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Empowering Artists Through Business

Updated: Apr 1, 2021

The Rozsa Foundation has been lucky to connect with the team at ATB Arts and Culture in several ways, but most importantly by sharing values. Most recently we offered our third consecutive Rozsa Admin Fundamentals Training program (RAFT) in Edmonton at the ATB Arts and Culture branch.

We were also pleased to have Stephanie Horner, Culture Banker and Royal Conservatory trained pianist/instructor from the Calgary Branch, take part in our Calgary RAFT program.

"The Branch for Arts and Culture is for creatives, by creatives. We advocate specifically for arts and culture industries in our local community. Attending the RAFT workshop highlighted the same challenges I see with our members looking for clarity on their creative operations, who they serve and how they serve the community." - Stephanie Horner, Culture Banker

In just over a year ATB has developed a new way of connecting with the creative community in Alberta with the launch of the ATB Arts and Culture Branch initiative. The concept was new, but the motivation directly connected with the mandate of ATB to listen and understand the challenges that Albertans face, and in this case the challenges artists face. The ATB Branch for Arts and Culture has established two branches’, one in Edmonton located in the CKUA building on Jasper Avenue, and the other in Calgary on Stephen Avenue and Centre Street.

The Branch has hired a team of culture bankers and experts who are not only bankers but are also artists. The ATB Arts and Culture branch team are unique in that they understand the challenges facing artists and arts organizations when it comes to banking by breaking down the barriers and fears that come with a financial institution.

The Arts and Culture Branch initiative was developed with the concept of connecting and strengthening Alberta’s Creative community, providing unique advice and networking opportunities, removing the fear and barriers that come from banking, viewing artists as entrepreneurs, and tailoring workshops to creatives.

Our shared values continue to overlap, as last week members of the Rozsa Foundation were able to participate in a workshop offered by ATB on mental health, self-care, burnout and compassion fatigue. This workshop was fantastic and something crucially important to the arts sector, where we work in an environment with high expectations, tight timelines, and limited resources. The most important element we left with from this session was being compassionate, to your colleagues, to your staff, and to yourself. Treating mental health with the same level of understanding and respect as we would treat a physical ailment.

In a sector that can feel disconnected, finding partners that share our values and understand our challenges can be difficult, but we have seen that ATB has put a focus on supporting and connecting with the arts. We look forward to what is coming next from ATB and hope to see other businesses in Alberta follow their lead.

By Derek Stevenson

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