Art City Inc.

Organization size: Small
Discipline: Community Art Centre, Multidisciplinary
Winnipeg, Manitoba (2011-12)

Partnerships mobilize Art City with style

Art City Inc. and Edward Carriere Salon Partnership Summary

Art City is a community centre that offers high quality, free-of-charge arts programming to those who wish to express themselves creatively, and expand their cultural impact by meeting the unique needs of the community with help from artists all over the world. In 2011, Art City partnered with Edward Carriere Salon, a high-quality local business known for its community support and donations to neighbourhood organizations.

Art City secured sponsorships of $3,000 each from three local businesses that had never before partnered with an arts organization. Among them was Edward Carriere. Art City used the funds to purchase a van needed to run daily errands such as picking up supplies and donations – a purchase that helped turn the van into a branded flagship for Art City within the community. Carriere gained a number of benefits from the partnership, such as broadening brand recognition, volunteer and engagement opportunities for employees, VIP recognition and exposure at a high profile media event launch party.

Fittingly, Art City did not keep their new van on factory settings. Renowned Dutch artist Olaf Mooij agreed to travel from Rotterdam to Winnipeg to turn the vehicle into a larger than life sculpture on wheels.

Mooij’s career is largely based on his production of art cars, and his work is celebrated across Europe and in the Booijmans Museum’s permanent collection. Over the course of a month, Olaf used hundreds of re-purposed speakers from old stereos gathered from waste centres and thrift stores to create a virtual cityscape mounted on the van’s roof, echoing the urban context of Art City. Each speaker was wired into a custom stereo system, converting the Art City van into a musical event wherever it goes, pumping the organization’s positivity and creativity into each community it enters.

“The Art City van has a legacy of reflecting the organization’s commitment to high-quality and innovative art experiences and as such, this vehicle also provides Art City with the most high-profile advertising opportunity for businesses who wish to be associated with an organization that is held in high respect within the city”

Josh Ruth, Art City – Managing Director

Art City Inc.

Art City is a community centre that offers high-quality, free-of-charge arts programming to those who wish to express themselves creatively, and expand their cultural impact by meeting the unique needs of the community with help from artists all over the world.

Art City’s mission of offering free-of-charge, quality programming featuring artists all over the world is supported by these key planks:

  • Being a part of the neighbourhood, a place that is safe, comfortable, and supportive.
  • Being accessible by offering programming with local, national, and international artists.
  • Being sustainable and available to the community at all times of the year.
  • Being a model for future community art centres.

Edward Carriere Salon

Edward Carriere Salon is a high-quality local salon known for its community support and contributions to neighbourhood organizations. The salon has been active in the community for more than 20 years and is a prominent business in the West Broadway neighbourhood operating just down the street from Art City Inc. Edward himself has remained intimately involved with the surrounding neighbourhood and community which is overcoming a long history of challenges related to poverty.






About the Partnership

Until this project, both Edward Carriere and Arts City had not ventured into corporate sponsorship. Art City compiled an attractive sponsorship package and chose to seek out businesses, such as Edward Carriere, that had similar community goals and achievements in mind. Though the $9,000.00 requested sponsorship was more than the salon had budgeted for their promotion, part owner Deborah Seguin mobilized her friends and successful business owners, Larry Willman and Danny Bubis, to co-sponsor the purchase of a new van for Art City.

“We approached the sponsorship from a place of inviting them to become more integral part of the Art City legacy by helping us with a capital acquisition. Since then, we take every opportunity to highlight this contribution”

Josh Ruth, Art City – Managing Director

Art City sought partners with similar community values and goals in an effort to raise money for their new Art City van. While a van has many practical uses – such as picking up art supplies, donations, and healthy snacks all over Winnipeg – this particular van was more than just an errand runner. This was to be a creative outlet, a way to mobilize Art City, expand the awareness of their art organization and further the audience and brands of their supporting partners and sponsors all in a fun and memorable way.

