Arts and Communities

This work is directed at socially excluded communities and aims at using the artistic process to engage in a process of social change. It is driven by shared collaboration and not an individualistic vision.

-the evaluation report on the Cultural Capital Community Arts Program

Community Based Work

Image by Condé / Beveridge created for The River

GZP Edmonton is a community-based professional theatre company. We see our work as engaged with the various communities in the city where we live and work.

This engagement is defined within the intersections of three large artistic movements. GZP and its Artistic Director Don Bouzek have produced work in all three contexts, which frequently overlap.

  1. Community Arts – lives at the crossroads of three things we normally think of separately: art, learning and social change.
  2. Popular Theatre – creates a movement from the grass roots where people outside mainstream culture tell their stories on stage.
  3. Labour Arts – gives working people access to cultural expression and the means to preserve their own heritage.

Edmonton has a long tradition of community-based art work. In a previous incarnation, Catalyst Theatre was what Alan Filewod has termed “perhaps the most innovative Popular Theatre in North America”. Today, as the Cultural Capital Community Arts Program demonstrated in 2007, the work is still very much alive and being practised by a new generation of culturally diverse artists.