City seeks applications for historic site in city centre

Historic Fire Hall and North-West Travellers buildings reimagined as arts & culture hub

The City wants to breath new life into the Historic Fire Hall No. 1 and North-West Travellers buildings on the corner of 1 Street S.E. and 6 Avenue S.E. and reimagine the site as an arts and culture hub and iconic destination in the city centre.

2020-xxxx_19-0003436 Historic City Hall -6172_89875The City released an Expression of Interest in which it is encouraging partnerships between arts and culture organizations and private businesses to create a place where visual and performing artists and artistic groups are supported through affordable lease space and live-in artist studios. By arts and culture organizations collaborating with private business, The City believes the historic buildings can be repurposed for arts and culture and food and beverage-based uses to create a new iconic destination.

“This project is a rare opportunity to add vibrancy to Calgary’s downtown core while also supporting the arts and culture communities in Calgary,” says Ryan Meier, manager, Facility Planning, City of Calgary. “The unique character, quality, identity and scale of the buildings, along with their prime location, creates great potential for adaptive re-use.”

The Historic Fire Hall No. 1 and North-West Travellers buildings are City-owned, provincially designated heritage properties in the heart of downtown Calgary. These properties have province-wide significance as historic places with distinctive architectural details and are exceptional reminders of Calgary’s roots as a frontier community.

Meier further adds, “the Expression of Interest will help The City fulfill its arts and culture goals and create an opportunity for this site to continue to be an important civic asset in Calgary’s downtown. Through continued activation, this site will become a destination for opportunities for gathering and enjoying visual and performing art while helping artists thrive in Calgary.”

“This opportunity builds on the great work we have been doing to activate the Historic Fire Hall No. 1 site over the last few years,” says Franca Gualtieri, manager, Arts and Culture, City of Calgary. “This is our third year of activating the space and our second year working with Volly to provide programming. The courtyard activation is the starting place for reimagining this space as an arts and culture hub in our city.”

Both properties are currently vacant and have been earmarked by The City to develop affordable lease space to support the under-served arts and culture communities in Calgary. They are within the vicinity of popular downtown destinations like Stephen Avenue, Bow Tower, Arts Commons, Glenbow Museum, Central Library, East Village, the Riverwalk and Olympic Plaza.

The Expression of Interest closes on Jan. 12, 2024, and interested groups can make inquiries and respond through