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Mandate: The ProArts Society is a non-profit volunteer organization, serving as a performing arts presenter to bring together artists and audiences in an historic venue in the heart of Calgary’s cultural district.  

Mission: To establish  the ProArts Society as a premier presenter of arts programs within the Calgary Community. 

Vision: To enhance and enrich the Calgary arts community by actively encouraging and facilitating free weekly arts presentations in the historic Cathedral Church of the Redeemer in downtown Calgary.

The ProArts Society acknowledges and honours Moh-kíns-tsis and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and the oral practices of the Blackfoot Confederacy, which includes the Kainai, Piikani and Siksika, the tsuut’ina first nation, and the Stony Nakoda, including Bearspaw, Chiniki and Wesley First Nations. This territory is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta Region 3. These people have been living on this land for millennia. This land acknowledgment gives us an opportunity to remember our role in reconciliation.

photo of Damon Johnston

Damon Johnston – Artistic Director

Damon Johnston became the ProArts Society’s Artistic Director on September 15th, 2008. Damon brings to ProArts his extensive background as a career arts administrator with a creative twist.  His leadership in concert 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 producer of Dancers Studio West embraced a full spectrum of performing arts companies, inviting them to use DSW’s facilities for rehearsals and performances. His collaborative attitude spawned productions and co-presentations 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, mentoring them in sound management practices.

Contact us

Administration Office: 403-269-1904

Email: info<at>    //

Office/Mailing Address: 604-1 St S.E. Calgary, AB    T2G 5H8

 Board of Directors 2023

  • Chairperson: Sonia Tibbatts
  • Treasurer: Naomi McGregor
  • Secretary: Dianne Standing
  • Directors:  Patricia Edy, Denyse Fair, Dale Fair, Ruth Parent, Debra Tillery.

Links to news articles featuring ProArts Society

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

Damon Johnston I Shaw 10 TV Go!Calgary I Watch the Video

Ayush Ghosh | Shaw 10 TV | Watch the Video

Damon Johnston, Artistic Director I Avenue Magazine (page 20)

A Brief History of the ProArts Society

Percussionist Robin Tufts accompanying flamenco guitarist Holly Blazina   

Photo Credit: ProArts

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 officially incorporated in Alberta in July 2002, and designated a charitable organization in February 2003.
The Society was fortunate in the early days to receive the support of local music instructors who used the ProArts@Noon Concert Series 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 many classical music performances.

The meaning of the “Pro” in ProArts         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!