Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge

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.