Marquee is the successful Community Cultural Development project proposal from the 2015 Artists Working in Community professional development course. It is located at the Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta (CPAA) Life without Limits Abilities Centre at 12001 44 Street SE.

The Artists

The group, Soul Tonic Studio, is composed of Lane Shordee and Joanne MacDonald.

Lane creates work that has strong ties to urban ecology and recycling, utilizing techniques that combine a variety of materials in various installations. Harvesting the alleyways has become a central part of his process, actively demonstrating the trope “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Lane uses these cultural artifacts as way of telling stories about the past while acknowledging our present concerns about the environment and society at large.  He has made a variety of work for disciplines such as theatre, performance, festivals and public art. In 2014, he created a set design for The Hudson Bay Epic, a mobile playground called Play On Wheels, in collaboration with a group of artists and Antyx, as well as a kinetic public sculpture for the Wildwood Community Center called Water Spiral.

Joanne has a background as Rehabilitation Practitioner and years of experience working with persons with disabilities. She is a sculptor who uses found objects and salvaged and recycled materials. Her primary material is steel and welds in order to build her creations. She is a proficient artist with a decade of experience in solo and group shows in both commercial and public galleries such as Stride, Triangle, and Ruberto Ostberg.  Viewing most of her work as maquettes, Joanne has recently pushed herself to go bigger with public and community works. One of these exciting projects included Playground at Phantom Wing, where she made Whirl, a kinetic interactive sculpture out of recycled bike racks, a steel tether ball and a teeter tauter all made out of recycled materials found on site. Recently Joanne was one of the lead artists on Play on Wheels with Anytx Community Arts youth program.

Lane and Joanne have worked on other collaborative projects in the past and came together during the Artists Working in Community course to create the Marquee artwork.


Community Partner Organization

In 2015, the Artists Working in Community partner organization was the CPAA who has been committed to making a difference in the lives of persons with disabilities in Calgary for 40 years. As a registered not-for-profit organization, the bulk of their work has focused on providing resources, information and supports to the community that empower all citizens to live fully engaged lives. Progressing with the opening of the Life without Limits Abilities Centre, the CPAA has become known as a leader in research, advocacy, holistic support services and community inclusion. With vast experience engaging the community, the CPAA has worked to increase community capacity through an established network of more than 130 partners. With a unique ability to work collaboratively and across many sectors, the CPAA is a leader in the community.

Raising awareness, building community capacity and sparking discussion through the development of art opens doors to new sectors of the community, allows for the building of new relationships and helps to break down barriers. The CPAA is a community-serving organization with its finger on the pulse of the community. This partnership with the City of Calgary through the Artists Working in Community provides a new avenue through which we can create community, eliminate barriers to inclusion and raise awareness across the city.

The Project

The project creates an inclusive environment that helps bring awareness to the work done at the CPAA and the lives of those affected by Cerebral Palsy.

The public artwork is titled Marquee and on the front lawn area of the CPAA building. It is a 16-foot circular deck made out of wood where the members can assemble for activities and future programming like gardening, art workshops, music and other kinesthetic exercises. The deck has a pathway and ramp access for wheelchairs and a floating bench for seating that is supported by 4-inch steel pipes. The steel pipes contain plants that attract butterflies, which is a symbol of the CPAA.

The space features a large marquee that allows members to communicate with their peers and the outside community through messages spelled out in movable letters. The changeable marquee serves as a platform for the CPAA clients to share thoughts, feelings, messages, jokes, and facts about living with Cerebral Palsy, thereby engaging and educating the community at large.