35 years ago, Alberta artists stood up and helped when the people of Edmonton needed it.
Today, we, the artist inheritors of that legacy need your help.
We at Harcourt House Artist Run Centre have been informed that the lease for our buildings, which ends November 30, 2022, will not be renewed.
We do have an opportunity to purchase Harcourt House and make this home permanent and stable.
This is a do-or-die situation.
In order to secure the ownership of Harcourt House a total of 3.5 million dollars must be raised.
The vast majority of the money needed will be raised through a combination of major donors ($100,000.00 + each) and Government sources.
We at Harcourt House Artist Run Centre also recognize and appreciate from our deepest hearts that not everyone has that kind of money to give. That is why we set up this GoFundMe campaign, for people who want to help with whatever amount that they can afford to contribute. Please know that every penny helps and is appreciated in our quest to save Harcourt House and that your donations are absolutely necessary for us to achieve our ultimate goal.
A modest goal was set for a variety of reasons, if we at Harcourt House have underestimate the generosity of our supporters, we will raise the goal amount to reflect that support. All of the money raised will go toward the long-term survival of Harcourt House Artist Run Centre.
The story of Harcourt House Artist Run Centre
July 31, 1987 the Black Friday Tornado struck the City of Edmonton. Within days of that devastating event Brian Clark, an Indigenous sculptor originally from Fort McMurray, approached Lorraine Noel who worked in the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Edmonton with the idea for “Artists for Tornado Relief”.
Clark and Noel brought together a group of artists who, in under six weeks, organized and staged an art auction fundraiser. More than two hundred artists from across Alberta donated their work. The Brick Warehouse furniture store supplied vans to transport the donated art that was collected at the Canadian Native Friendship Centre. The event was held at the Edmonton Gardens (the pre-cursor of the Coliseum Arena). The auction event was televised, and people could phone in to place bids. The event was opened by then Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, Her Honour, The Honourable Helen Hunley, and was attended by City of Edmonton Mayor Laurence Decore. The money raised was handed over to the Red Cross for distribution to people affected by the Tornado.
Out of devastation a community developed.
After the successful fundraiser, the organizing group of artists decided to continue the momentum. A not-for-profit society (Where Edmonton Community Artists Network (W.E.C.A.N.) Society) was established and a search for a home was undertaken. With the help of Hon. Ernie Isley, the Minister of Public Works for the Province of Alberta, a location was secured. On September 1, 1988, the W.E.C.A.N. Society moved into the Harcourt House buildings, which has been its home ever since.
Harcourt House Artist Run Centre has presented an ongoing schedule of exhibitions by artists from Alberta, across Canada, and from around the world for thirty-four years. Education programs have offered workshops and ongoing development opportunities to people who are just beginning their journey as an artist to seasoned professionals, all working side-by-side. This includes an ongoing program that is offered free of charge to individuals who face a variety of barriers so that they have they opportunity to express themselves through visual art.
We are truly Thankful, and our Hearts are full of Gratitude for every donation that we receive.
Every person who contributes to this campaign, in whatever amount that they can, is helping Harcourt House Artist Run Centre remain vibrant far into the future.
All contributors toward Harcourt House Artist Run Centre Endurable Fund will be listed on Harcourt House’s website. Benefactors making contributions in the amount of $250 and higher will be featured on a Harcourt House Permanent Legacy Project Wall.
Together, W.E.C.A.N. continue the legacy of supporting our Alberta Artists!