ORGANIZATIONAL BACKGROUND

  • Where Edmonton Community Artists Network (W.E.C.A.N.) Society was formed in December 1987 by a group of Edmonton-based artists as a grass roots not-for-profit organization after a successful art auction fundraiser organized by this group to aid the victims of the 1987 Edmonton Tornado. The group devoted its attention and energy to creating Harcourt House Artist Run Centre – a permanent art centre for Edmonton’s growing and vibrant visual arts community and the community at large. The mandate of W.E.C.A.N. Society is to operate Harcourt House Artist Run Centre in support of artistic endeavours that are essential to a healthy community.
  • Since its inception in 1988, Harcourt House has established itself as an open, viewer-friendly forum for the best in Canadian contemporary visual /new media arts, architecture, and design in the context of international art. It carries out this mandate by providing art exhibitions and art education programs of the highest caliber in support of the local arts community and Edmonton’s diverse audiences, and affordable studio facilities to artists.
  • In addition, Harcourt House comprises the single largest community of visual arts studios in Alberta by providing 42 affordable and sustainable studio facilities to artists, as well as exhibition and art education facilities, thereby creating an environment of artistic vibrancy and community spirit that cannot be matched anywhere else in Western Canada, and possibly in the whole country.
  • For many artists from Alberta, Harcourt House has been a launching pad for their artistic careers. Many of the “Alumni” from Harcourt House have excelled nationally and internationally as exhibiting artists. Others have gone on to work in academic institutions to offer their mentorship to the next generation of progressive creators and critical thinkers.
  • Harcourt House offers a broad range of education opportunities for Edmonton’s diverse communities. The philosophy of our organization has always been to make people feel safe and welcome, and to encourage them to explore their own creative potential without fear of criticism or judgement. For over twenty-five years, Harcourt House has operated an on-going, mentored Art Enrichment Community Program that is focused on the needs for people living with developmental and economic barriers to express themselves through art.
  • As a cultural cornerstone in Edmonton for over 30 years, Harcourt House has engaged generations of Albertans and visitors with a remarkable connection between art, culture, and the world around us.