Our main activity is the annual Sled Island Music and Arts Festival that takes place in June. For five days, the festival takes over the city’s downtown core and showcase 250 musical acts, plus visual art, film and comedy. On average, of the 300+ artists showcased annually about 70 are local and 120 from Alberta. In our 14 years of existence we have presented 900 local musical acts, programmed over 140 spaces and partnered with over 500 non-profit organizations, charities and businesses.
By participating in the festival, emerging musicians get to share the stage with established international acts who often inspired them, develop their audience by playing in front of large crowds and build relationships with their peers as well as with industry professionals who attend the festival each year. The multi-disciplinary aspect of our programming also results in audience crossover and widens the scope of the artists’ reach.
Over 400 volunteers donate their time and energy annually to help us carry out our activities. Beyond being crucial to our operations, our volunteer program allows us to engage with Calgarians from all walks of life. We offer many opportunities with different schedules, skill and responsibility levels meant to make the program accessible to all.
Sled Island strives to be more than an arts presenter and to show leadership as a community stakeholder. Our bike advocacy work has played an important role in the development of biking infrastructure in the city, from bike racks to bike lanes.
Diversity and inclusion are core values of our organization. In 2017 we started two key partnerships with the Calgary Sexual Health Centre and Indigenous Resilience in Music, that helped us greatly in our efforts to support these principles. Both organizations have been essential resources in the development of our Safer Spaces and Inclusivity Policy, that aim to make the festival a safe and welcoming environment for all and remove barriers for marginalized and minority communities to participate.
Sled Island is dedicated to offering substantial and high-quality all-ages programming (in venues accessible to people under 18). We believe it is crucial to expose the new generation of artists and art-enthusiasts to a broad range of music and art, in order to inspire them, open doors to new experiences and help them build critical thinking.The 13th edition of the Sled Island Music and Arts Festival took place from June 19-23, 2019 in over 30 venues in Calgary’s downtown core.
During the year, we partner with various arts organizations such as the National Music Centre and CJSW to present shows and other one-of-a-kind events. Among them is our Rock Lottery where 30 local musicians whose names are drawn from a hat to form new bands, are given less than 12 hours to write new material, performed on stage that same night at the Palomino Smokehouse. The event is an opportunity for musicians of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels to collaborate with some of their peers they may never have crossed path with otherwise.We are always looking for volunteers to help with our year-round events as well as bingos and casinos. Volunteer opportunities for the festival itself are advertised on our website around April each year. For more information about volunteering with us, please contact [email protected] or call our office at 403.229.2901.
Donations to our organization can be made via our website (www.sledisland.com/donate) or via cheque made out to Sled Island Arts Fellowship and mailed to: 2206a 4th Street S.W., Calgary, AB, T2S 1W9.
Artists or businesses can also donate prizes to be auctioned at our various fundraiser events. For more information on this, please contact [email protected].