About EAR


Our Mandate, Mission, Vision:

Elephant Artist Relief Society (EAR) is a registered charity that provides practical resources to artists in the Calgary region in order to help sustain their well-being and livelihood and, in turn, contribute to a vibrant cultural sector.

As a unique service organisation, EAR builds creative capacity and fills a role not duplicated by any other agency. Originally dedicated to serving visual artists, the organisation has recently extended our programs to support artists of other disciplines, with intentions of meeting the broader community’s needs for years to come. The society envisions a healthy arts community that ensures a continued rich cultural landscape for us all.

EAR came into being when a group came together to help a fellow artist with a health crisis. Since then, EAR has become evermore aware of how vulnerable artists are, when struck with an unexpected hardship. The average annual income for a visual artist, for example, is among the lowest in the country and access to extended benefits is rare.

o achieve its goals EAR offers emergency financial relief, referrals and resources on topics such as health and safety, fiscal management and taxes, as well as hosting career development and entrepreneurship workshops.

Why “Elephant?” 

We are often asked what elephants have to do with what we stand for…. Well, not only is our name woven into the history of our organization (as the name of our first fund-raiser for an artist in crisis) there is no more perfect symbol to remind us of how we want to show up for those we support.  Known for kindness, prosperity and wisdom, elephants respect social customs and protect the members of their herd. Their memory, longevity and unrelenting strength contribute to their mystic ability to remove obstacles.  From invoking the power and compassion needed to sustain well-being to never forgetting the important role artists play in our cultural landscape, we look to the the ancient image of the elephant that holds up the world and choose it to represent the harmony and stability we seek for artists in Calgary.

Our Board of Directors:

Our strong Board of Directors comprises a sampling of vital arts supporters and critical creative people who believe what we do  is a necessary component of the Calgary Arts Community:

Jill M. Armstrong – President
Jenna Swift – Vice President
Kathryn McKelvey – Treasurer
Tami McDonald – Secretary
Hye-Seung Jung – Director
Patricia Duquette – Director
Carli Castle – Director


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