Damon Johnston became the ProArts Society’s Artistic Director on September 15th, 2008. Damon brings to ProArts his extensive background as an arts administrator with a creative twist. His leadership in programming is providing a showcase for local and touring talent, bringing new audiences to this concert series, and collaborating with artists, other arts group, and organizations in innovative artistic explorations.
Well-known and respected in the performing arts community for his long association with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, Damon’s leadership and advocacy in the arts community as Executive Director of Dancers Studio West embraced a full spectrum of performing arts companies inviting them to use DSWs facilities for rehearsals and performances. His collaborative attitude spawned productions and co-productions that reflected the Calgary arts scene and inspired the hopes and dreams of many emerging artists. Damon also has experience consulting with small but expanding arts groups to mentor them into sound management practices.
Administration Office: 403 269 1904
Concert Info: 403 214 1811
Office/Mailing Address: 604 1 St SE Calgary, AB T2G 5H8
Artistic Director Damon Johnston September 6, 2013 article in the Calgary Herald – Download and Read the PDF
Culture for the people… | Download and read the PDF
Heavenly Nooner | Calgary Herald | Download and read the PDF
Damon Johnston | Shaw 10 TV | Watch the Video
Ayush Ghosh | Shaw 10 TV | Watch the Video
The ProArts Society began in 2002 when frequent requests to use the Cathedral Church as a place for concerts and special events confirmed its attractiveness as a venue for artistic expression. Registered as an Alberta Historic Site in September 1974, the Cathedral is itself a work of art, with priceless stained glass windows, ornate woodwork, and resonant acoustics. A committee was established to investigate the use of the Cathedral as a venue for the performing arts. The ProArts Society was registered in Alberta in November 2002, and designated a charitable organization in February 2003.
The Society was fortunate to receive the support of local music instructors who used the ProArts@Noon format to showcase the talents of their students. Organists were delighted to play the Cathedral’s restored 1905 Casavant Frères pipe organ. Classical guitar concerts were particularly well received, as were classical performances on the cello, harp, flute, and trumpet.
Originally, the Church of the Redeemer was named the “Pro Cathedral” for the Anglican Diocese of Calgary. The designation “Pro” was meant to be temporary until a more elaborate structure could be built. However, it became apparent that the dream of a larger Cathedral was unrealistic; the term “Pro” was dropped, and the Church of the Redeemer was simplified to Cathedral for the Diocese. For many years the church was fondly referred to as “the Pro” and the ProArts name reflects this affectionate term, along with the affirmation of the positive role the performing arts play in our community.
The ProArts Society continues to grow and explore new avenues of artistic expression, while remaining true to its vision of enhancing and enriching the Calgary arts community by engaging artists to perform in the historic Cathedral Church. What started as a modest weekly recital, has blossomed into an established concert series, providing a free concert experience accessible to everyone plus a showcase for hundreds of Calgary’s performing artists!
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