A lease agreement has been announced between Contemporary Calgary Arts Society and the City of Calgary which will enable a a new world-class gallery for modern and contemporary art to be opened in the Centennial Planetarium in 2019.

This is very exciting news for Canada and Calgarians (like myself). The Planetarium has long been considered a prime spot for a world class gallery.

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.