Local creative artists are hoping an inspiring weekend show can help win over the hearts and minds of young performers looking outside Calgary for a place to learn and grow.

A 2022 study revealed that in Calgary, 69 per cent of those aged 18-24 intend to leave the province, and a local collective of artists has noticed this impact. 

“I’ve seen how many people feel the need to leave Calgary to pursue their not even just artistic pursuits, but also academic,” said Hanna Crisostomo, Communications Coordinator for For the Love of (FTLO).  

FTLO is a multi-medium art show and performance showcase designed to give local artists within the city a space to exhibit their talents. FTLO is running June 23 and 24, 2023 at Arts Commons.  

A collective of Calgary creatives noticed firsthand the number of young artists leaving the city to pursue their artistic passions, some of themselves included. Because of this, the group wanted to create an event to showcase that artists don’t need to leave the city to fulfill their talents and creative aspirations. 

Although the event is geared towards celebrating young creatives, everyone is welcome to attend. 

“The event is open to everyone but what we’re really trying to platform is the young talent in Calgary, especially people that … need that collaboration and connection and inspiration to keep going within their community,” said Crisostomo. 

The team of creators for FTLO said that they invited new artists, mature artists and everyone in between in order to keep the inspiration flowing because you never know where it’ll hit. They also said that they basically didn’t say anyone that came to them seeking a showcase because it wasn’t a question of yes or no but a question of “how” and “when.” 

“I feel like sharing knowledge in one way or another is so helpful even …the veterans that have been doing this for their whole life, they may get inspiration and help from the younger guys in ways that they don’t even know,” said Jay Avillanoza, Creative Director of FTLO. 

Breaking down barriers

For the Love of (FTLO) received its name because of the shared belief of the group of creators that anyone can love anything they want. The group strives to break down barriers that creatives can often face in the art world by creating a space where they can come together and make connections. 

“It doesn’t always have to be this struggle for artists, I think it’s just an overplayed story for us artists…I just think this event is going to show a lot of people that it’s possible to do your passion and to follow it,” said Avillanoza.

FTLO has been in the works for 7 months and the team is excited to finally bring a centralized place for young aspiring artists to enter the art community in Calgary. 

“This event really helps artists simply because [of] connection, and knowledge sharing and breaking barriers,” said Crisostomo. 

Currently, FTLO is the only event planned for the team of creators. However, depending on the turnout this weekend, they hope to continue the event to be an annual or possibly bi-annual event so that artists have something to look forward to each year.  

Crisostomo said that arts and culture don’t happen overnight, they take time to cultivate which is why they wanted to offer a centralized space where creatives can be celebrated on a recurring basis. 

Tickets and more information on the lineup can be found here.

Attendees can expect to experience art from 15 local creatives and music performances from 10 DJs. There are two shows each day of the event. The day show begins at 12 p.m. and people of all ages are welcome to attend. The evening show begins at 7 p.m. and is an 18+ event only.

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Isabella West is a fourth-year Journalism student at MRU. She completed her work term over the summer of 2023 at LiveWire Calgary in partnership with the Calgary Journal.