 2018.

Over the past two years that Pierre has been with Contemporary Calgary we have had an ambitious and successful public program with more than 2,400 participants in the first year; we secured multi-year operating funding from Canada Council and confirmed an 18.4% increase in Alberta Foundation for the Arts funding for 2019. 

Contemporary Calgary is now moving into a new phase of our evolution that requires building project management skills as we shift our focus to next steps in our Centennial Planetarium project.  We thank Pierre for his leadership over the past two years and wish him success as he continues his journey.  

Pierre is a principled and ethical leader who has managed our planned transition well.



The City of Calgary and Contemporary Calgary announce lease agreement, paving way for new gallery in the Centennial Planetarium

CALGARY,  June 19, 2018

The City of Calgary and Contemporary Calgary are pleased to announce a lease agreement has been reached, enabling a new world-class gallery for modern and contemporary art to be opened in the Centennial Planetarium in 2019.

“This agreement is excellent news for Calgarians and our cultural sector. Our Centennial Planetarium has significant historic and symbolic value to our citizens, and making it the home for Contemporary Calgary feels like a perfect fit. Thanks so much to my colleagues who have worked incredibly hard over the past years to make this happen. Together, we’re helping all Calgarians live a creative life,” says Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

Over the past several months, The City and Contemporary Calgary have been negotiating lease provisions and working to confirm requirements for future improvements.

Contemporary Calgary has worked to amalgamate three longstanding Calgary art institutions: The Institute for Modern and Contemporary Art (IMCA), the Art Gallery of Calgary (AGC) and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). With a sound financial footing, a strong board of directors and a clear vision for the organization, Contemporary Calgary will transform the Centennial Planetarium into an art gallery that will put Calgary on the map as a destination for the visual arts.

“We are excited to bring new life to the Planetarium—a place with historic significance and where Calgarians have a long history of going to learn, be challenged and inspired,” says Jay Mehr, Board Chair of Contemporary Calgary. “With the clear direction of our organization, the support and commitment from the City in this lease agreement, and the passion in the community to put Calgary on the map as a visual arts destination, we are turning vision into reality.”

Prior to Contemporary Calgary moving into the building, The City is performing a significant renovation to bring the planetarium into compliance with current building codes. The capital spend of $24.5 million is expected to be complete by December of this year. The renovation will support a new cultural space in the building and add to Calgary’s cultural infrastructure, while helping to re-vitalize the surrounding neighbourhood.

Please see our news release for full details.