About EAR

Our Mandate, Mission, Vision:

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

EAR envisions a healthy arts community ensuring a continued and rich cultural landscape for us all. As a unique service organization for the visual arts sector, EAR builds creative capacity and fills a role not duplicated by any other agency.

Elephant Artist Relief came into being when artists came together to help a fellow artist with a health crisis. Since then, EAR became more aware of how vulnerable the visual art community is; average annual income for a visual artist is among the lowest in the country.

To achieve its goals, EAR offers: professional career development and entrepreneurship support; emergency relief assistance; and resources and referrals on topics such as health, safety, financial stability, taxes and insurance.

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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