Redux Series at containR by Springboard Performance

The Cause

Since its inception in 2009, containR, by Springboard Performance, has functioned as a flexible, roving platform bringing together artists, activists, and community to gather and engage with the possibility of living a creative life. containR connects thinkers, dreamers and doers working at the intersection of art and community.

containR Art Park in Sunnyside (1020 2nd Ave NW) has reinvigorated an empty city-owned lot since 2013 with an open-air theatre, murals painted by local Calgarians on the retrofitted shipping containers, and a courtyard suitable for safe artistic expression. Over the summer months, the space becomes a hive for community gatherings, cultural events, and unique performances.

In 2020, containR’s presence became even more integral to the community. As Calgarians face isolation and cancellations, containR is able to provide a safe meeting place; wherein new ideas, performances, workshops, permaculture events, and creative talks are shared, new experiences are had, and the fabric of our communities is rewoven.

containR is uniquely positioned to act as a community venue at a time when indoor arts presenters and community associations are forced to keep their doors locked. It offers a vibrant, safe, outdoor stage and gathering space for performance and a canvas for visual art through an ongoing series of murals painted by local youth artists on the exterior of the shipping containR walls. The containR site offers plenty of space and open air for people to connect at a safe distance, and in the process it allows the Arts to do what it does best, spark meaningful conversations and connections.

Our idea focuses on maximizing the potential of containR as a community hub and safe gathering space for Calgarians during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are seeking funds to support our inaugural containR Festival: Redux Series, which amplifies the voices of our local arts community by providing a much-needed venue. The Redux Series will offer the opportunity for professional and student artists to showcase work previously cancelled due to COVID-19. The series will feature the performance, dance, music and interdisciplinary works that were within the final stages of production before the closures precipitated by COVID-19 of over 50 artists at the containR site over two weekends in August and September. We will offer an honorarium to each artist and provide rehearsal and performance space, tech support and guidance throughout the process.

Who Will it Benefit?

The Redux Series celebrates the spirited creations and efforts of Calgary’s local artists. This project will benefit a broad range of arts professionals and students working in a variety of disciplines by providing a platform to express their creative voice. All artists will be paid an honorarium, which is particularly significant in a time when performing arts opportunities are far and few between. The performers and mural artists will also benefit from increased visibility of their work as the community gathers at the containR site.

The impact of Redux goes beyond the arts community, offering the public a special occasion to safely gather in a communal setting, engage with public and performative art, and experience the importance of living a creative life. It provides a fun and accessible entry point for all Calgarians to art, dance, performance, and an inspiring community hub, which encourages community engagement for all identities, abilities and ages. Through direct access via public transit, pay what you can events, and a diverse range of programming, the Redux Series will provide an affordable, accessible, and safe introduction to one of Calgary’s many vibrant inner-city neighbourhoods.

We strive to initiate thought provoking community discussions and a strong sense of community with the residents in the area. We recognize that arts and community connection play an important part in the emotional and social well-being of a society. For example, researchers have used biofeedback to study the effects of visual art on neural circuits and neuroendocrine markers to find biological evidence that visual art promotes health, wellness and fosters adaptive responses to stress. Cognitive neuroscientists have found that creating art reduces cortisol levels (markers for stress), and that through art people can induce positive mental states. There is a wealth of studies on the relationship between the arts and mental health, and flow-like states have been connected to mindfulness, attention, creativity and even improved cognition.

Our goal is to provide a safe gathering place and create connections through artistic expression and creativity. containR by Springboard Performance champions creativity for all Calgarians, delivering accessible and inclusive programming, inviting citizens of all ages, intersectional identities, backgrounds to partake.