Alberta Music: How ATB partners with arts organizations in Alberta through The Branch for Arts and Culture
By ATB Financial 16 May 2019 2 min read
It ain’t over till the punk rocker sings
In most people’s minds, banking and the arts work together about as well as opera singers and punk bands. But when Alberta Music heard that ATB was opening The Branch for Arts and Culture, dedicated to serving artists and arts organizations in Alberta, the non-profit jumped at the opportunity to prove most people wrong.
Carly Klassen is the executive director of Alberta Music, a non-profit dedicated to supporting artists. “We were one of the first clients to sign on,” she says. “It was a no-brainer for us.”
Meet Alberta Music
Alberta Music offers consultations, grants, industry information, business advice and showcasing and performance opportunities to producers, bands and solo artist--from Juno-nominated Nuela Charles to nêhiyawak to the group of kids jamming in the basement next door. If you’re an independent musician in Alberta, you’ve probably benefited from the organization’s services and support.
For Klassen, the most challenging part of her job is securing funding--both for Alberta Music and for its members. “Fortunately we live in a great country and a great province that does support the arts,” she says. “But we would like to--as an organization--be able to provide those opportunities and those funds to those artists.”
Meet Alberta Music’s new bank
Finding a bank that not only meets her non-profit’s banking needs, but also shares Alberta Music’s vision and understands the challenges faced by artists in Alberta, was a big deal for Klassen.
“We were able to consult with The Branch on what values we have in common when it comes to music in this province. I think they were able to identify some key areas for artists and the arts and put that into daily banking.”
Partnering with The Branch for Arts and Culture has meant positive--sometimes life-changing--experiences for both Alberta Music and its members.
Through ATB, artists and music professionals with Alberta Music memberships can get advice on managing the business side of being a musician. (As every singer-songwriter knows, writing and performing are the fun parts. Applying for grants, booking gigs, and promoting yourself are the tough parts.)
ATB hosted Alberta Music’s annual general meetings in both Edmonton and Calgary, which meant the events could be livestreamed to members living or working outside Alberta’s major urban centres. Klassen also worked closely with The Branch for Arts and Culture on building the reception for the Edmonton Music and Film Prize.
And last year, The Branch helped Alberta Music offer affordable health care to its members--something the organization has never been able to do before.
Alberta Music’s story is just one example of the partnerships we’re building between banking and the arts in Alberta. The services ATB provides through The Branch for Arts and Culture are tailored to artists--their priorities, their schedules, their incomes and their lifestyles.
In Klassen’s words: “ATB really understands the value of arts in our community, and they really want to do everything they can to encourage artists to continue making art.”