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Converting an old space into a creative hub

Sign in front of the nvrlnd art studio building

Sign in front of the nvrlnd art studio building.

In 2017 Green Line purchased the Shamrock hotel property and tore the building down to make way for the Green Line LRT, however, across the street the annex and two small storefronts on 12th Street S.E., also owned by Green Line were left standing.

Now the buildings are being used to house artists and showcase local talent in the community thanks to and inspirational group called nvrlnd.

Nvrlnd has established unique and affordable spaces for artists to collaborate, create and share work with the public.  The creatives behind nvrlnd poured their efforts into renovating the building, cleaning, scraping and re-painting the old annex which now has 50 different artists in 28 studios.

With so many artists so close together, the building has turned into a supportive community where artists can share their ideas and work together all under one roof.

“Working in your basement, in a spare room or in your garage, as amazing as that is for your practice…you’re isolated, you’re on an island. The biggest thing about this space is that we’re all in here together,” said Cory Nespor, one of the board members of nvrlnd.

On a tour of the building, Cory went over each artist's room and the work that they did. From producers and photographers to painters and tattoo artists there was a wide range of skills and trades shared in one building.

Hallway of the nvrlnd studios

Hallway of the nvrlnd studios.

The storefront had also been renovated and now serves as a venue to host concerts and art shows for artists.

“We came in and we started introducing fun weird random activations into this community and Ramsay is one of the most accepting, tolerable, wonderful, weird, quirky neighborhoods in Calgary so it’s such a great fit for us to work through all these random ideas and throw them up outside literally against the walls outside,” said Nespor.

Art show and concert building

Art show and concert building.

Recently Nvrlnd signed a short-term lease for the buildings through the Green Line LRT project.

“We’re super excited to be a part of the conversation to be able to work with Green Line so well and having that open dialogue and the communication between what the plan is and how we can support that and be supported in that as well is tremendous.”

Nvrlnd map location

1048 21 Avenue SE


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