Crowdfunding breeds sustainability for Calgary arts & culture scene

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Calgary Herald | Brock Willis | March 26, 2014

Crowdfunding creative arts and cultureCalgary’s pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit has harnessed the power of crowdfunding to create a hotbed for arts and culture in the city.

Home to the first city in Canada to launch and operate a community sourced funding platform, InvestYYC (www.investyyc.com) is ensuring that a sustainable culture of citizen engagement and participation is hardwired into its a vibrant, dynamic and growing arts cultural scene. Launched in November 2012, InvestYYC has already raised more than $600,000 through donations for approximately 50 projects ranging from dance productions, to video and new media installations. According to Emiko Muraki, Director, Impact & Engagement of Calgary Arts Development, the not-for-profit organization responsible for administering the platform, projects on the platform have achieved a 97% funding rate.

While InvestYYC’s ability to leverage the community has been the key to its funding success, it’s also rooted in the platforms origins.

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In 2012, the city was designated Cultural Capital of Canada title along with the Niagara region in southern Ontario. In a pivotal development, Calgary 2012 launched a website to crowd source bid ideas and of the 5,000 voices assembled, one of the ideas that quickly emerged was to leverage the one-time infusion of capital by building a sustainable fundraising tool for artists and arts organizations to broaden audiences and donor communities. “There’s long term resonance. Champions of culture are bonded with the arts environment,” says Karen Ball, former Chair of Calgary 2012.

A bonus for donors is that because the platform is administered through a municipally funded arts organization, all donations are eligible for tax receipts. Fundraising projects can be browsed through and filtered by popularity, recently funded, ending soon, by date added as well as by project category.

As the site continues to grow, so does the donor base. “Our future strategies will seek to expand our network to include those who may be unaware of charitable opportunities in the arts as well as a concentrated effort to convert one-time donors to multi-project donors,” says Emiko.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada crowdfunding hub providing education, advocacy and networking opportunities in the rapidly evolving crowdfunding industry. NCFA Canada is a community-based, membership-driven entity that was formed at the grass roots level to fill a national need in the market place. Join our growing network of industry stakeholders, fundraisers and investors. Increase your organization’s profile and gain access to a dynamic group of industry front runners. Learn more About Us | Prezi or contact us at casano@ncfacanada.org.

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