“We take it to other community organizations city-wide to lead art workshops with their participants. It leads the annual Art City parade, engaging over 700 people from the neighbourhood, art community, public servants and dignitaries.” – Josh Ruth, Managing Director, Art City Inc.

Benefits for Edward Carriere Salon

Short term

Art City offered an attractive sponsorship package in order to bring Edward Carriere on as a partner in support of their van project. These benefits made it an excellent and worthwhile opportunity to bolster their community profile and brand. For $3,000.00, Edward Carriere salon would receive:

  • Logo placement on the van and at the van launch party
  • Special recognition on all Art City social media, website, press releases and at special events.
  • Edward Carriere Salon broadened its brand to 800 Art City patrons and attendees throughout the community by way of mentions and acknowledgments in the Art City bi-annual newsletter
  • Edward Carriere engaged in the art community by volunteering at the parade and further broadened audience awareness of their business and their support of arts and culture.
  • The salon received 25 complimentary tickets to a high profile media event where the sponsors were recognized at the unveiling of the Art City van and were able to network with the art community, public representatives and other businesses that shared in their values and goals

Long term

Employee engagement creates a strong bond between the business and the organization through more involvement.

  • Art City offered its partners and staff tickets to events and programs throughout the year in return for their support and offered to brand shirts with logos for volunteers working and supporting those events
  • Edward Carriere was able to contribute to the project from beginning to finish and helped create the legacy of the Art City van a positive association with Art City Inc.
  • Upon the project’s completion, a local television station ran a special video on the Art City van project and conducted interviews with all interested sponsors. The video was also screened at the launch party.

Because the Art City van is used for community programs in other neighbourhoods, supply and grocery shopping, and at other special public events, it is the Art City flagship. To be recognized on this eye-catching moving billboard, and associated with a reputable organization is sure to highlight a sponsor’s commitment to the shared values of Art City Inc.

“All sponsors involved have expressed their excitement about the conclusion of the project. Not only were they satisfied by the promotion, but they felt that Art City exceeded expectation in regards to the quality of the recognition they received, media exposure, and the eye-catching nature of the van in its final incarnation”

Josh Ruth, Managing Director, Art City Inc.

Benefits for Art City Inc.

Through the partnerships that Art City was able to create, they achieved what many thought to be a difficult feat.

  • Art City gained a van that they could use to run much-needed daily errands
  • They mobilized their programs and took them to other community organizations city-wide to lead weekly art workshops with their participants
  • They were able to reach further into their communities, venues and other parts of the city with their art programming availability and stay true to their mission and goals

By acquiring the van, they ceremoniously launched the van and Olaf’s sculpture on the rooftop of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, following a fascinating artist talk by Mooij. The event engaged the community and media as well as created awareness for Art City. Over 200 individuals from the arts and business community purchased tickets to witness and celebrate the unveiling.

Benefits for the Community

In gaining a vehicle from their partners and sponsors, Art City can now mobilize their workshops into new communities.

  • 999 kids who would otherwise not have had access to high-quality art programs attended Art City workshops at the outreach locations in four other communities in 2011.
  • There was an increase in the number of trips being made to workshops, galleries, special events and performances
  • Children in the community gained more access to art tools and supplies to further their creativity and education






Though Edward Carriere Salon had never been a sponsor before this project, they had been donors many years prior and were a part of Art City’s regular stewardship strategy targeted to donors. Following the sponsorship, Art City Inc. has kept a friendly rapport with the owners and employees of Edward Carriere Salon and were recently selected as the 2013 recipients of Carriere’s annual fundraiser with all the proceeds donated to Art City Inc.

“Since we are neighbours, we stop by on a regular basis to discuss community happenings or to report on Art City events. Along with a few other neighbourhood organizations, we honoured Edward himself with an award for his years of dedication to the community.”- Josh Ruth, Managing Director, Art City Inc.