Allied Arts Council

Short history

The Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge (AAC) was established on March 20, 1958 with the intent of encouraging, coordinating, and promoting the arts in Lethbridge and area. The AAC continues this mission to this day.

The original 16 Allied Members of the AAC were the: Alberta Association of Architects, Alberta Teacher’s Association, Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, Black & White Photography Club, Classical Record Club, Colour Camera Club, Lethbridge Ballet Auxiliary, Lethbridge Handicraft Guild, Lethbridge Jazz Society, Lethbridge Philosophical Society, Lethbridge Public Library Board, Lethbridge Registered Music Teachers Association, Lethbridge Women’s Music Club, Playgoers of Lethbridge, Quota Club, and University Women’s Club.

In 1964, the City of Lethbridge tasked the AAC with the management of the Bowman Arts Centre. AAC staff provided support to local arts organizations, created multi-disciplinary arts education programming, coordinated the gallery program, and provided a central hub for the arts community.

Throughout the years, the AAC has provided input and advocacy on arts issues including civic arts and culture facilities, the formation of the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, the City of Lethbridge Public Art Policy, the City of Lethbridge Municipal Development Plan, and the City of Lethbridge Recreation and Culture Plan. The organization also programs community events like Arts Days and the Mayor’s Luncheon for Business and the Arts.

In 2009 the administrative staff moved out of the Bowman and into the current administrative offices on 7th Street in downtown Lethbridge. In 2013, the programming staff moved out of the Bowman and into the newly built Casa community arts centre. This purpose built facility was part of the AAC’s Arts Re:Building Together Campaign, which included advocacy for the renovation of the Southern Alberta Art Gallery facility and a new performing arts centre.

The Allied Arts Council continues to work to advance and enhance the arts at all levels of government and brings support to Lethbridge’s incredibly vibrant arts community.


The Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge provides leadership in advancing and enhancing the arts in Lethbridge.


A vibrant Arts Community enriches Lethbridge.

Land Acknowledgment

The Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge acknowledges that it operates on traditional Blackfoot Confederacy territory. We honour the Blackfoot people and their traditional ways of knowing and caring for this land, as well as all Indigenous and Metis people who have helped shape and continue to strengthen our community.

Geographical Boundaries

The region being served by the Allied Arts Council is the County of Warner to the east, west to the British Colombia border, north to Vulcan County and south to the United States border.

AAC History Books

There are two documents that outline the past history of the Allied Arts Council. The first was written by Alex Johnston from the Galt Museum & Archives in 1983 that outlines the history of the AAC from 1958 to 1980. The second document was commissioned in 2018 with a grant from Alberta Heritage for the AAC’s 60th Anniversary. This document, compiled by Elaine Toth, is an oral history of the organization from 1980 to 2018.

Both documents are available to download as a PDF.